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Oxfam, 5 Scrooges Double Their Fortunes, Stop the Poor – News

Oxfam, 5 Scrooges Double Their Fortunes, Stop the Poor – News

Since 2020, the five richest people in the world (Elon Musk, Bernard Arnold, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison and Warren Buffett) have doubled their wealth – from $405 billion to $869 billion – at a rate of $14 million per year. Now, 5 billion poor people have seen their situation largely unchanged. At the current rate, humanity could have the first trillionaire in history within a decade, but it will take two centuries (230 years) to end poverty. 'Inequality: power at the service of the few', a new Oxfam report, zooms in on the European Union in its photo, where the top five Scrooges (Bernard Arnold, Amancio Ortega, Francois Bettencourt Meyers, Dieter Schwarz and the Italian Giovanni Ferrero) have assets of €5.7 million per hour from 2020. grow in proportion.

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The rise in extreme wealth over the past three years, Oxfam explained in an annual study to be released on the occasion of the Davos forum, “has been robust, while global poverty remains stuck at pre-pandemic levels”. Billionaires today are $3.3 trillion richer than they were in 2020, and their wealth has grown three times faster than the rate of inflation.

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The increase in billionaires' assets reflects the “extraordinary performance” of the companies they control. “2023 will be remembered as the most profitable year,” the report highlights. Collectively, 148 of the world's largest companies made approximately $1.8 trillion in profits between June 2022 and June 2023, a 52.5% increase in profits compared to the average profit over the four-year period 2018-21. For every $100 in profits generated by the 96 largest global companies, $82 went to shareholders in the form of dividends or share buybacks.

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Although companies were able to protect their profit margins during the most severe phase of the inflationary crisis, large sections of the workforce lost purchasing power. For 800 million workers in nearly 52 countries, wages have not kept pace with rising prices. The corresponding wage bill sees a decline in real terms of $1,500 billion over the two-year period 2021-2022, a loss equivalent to nearly one month's salary (25 days) for each worker.

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In its analysis of economic inequalities, Oxfam highlights how international income inequality has recorded the highest annual increase since 1990 to 2020. This increase is determined by income dynamics in poorer countries, which suffered stronger repercussions from the pandemic compared to advanced economies. Global wealth is concentrated in the global north, home to only 21% of the world's population and holding 69% of net private wealth. The gap is also along gender lines: Women are worth $105 trillion more than men. According to Oxfam, extreme concentration of economic power and status rents favor the accumulation of enormous wealth by a few: the world's richest 1% own 59% of all financial securities. If you look at the largest multinational corporations, 7 out of 10 companies have a billionaire CEO or a billionaire among their major shareholders.

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