Income Inequality News StoriesExcerpts of Key Income Inequality News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of income inequality news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been good for the wallets of the wealthy. Some 573 people have joined the billionaire ranks since 2020, bringing the worldwide total to 2,668, according to an analysis released by Oxfam on Sunday. That means a new billionaire was minted about every 30 hours, on average, so far during the pandemic. The report, which draws on data compiled by Forbes, looks at the rise of inequality over the past two years. It is timed to coincide with the kickoff of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering of some of the wealthiest people and world leaders. Billionaires have seen their total net worth soar by $3.8 trillion, or 42%, to $12.7 trillion during the pandemic. A large part of the increase has been fueled by strong gains in the stock markets, which was aided by governments injecting money into the global economy. Much of the jump in wealth came in the first year of the pandemic. It then plateaued and has since dropped a bit. At the same time, Covid-19, growing inequality and rising food prices could push as many as 263 million people into extreme poverty this year. Billionaires in the food and agribusiness sector have seen their total wealth increase by $382 billion, or 45%, over the past two years, after adjusting for inflation. Some 62 food billionaires were created since 2020. Forty new pandemic billionaires were created in the pharmaceutical industry, which has been at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 and the beneficiary of billions in public funding.
After her longtime partner died of kidney cancer, federal agents knocked on Gail Deckman's door outside Chicago and told her she was in trouble: She had kept thousands of dollars in Social Security disability benefits that should have stopped when he died. The inspector general's office, which investigates disability fraud and tries to recoup money for the government, ultimately charged her $119,392 – nearly three times what she received in error. The inflated fees were set in motion during the Trump administration, when attorneys in charge of a little-known anti-fraud program run by the inspector general's office levied unprecedented fines against Deckman and more than 100 other beneficiaries without due process. The escalating penalties created a giant jump – at least on paper – in the amount of money the inspector general could show lawmakers it was bringing in. A Chicago woman was fined $132,000 after wrongly receiving as much as $10,618 in benefits. A Denver woman was sanctioned $168,000 after cashing as much as $14,960 in wrongly received checks. The remarkable penalties led to tumult inside the Office of Inspector General Gail Ennis, where a whistleblower was targeted for retaliation, according to a ruling this month. [Deborah] Shaw testified that she was shocked when she was directed in early 2019 to issue a penalty of $176,000 to a woman who had already written a check for $26,000 to repay the government the entire amount she had wrongly received in disability benefits.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The wage gap between chief executives and workers at some of the US companies with the lowest-paid staff grew even wider last year, with CEOs making an average of $10.6m, while the median worker received $23,968. A study of 300 top US companies released by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) on Tuesday found the average gap between CEO and median worker pay jumped to 670-to-1. The ratio was up from 604-to-1 in 2020. Forty-nine firms had ratios above 1,000-to-1. At more than a third of the companies surveyed, IPS found that median worker pay did not keep pace with inflation. The report ... comes amid a wave of unionization efforts among low wage workers and growing scrutiny of the huge share buyback programs many corporations have been using to inflate their share prices. US companies announced plans to buy back more than $300bn of their own shares in the first quarter of the year and Goldman Sachs has estimated that buybacks could top $1tn in 2022. Share-related remuneration makes up the largest portion of senior executive compensation and as buybacks generally boost a company's share price, they also boost executive pay. The biggest buyback firm was home improvement chain Lowe's, which spent $13bn on share repurchases. That money could have given each of its 325,000 employees a $40,000 raise. Instead, median pay at the company fell 7.6% to $22,697. IPS noted that many of the companies in its sample were also the recipients of large federal government contracts.
As inflation shot to a new peak in March, cost increases exacted a deep toll on the economy. But for many of the US's largest companies and their shareholders it has been a very different story. A Guardian analysis of top corporations' financials and earnings calls reveals most are enjoying profit increases even as they pass on costs to customers, many of whom are struggling to afford gas, food, clothing, housing and other basics. The analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings for 100 US corporations found net profits up by a median of 49%, and in one case by as much as 111,000%. Those increases came as companies saddled customers with higher prices and all but ten executed massive stock buyback programs or bumped dividends to enrich investors. In earnings calls, executives detailed how even as demand and profits rose post-vaccine, they passed on most or all inflationary costs to customers via price increases, and some took the opportunity to add more on top. Margins – the share of sales converted into profits – also improved for the majority of the companies. The Guardian's findings are in line with recent US commerce department data that shows corporate profits rose 35% during the last year and are at their highest level since 1950. Inflation, meanwhile, rose to 8.5% year over year in March. The Guardian's data ... objectively shows a massive "transfer of wealth" from consumers, who pay higher prices, to shareholders and investment firms.
