Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Global Wealth

1% of population control 50% of global wealth?

Global inequality is growing, with half the world’s wealth now in the hands of just 1% of the population, according to a new report.

The middle classes have been squeezed at the expense of the very rich, according to research by Credit Suisse, which also finds for the first time that there are more individuals in the middle classes in China – 109m – than the 92m in the US.

“Middle class wealth has grown at a slower pace than wealth at the top end,” said Tidjane Thiam, the chief executive of Credit Suisse. “This has reversed the pre-crisis trend which saw the share of middle-class wealth remaining fairly stable over time.”

The report shows that a person needs only $3,210 (£2,100) to be in the wealthiest 50% of world citizens. Some $68,800 secures a place in the top 10%, while the top 1% have more than $759,900.

The report defines wealth as the value of assets including property and stock market investments but excludes debt.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

The 2008 financial crisis helped a few: “Wealth inequality has continued to increase since 2008, with the top percentile of wealth holders now owning 50.4% of all household wealth.”

Inequality growing in UK and around the world, household wealth study finds, while Britain has third-largest number of ‘ultra-high net worth individuals’

About 3.4 bn people – just over 70% of the global adult population – have wealth of less than $10,000. A further 1bn – a fifth of the world population – are in the $10,000-$100,000 range.

Each of the remaining 383m adults – 8% of the population – has wealth of more than $100,000.

This number includes some 34m US dollar millionaires.

About 123,800 individuals of these have more than $50m, and nearly 45,000 have more than $100m.

The UK has the third-highest number of these “ultra-high net worth” individuals.

Pyramid of wealth
Photograph: Credit Suisse

The report said: “Wealth inequality has continued to increase since 2008, with the top percentile of wealth holders now owning 50.4% of all household wealth.”

At the start of 2015, Oxfam had warned that 1% of the world’s population would own more wealth than the other 99% by next year. Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB’s chief executive, said:

“The fact it has happened a year early – just weeks after world leaders agreed a global goal to reduce inequality – shows just how urgently world leaders need to tackle this problem.

“This is the latest evidence that extreme inequality is out of control. Are we really happy to live in a world where the top 1% own half the wealth and the poorest half own just 1%?”

The Credit Suisse report concludes that global wealth has fallen by $12.4tn so far in 2015 – to $250tn – the first drop since the 2008 banking crisis.

This is largely a result of the strength of the dollar, the currency used for Credit Suisse’s calculations.

The estimates are for the end of June 2015, when Chinese stock prices had fallen 20% from the peak after soaring by more than 150% between June 2014 and mid June 2015.

The report was published at the end of September, by which time the Chinese stock market had fallen a further 25%.

A year ago, the the UK had been singled out as the only country in the G7 where inequality had risen this century. In this year’s report, the authors say:

“[In the UK] wealth inequality has risen since 2000, as the gap in wealth per adult between the lower segment and rest of the population has increased.”

The UK is fourth in the world for median wealth – which strips out the impact of those at the highest and lowest end of the wealth league – at $126,500 (£83,000) per person, down 13% on a year earlier.

The Credit Suisse survey calculates that there are now 2.4 million dollar millionaires in the UK , up 68,000 on a year earlier. In the US the number of millionaires is now more than 15m – up 903,000.

The UK was one of only three countries, along with the US and China, to record a rise in household wealth in 2014. It also leapfrogged Germany in the number of people with more than $50m, with 400 more than 2014 and a total of 5,400.

This put the UK in third place, behind the US with 61,300 of the world’s wealthiest and China with 9,600.

Ultra-high net worth individuals
Photograph: Credit Suisse

This year’s report focuses on the middle classes, as defined by personal wealth rather than profession. It says 14% of adults worldwide are middle class, with $50,000-$500,000 of assets.

But Markus Stierli, of the Credit Suisse Research Institute, said:

“From 2008 onwards, wealth growth has not allowed middle-class numbers to keep pace with population growth in the developing world. Furthermore, the distribution of wealth gains has shifted in favour of those at higher wealth levels. These two factors have combined to produce a decline in the share of middle-class wealth.”

3 out of 1,000 of Lebanese Own 50% of Lebanon

We wish this ration came closer to the 1% of Occupy Wall Street statistics.

How that ratio is different from the USA? From Sweden. From Saudi Arabia. From the Gulf Emirates?

The main problem is that the middle-class has almost vanished and 80% are under poverty level

Those who can make it are the class of “citizens” sharing the crumbs of the militia leaders supporters who were appointed by Syria, Saudi Arabia and the USA to control Lebanon after the civil war.

February 18, 2015

0.3% of Lebanese Own 50% of Lebanon

Lebanon isn’t a country where population studies are omnipresent.

However, given the data that the country has, Credit Suisse, in their yearly report on Global Wealth, has managed to paint a picture on how things in this country actually are.

