The world’s 10 richest men more than doubled their wealth between March 2020 and November 2021. For them, the pandemic presented even more opportunities to raise their net worth. Everywhere else, the world scrambled to come up with a solution to end the highly disruptive coronavirus.
World’s 10 Richest Men Doubled Their Fortunes
According to Oxfam, the world’s billionaires added $5 trillion to their collective fortunes during the pandemic.
Using data from Forbes, the group reported that their total wealth jumped from $8.6 trillion in March 2020 to $13.8 trillion in November 2021.
This gain represents a jump that’s bigger than the previous 14 years combined. In particular, the world’s 10 richest men saw their wealth double during the period. In fact, they averaged an increase of $1.3 billion a day.
Billionaire’s Report Released Before World Economic Forum Event
Oxfam released the world’s wealth report ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda. This year, the forum had to go back to the online format.
The recent resurgence of the coronavirus forced organizers to abandon plans for the annual in-person meeting in Switzerland.
As part of their report, Oxfam argued that governments should tax gains incurred by the world’s richest people during the pandemic.
The group also called for using the money to fund health care systems, pay for vaccines, fight discrimination, and address climate change.
Gabriela Bucher, Oxfam's executive director, issued a press release on the matter. “Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, yet much of that has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires riding a stock market boom.”
The Top 10 Richest Men in the World
The world’s top 10 richest men included moguls from tech, fashion, and investing. The headliner is the current world’s richest man Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.
The list also includes the second richest man Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. It also lists personalities such as Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, Larry Ellison of Oracle, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page of Google.
Rounding out the top 10 are Louis Vuitton owner and CEO Bernard Arnault and investor Warren Buffett. Former Microsoft big shots Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer also made it to the list.
According to Oxfam, the combined wealth of the top 10 billionaires is now six times greater than that of the world's poorest 3.1 billion people. “Inequality at such a pace and scale is happening by choice, not chance,” Bucher added. As shown by their net gain, the pandemic did not become the great equalizer that many economists predicted.
97 Million People Fell Into Extreme Poverty
Meanwhile, the World Bank estimates that 97 million people worldwide fell into extreme poverty in 2020. On average, these people are living on less than $2 a day. In addition, the number of the world’s poorest also rose for the first time in over 20 years.
Watch the Policy Ed video on Setting the Record Straight on Wealth Inequality:
What can you say about the world’s richest men getting richer during the pandemic? Do you find anything wrong or surprising with how things turned out during coronavirus?
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