Note: Meanwhile global poverty has skyrocketed. Do the billionaires really care? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 1981, Malcolm Forbes, the eccentric and fabulously wealthy magazine publisher, came to his editors with a request: Could they pull together a special issue about the 400 richest Americans? The resulting reporting project took a year, dozens of flights and thousands of interviews. At the top of the very first Forbes 400 list was Daniel K. Ludwig, a shipping magnate, estimated by the magazine to be worth more than $2 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that's now at least $5.8 billion, a fortune that would land Ludwig in a seven-way tie for the 182nd spot on the last Forbes 400 list, alongside Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx; Gary Rollins, chief executive of Rollins, Inc., which owns several pest-control companies; and who could forget Peter Gassner, the head of a cloud-software company called Veeva. Since 1987, Forbes has published another list, which started smaller but has grown to be much larger: the World's Billionaires List. The magazine just published this year's edition, with a staggering 2,668 names. The task of gathering information for both lists is overseen by Kerry Dolan, an editor at Forbes, in a highly collaborative effort that involves at least 92 different reporters from all over the organization, including from the company's many internationally licensed editions – Russia, Poland, Mexico and more. The 2022 World's Billionaires list ... grew by 573 names compared with the last prepandemic list, in 2020. That year, the world was minting new billionaires at a rate, Forbes noted, of about one every 17 hours.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The 25 richest Americans, including Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Elon Musk, paid a "true tax rate" of just 3.4% between 2014 and 2018, according to an investigation by ProPublica, despite their collective net worth rising by more than $400bn in the same period. The report by the non-profit news organization exposes the US tax system as income and wealth inequality continues to widen. ProPublica used Internal Revenue Service data to dive into the tax returns of some of America's wealthiest and most prominent people. It found that in 2007 Bezos, the founder of Amazon and already a billionaire, paid no federal taxes. In 2011, when he had a net worth of $18bn, he was again able to pay no federal taxes – and even received a $4,000 tax credit for his children. ProPublica created what it called a "true tax rate" for the wealthiest 25 Americans by comparing federal income tax paid between 2014 and 2018 to how their net worth increased on Forbes' well-regarded rich list over the same period. "The results are stark," ProPublica wrote. "According to Forbes, those 25 people saw their worth rise a collective $401bn from 2014 to 2018. "They paid a total of $13.6bn in federal income taxes in those five years, the IRS data shows. That's a staggering sum, but it amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%." By contrast, the median American household paid 14% in federal taxes. The top income tax rate is 37% on incomes over $523,600 for single filers.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a new era of inflation inequality, economists warn, in which poor households bear the brunt of rising prices. That's because a bigger portion of their budget goes toward categories that have spiked in cost. Food is up 6.4% over the past year, for example, while gasoline jumped a whopping 58%. And now many people are facing those higher prices as federal stimulus programs fade away. "They're essentially looking to stretch a dollar most days," said Chris Wimer ... at Columbia University. "It's going to lead to difficult choices between putting gas in the car or paying for your kids' child care or putting food on the table." A recent analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model found that low- and middle-income households spent about 7% more in 2021 for the same products they bought in 2020 or in 2019. That translates into about $3,500 for the average household. Meanwhile, pandemic-related production disruptions have driven up the costs of commodities that poor households rely on. The findings dovetail with an analysis [by] economist Alberto Cavallo. He showed that low-income consumers experienced price increases that were roughly double those of wealthier ones. In 2019, a joint paper from researchers at Columbia and the London School of Economics estimated that about 3 million more people would qualify as living in poverty if their incomes were adjusted for the inflation rates they experience.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The pandemic has made the rich richer while the income of the rest of the world – about 99% of humanity – dropped, according to a new Oxfam report titled "Inequality Kills." The wealth of the world's 10 richest men doubled from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic, the global charity said on Monday. "It has never been so important to start righting the violent wrongs of this obscene inequality by clawing back elites' power and extreme wealth including through taxation – getting that money back into the real economy and to save lives," said Oxfam International's Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. A 99% windfall tax on the pandemic gains of the world's 10 richest men would raise enough money to pay for vaccines for the world – as well as finance various social measures for more than 80 countries, the report said. The wealth of billionaires rose more since Covid started compared to the last 14 years, and a new billionaire was minted every 26 hours since the pandemic began. The CEOs of Covid vaccine-developers Moderna and BioNTech made billions in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. At the same time, the vast majority of the population are worse off after losing income during Covid-19, and 160 million more people fell into poverty. One way to "claw back" the huge gains made by billionaires during the crisis is to tax the money that billionaires have made since the start of the pandemic. Even after the tax, the world's 10 richest men would still be billionaires.