The report dates back to October 2014, and frankly I am surprised that these numbers did not cause a stir and were not discussed. The report, at 160 pages, can be found here.

Perhaps no one noticed the info, so here they are:

At an estimated population of 4.37 million, Lebanon’s wealth is estimated at $91 billion. That actually constitutes 0% of global wealth. How anticlimactic.

When it comes to the Middle East, and despite the reputation we get of being oil-rich, things are similar:

Saudi Arabia has an estimated wealth of $653 billion, which ends up as roughly 0.2% of global wealth.

Qatar, and all our shoukrans, has $200 billion, which is 0.1% of global wealth.

The UAE is at $461 billion, and 0.2%.

Meanwhile, Israel has an estimated wealth of $843 billion, translating to 0.3% of global wealth.

All of these numbers look flimsy compared to the United States’ $8,3708 billion, constituting 31.6% of world wealth.

Keep in mind that – with the exception of Israel and the United States – Credit Suisse considers the data for Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries to be poor in quality.

However, I highly doubt that any estimations are overly erroneous in any way or that the margin of error they are admitting to will change the findings considerably.

But this isn’t the story. We all know the country has money.

Recent leaks out of Switzerland placed the country at #11 in total customers at their banks and #12 in total deposits within the few months whose data was actually leaked. We’re 10452 km2. That’s a lot (link).

The story is in how that money is actually divided on the 4.3 million Lebanese living here.

Out of all those $91 billion, 0.3% or approximately 8000 people of the estimated workforce according the study own about half (48% to be exact), which is approximately $44.6 billion.

Meanwhile, 99.7% of Lebanese own slightly more than half at $46.4 billion.

To put those numbers in perspective, Credit Suisse employed a criteria called the Gini score. The score, according to Wikipedia, is essentially a “measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents, and is the most commonly used measure of inequality.”

Lebanon’s Gini score is 85.6. a score of 85.6 places Lebanon 6th worldwide in terms of wealth inequality behind Ukraine, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Seychelles and Russia.

The story doesn’t end here.

Even among those 0.3%, there are disparities. That 0.3% basically any Lebanese who has an estimated wealth above $1million. But who actually owns most of the country? The answer is two families: The Hariri clan and the Miqatis.

Forbes Lebanese Billionaires Miqati Hariri

 

Not to mention the females in the Hariri clan.

According to the Forbes latest list of billionaires, there are 6 Lebanese on the list whose ranking ranges from 530 worldwide to 1478.

Two of those 6 are the Miqati brothers. The other 4 are the Hariri brothers, including former PM Saad Hariri. Their cumulative wealth is estimated, according to Forbes, at $12.6 billion. This is 30% of the total wealth owned by those 0.3% of Lebanese – except it’s owned by just 6 men.

This isn’t to say that the Hariris and Miqatis do not deserve their wealth. The Miqatis started and ran a telecom empire. The Hariris started and ran a major contracting company in Saudi Arabia. Good for them.

The problem with these numbers is the other side that they portray. About two thirds of the Lebanese population (64.6%) have an estimated wealth of less than $10,000.

Such numbers indicate massive poverty in the country, and yet I was unable to find substantial studies apart from one that was recently done by the UN about Tripoli.

In numbers, (link) the UN found that 57% of Tripoli’s families struggle to reach an acceptable standard of living, while 26% are considered extremely deprived. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that things are similar in other regions beyond Beirut.

To the background of this massive poverty is the 0.3% who owns 50% of the country’s wealth, and those 0.3% happen to include most (if not all) of our politicians. Aoun is in it. Geagea is in it. Our MPs and ministers are probably part of those 8000 people too. There are no estimates of the wealths of Lebanese politicians if their last name isn’t Hariri or Miqati, but one assumes they are not middle class folk who are going by paycheck to paycheck.

Of course, it only makes sense that money brings influence, and then influence brings power. A politician’s job in Lebanon isn’t only to legislate but to “provide” for the voters. This is how democracy works here.

The problem with those 0.3% (not all of them obviously) being those running the country is that the country’s policies over the years have not served to close the gap or make those 64.6% with little to no wealth slightly better off. The Gini coefficient clearly shows as much.

The country’s policies have not aimed at improving education, providing economic opportunities (for instance, a 1 million m2 zone in Tripoli to bring in international technology has been on hold over sectarian causes for the past 6 years) or making living standards better.

Those 0.3% do not get how things are for the 64.6%, the people they’re in contact with once every 4 years for that pre-electoral paycheck. And honestly, there’s no reason for them to get it. And yet our MPs and ministers wanted to increase their salaries?

Meanwhile, the Lebanese population who happens to be of the third that has wealth above $10,000 is pre-occupied with selfies, porn stars, bananas and Kardashian-like reality TV shows because those are what matters.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2021
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