The ultra-rich got richer as Covid worsened wealth divide, says ...

World

The ultra-rich got richer as Covid worsened wealth divide, says study

Twenty-five years ago, billionaires controlled 1% of the world’s wealth. Now, 3.5% is in their hands

Augusta Saraiva and Alessandra Migliaccio

The share of global wealth held by billionaires surged to a record during the Covid-19 crisis, according to a group founded by French economist Thomas Piketty. 

About 2,750 billionaires control 3.5% of the world’s wealth, the Paris-based Global Inequality Lab said in a report on Tuesday. That’s up from 1% in 1995, with the fastest gains coming since the pandemic hit, the group said. The poorest half of the planet’s population owns about 2% of its riches.

The study’s findings add to a debate about worsening inequality during a public health crisis that’s hurt developing economies, which are short of vaccines and financial resources to cushion the blow, even more than advanced ones. Within the rich world too, financial and real-estate markets have soared since the depths of the slump last year, widening domestic gaps...

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