The pandemic has made the world's wealthiest far richer but has led to more people living in poverty, according to the charity Oxfam. Lower incomes for the world's poorest contributed to the death of 21,000 people each day. But the world's 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective fortunes since March 2020, Oxfam said. Oxfam typically releases a report on global inequality at the start of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. That event usually sees thousands of corporate and political leaders, celebrities, campaigners, economists and journalists gather in the Swiss ski resort for panel discussions, drinks parties and schmoozing. However for the second year running, the meeting (scheduled for this week) will be online-only after the emergence of the Omicron variant derailed plans to return to an in-person event. Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB's chief executive, said the charity timed the report each year to coincide with Davos to attract the attention of economic, business and political elites. "This year, what's happening is off the scale," he said. "There's been a new billionaire created almost every day during this pandemic, meanwhile 99% of the world's population are worse off because of lockdowns, lower international trade, less international tourism, and as a result of that, 160 million more people have been pushed into poverty." "Something is deeply flawed with our economic system," he added.
Note: BBC sadly fails to mention it is not the pandemic that has caused all of this, but the lockdowns. 21,000 a day, which is one million every 50 days, died as a result of the lockdowns. 160 million humans fell into poverty a result of these lockdowns, not to mention the huge increase in suicides, murders, domestic abuse, shuttered small businesses, and more. Even if a million lives were saved by the lockdowns, was it worth these tremendous costs? For more, see summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable media sources.
Closures from COVID-19 have affected 1.6 billion children worldwide. Nearly two years into the pandemic, experts say the economic costs are in the trillions and the social costs are incalculable. $17 trillion. That's how much the pandemic could cost children around the world in terms of lost lifetime earnings. The number comes from a new report by the United Nations and the World Bank. Closed schools combined with the economic crashes all around the world not only means lost learning, it means students driven into the workforce. And some of them are going to stay there. So that all translates to children learning fewer basic skills, which makes them less qualified for higher-waged jobs. And that is how they get that estimate of $17 trillion of lost wages potentially over the lifetimes of these children. UNESCO actually has a really simple benchmark, which is can a child, by the age of 10, read a sentence in their native language? And if they can't, they call that learning poverty. And they found that even before the pandemic, more than half of the children in low- and middle-income countries couldn't do that. And now learning poverty is projected to potentially reach up to 7 in 10 of those children. UNICEF says that 10 million more girls around the world could be forced into child marriage in the next decade as one of the most unusual cascading impacts of the pandemic. Essentially, they've run out of options for survival. So this is really a human toll that they're talking about here.
Note: The media continually blame the many harmful effects of the lockdown on COVID. The virus did not cause these problems, the lockdowns did. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
One in two people worldwide saw their earnings drop due to the coronavirus, with people in low-income countries hit particularly hard by job losses or cuts to their working hours, new research shows. US-based polling company Gallup, which surveyed 300,000 people across 117 countries, found that half of those with jobs earned less because of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This translated to 1.6 billion adults globally, it said. "Worldwide, these percentages ranged from a high of 76 per cent in Thailand to a low of 10 per cent in Switzerland," said researchers in a statement. In Bolivia, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras and Ecuador, more than 70 per cent of people polled said they took home less than before the global health crisis. In the United States, this figure dropped to 34 per cent. The Covid-19 crisis has affected workers across the world – particularly women. International charity Oxfam said ... that according to its own research, the pandemic had cost women around the world $800bn (Ł578bn) in lost income. The poll also showed that one in three people surveyed had lost their job or business due to the pandemic – translating to just over 1 billion people globally. These figures also varied across nations, with more than 60 per cent of respondents in lower-income countries such as the Philippines, Kenya and Zimbabwe having lost their jobs or businesses, compared to 3 per cent in Switzerland and 13 per cent in the United States.
Note: This article fails to mention that these were consequences not of the virus, but of the lockdowns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
After years of declines, America's middle class now holds a smaller share of U.S. wealth than the top 1%. The middle 60% of U.S. households by income ... saw their combined assets drop to 26.6% of national wealth as of June, the lowest in Federal Reserve data going back three decades. For the first time, the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. The data offer a window into the slow-motion erosion in the financial security of mid-tier earners. That continued through the Covid-19 pandemic, despite trillions of dollars in government relief. While "middle class" has different meanings to different people, many economists use income to define the group. The 77.5 million families in the middle 60% make about $27,000 to $141,000 annually, based on Census Bureau data. Their share in three main categories of assets - real estate, equities and private businesses - slumped in one generation. That made their lives more precarious, with fewer financial reserves to fall back on when they lose their jobs. The top 1% represents about 1.3 million households who roughly make more than $500,000 a year - out of a total of almost 130 million. Over the past 30 years, 10 percentage points of American wealth has shifted to the top 20% of earners, who now hold 70% of the total, Fed data show. A generation ago, the middle class held more than 44% of real estate assets in the country. Now it's down to 38%. The pandemic ... led to soaring rents this year, which hurt those who can't afford a house.
