Date
18 December 2017
Winnie Byanyima says: “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 per cent own more than the rest of us combined?" Photo: Oxfam
Winnie Byanyima says: “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 per cent own more than the rest of us combined?" Photo: Oxfam

Richest 1% will own over half of global wealth: Oxfam

The world’s wealthiest 1 per cent will soon own more than the rest of its population put together, the charity Oxfam International says.

The prediction will fuel a campaign to pile pressure on the rich and powerful traveling to the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, the Financial Times reported Monday.

The gathering is already under pressure to explain the divergent economic outlook for different countries and among different groups within them.

Credit Suisse has estimated that the richest 1 per cent of people (the 37 million adults with about US$800,000 or more in assets) own 48.2 per cent of the world’s wealth.

Oxfam said this figure is likely to tip over the 50 per cent mark next year if the rising trend persists.

This is not guaranteed, however, as the share of the top 1 per cent was higher at 48.7 per cent at the height of the dotcom bubble in 2000 and as low as 44 per cent at the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, the newspaper said.

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam, who also co-chairs the World Economic Forum, said: “Do we really want to live in a world where the 1 per cent own more than the rest of us combined?”

The Oxfam report highlights the unease in recent years among the elite in Davos that the global recovery is not shared by all parts of society.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde urged countries last week to reform their economies to enable more growth, saying, “more than six years after the start of the Great Recession, too many people still do not feel the recovery”.

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CG/FL

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