The world's 2,365 billionaires enjoyed a $4 trillion boost to their wealth during the first year of the pandemic, increasing their fortunes by 54%, according to a new analysis by the Program on Inequality at the ... Institute for Policy Studies. Between March 18, 2020, and March 18, 2021, the wealth held by the world's billionaires jumped from $8.04 trillion to $12.39 trillion, according to the IPS' analysis of data from Forbes, Bloomberg and Wealth-X. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, the world's wealthiest person, saw his fortune soar to $178 billion from $113 billion, or 57%, during that time, the study found. All told, the total wealth of the world's billionaire class grew 54% during the pandemic year, IPS reported. The ballooning wealth among the world's richest people is sparking calls for a "wealth tax," or an additional tax that would be added on top of regular income and capital gains taxes. But so far, a wealth tax is proving elusive in Washington, D.C., even as two-thirds of Americans express support for the idea of raising taxes on people earning more than $400,000. Rather than taxing the growing wealth of the nation's billionaires and millionaires, Mr. Biden wants to pay for his $2 trillion American Jobs Plan by boosting the corporate tax rate to 28% from its current 21%. In the meantime, the wealth disparities between the world's richest and poorest citizens have only widened during the pandemic. The number of people living in poverty globally doubled to more than 500 million during the first nine months of the pandemic.
Note: Why is so little media attention given to the greatest transfer of wealth ever since COVID hit? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
The top 1% of Americans are avoiding paying an estimated $163 billion in taxes a year, according to the Treasury Department. That is pushing the estimated tax gap, the amount of money owed by taxpayers that isn't collected, to nearly around $600 billion annually, and to approximately $7 trillion in lost revenue over the next decade, the Treasury Department finds. Tax evasion is concentrated among the wealthy in part because high-income taxpayers are able to employ experts who can better shield them from reporting their true incomes. More complicated incomes such as partnerships and proprietorships – more frequent among high earners – have a far greater noncompliance rate that can hit as high as 55%. "The tax gap can be a major source of inequity. Today's tax code contains two sets of rules: one for regular wage and salary workers who report virtually all the income they earn; and another for wealthy taxpayers, who are often able to avoid a large share of the taxes they owe," wrote Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Natasha Sarin. The IRS is unable to collect about 15% of taxes owed and the lack of resources has led to a fall in audit rates. For the IRS to appropriately enforce tax laws against high earners and large corporations, it would need money to hire and train agents who can examine thousands of pages of sophisticated tax filings. The Biden administration is pushing to raise the IRS budget by $80 billion over 10 years to help increase enforcement, IT and taxpayer services.
The wealthiest 400 American families paid an 8.2% average rate on their federal individual income taxes from 2010 to 2018, according to a White House analysis published Thursday. Those richest 400 families represent the top 0.0002% of all taxpayers. Their estimated tax rate, paid on $1.8 trillion of income over the nine-year period, is "low" relative to other taxpayers, according to the report. By comparison, Americans paid an average 13.3% tax rate on their income in 2018, according to a Tax Foundation analysis. The analysis comes as Democrats have proposed raising taxes on the rich and corporations to help fund up to $3.5 trillion of investments education, paid leave, healthcare, childcare and measures to curb climate change. The report's findings are similar to those of a recent ProPublica investigation, which found that some of the world's richest men (Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, Elon Musk and George Soros) pay a tiny fraction of their wealth in tax. The 25 richest Americans paid a true federal tax rate of 3.4% from 2014 to 2018, while seeing their net worth grow by $401 billion, according to the investigation, which cited confidential IRS data. Low- and middle-earners pay most of their income tax from wages on jobs. In contrast, the wealthiest Americans generate the bulk of their income from investments, which, if held longer than a year, are taxed at a lower rate than wages.
The wealth of the richest 0.00001% of the U.S. now exceeds that of the prior historical peak, which occurred in the Gilded Age, according to economist Gabriel Zucman. In the late 19th century, the U.S. experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth, creating an inordinate amount of wealth for a handful of families. This era was also known for its severe inequality; and some have called the period that began around 1990 a "Second Gilded Age." Back then, just four families represented the richest 0.00001% – today's equivalent is 18 families. Zucman, a French economist whose doctoral advisor was the historical economist Thomas Piketty, author of bestseller "Capital in the Twenty-First Century," released data this week showing that as of July 1, the top 0.00001% richest people in the U.S. held 1.35% of the country's total wealth. These 18 families include those of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. The richest 0.01% – around 18,000 U.S. families – have also surpassed the wealth levels reached in the Gilded Age. These families hold 10% of the country's wealth today, Zucman wrote. By comparison, in 1913, the top 0.01% held 9% of U.S. wealth, and a mere 2% in the late 1970s. The increasing concentration of wealth comes as the ultra-rich face more scrutiny for the money they're not paying in taxes. Recent reports have highlighted that because so much of their wealth consists of unrealized gains in stocks and real estate, they pay little or nothing in income tax.
The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed Ł70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved Ł312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for Ł12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.
Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
This week, House Democrats released their proposed tax increases to fund Joe Biden's $3.5tn social policy plan. The biggest surprise: they didn't go after the huge accumulations of wealth at the top – representing the largest share of the economy in more than a century. You might have thought Democrats would be eager to tax America's 660 billionaires whose fortunes have increased by $1.8tn since the start of the pandemic, an amount that could fund half of Biden's plan and still leave the billionaires as rich as they were before the pandemic began. Elon Musk's $138bn in pandemic gains, for example, could cover the cost of tuition for 5.5 million community college students and feed 29 million low-income public-school kids, while still leaving Musk $4bn richer than he was before Covid. But senior House Democrats decided to raise revenue the traditional way, taxing annual income rather than giant wealth. They aim to raise the highest income tax rate and apply a 3% surtax to incomes over $5m. The dirty little secret is the ultra-rich don't live off their paychecks. You might also have assumed Democrats would target America's biggest corporations, awash in cash but paying a pittance in taxes. Thirty-nine of the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 paid no federal income tax at all from 2018 to 2020 while reporting a combined $122bn in profits to their shareholders. But remarkably, House Democrats have decided to set corporate tax rates below the level they were at when Barack Obama was in the White House.
Note: Learn more about this in this New York magazine article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
It was six years ago when CEO Dan Price raised the salary of everyone at his Seattle-based credit card processing company Gravity Payments to at least $70,000 a year. Price slashed his own salary by $1 million to be able to give his employees a pay raise. He was hailed a hero by some and met with predictions of bankruptcy from his critics. But that has not happened; instead, the company is thriving. "So you've almost doubled the number of employees?" CBS News' Carter Evans asked. "Yeah," Price replied. He said his company has tripled and he is still paying his employees $70,000 a year. "How much do you make?" asked Evans. "I make $70,000 a year," Price replied. To pay his own bills, Price downsized his life, sold a second home he owned, and tapped into his savings. According to the Economic Policy Institute, average CEO compensation is 320 times more than the salaries of their typical workers. "This shows that isn't the only way for a company to be successful and profitable," Hafenbrack said. "Do you pay what you can get away with? Or do you pay what you think is ideal, or reasonable, or fair?" Price said despite the success his company has had with the policy, he wishes other companies would follow suit. Bigger paychecks have lead to fiercely loyal employees. "Our turnover rate was cut in half, so when you have employees staying twice as long, their knowledge of how to help our customers skyrocketed over time and that's really what paid for the raise more so than my pay cut," said Price.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Easy money pouring out of central banks is a key driver behind this surge in fortunes, and the resulting wealth inequality. In recent decades, as the global population of billionaires rose more than fivefold and the largest fortunes rocketed past $100 billion, I started tracking this wealth. Rising inequality was threatening to provoke popular backlashes against capitalism itself. The pandemic has reinforced this trend. As the virus spread, central banks injected $9 trillion into economies worldwide, aiming to keep growth alive. Much of that stimulus went into financial markets, and from there into the net worth of the ultra-rich. The total wealth of billionaires worldwide rose by $5 trillion to $13 trillion in 12 months, the most dramatic surge ever registered on the annual list compiled by Forbes magazine. The billionaire population boomed as well. On the 2021 Forbes list, which runs to April 6, their numbers rose nearly 700 to more than 2,700. The biggest surge came in China, which added 238 billionaires – one every 36 hours – for a total of 626. Next came the US, which added 110 for a total of 724. India added 38 for a total of 140, and has surpassed Russia for the third largest population of billionaires in the world. The fundamental driver of the market and thus the billionaire boom: easy money pouring out of central banks. Wealth inequality is likely to continue widening until the monetary spigots are turned off.
Note: If you can't access this article on the FT website, go to this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and income inequality from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.