World’s 500 Richest People Gained $1.2 Trillion in Wealth in 2019: Analysis

Jake Johnson – Common Dreams Dec 27, 2019

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett speak with journalist Charlie Rose at an event organized by Columbia Business School on January 27, 2017 in New York City. Click to enlarge

The 500 richest people in the world, all of whom are billionaires, gained a combined $1.2 trillion in wealth in 2019, further exacerbating inequities that have not been seen since the late 1920s.

That’s according to a new Bloomberg analysis published Friday, which found that the planet’s 500 richest people saw their collective net worth soar by 25 percent to $5.9 trillion over the last year.

“In the U.S., the richest 0.1 percent control a bigger share of the pie than at any time since 1929,” Bloomberg noted. “The 172 American billionaires on the Bloomberg ranking added $500 billion, with Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg up $27.3 billion and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates [rising] $22.7 billion.”

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, eight of the 10 richest people in the world are from the U.S.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lost nearly $9 billion in wealth in 2019, according to Bloomberg, but he will still likely end the year as the richest man in the world with a total net worth of $116 billion.

The analysis comes as 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, particularly Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have made tackling inequality a key component of their policy platforms.

Warren has proposed an annual two percent tax on assets over $50 million and a three percent tax on assets above $1 billion.

Sanders, who has said he does not believe billionaires should exist, is calling for a wealth tax that would slash the fortunes of U.S. billionaires in half over 15 years, according to his campaign.

“A small handful of billionaires should not be able to accumulate more money than they could spend in 10 lifetimes,” Sanders said in September, “while millions of Americans are living in poverty and dying because they can’t afford healthcare.”

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4 responses to “World’s 500 Richest People Gained $1.2 Trillion in Wealth in 2019: Analysis”

  1. Nobody can stop these boys & girls.
    They are working hard to make a living and to take care of their family.
    Is good.

  2. Thing is, Buffett is sitting on a mountain of cash. He doesn’t see and worth investing in or safe to invest. Other big corporations are borrowing fantasy money at no real cost so they can buy all their stock back… they don’t believe the stock markets are safe.

  3. Buffet is waiting for something. It must be trusting Trump to rattle the US petrodollar sword around the world for a good return on cashing in the dollar when the proposed one-world bank replaces all leading currencies with theirs, or there is going to be some US-London based attack on the Euro and the RMB to knock them off as contenders against the US dollar as the leading reserve currency. Anyone have any other theories like what happens to the dollar if hey crash the economy and there is a huge recession, like a big spit between the haves and the have-nots in terms of actual credit and debt?

  4. The rich get richer while the poor are left with the picture.
    I certainly wouldn’t trust a Warren or Sanders to do anything about it but make it worse.
    The rich can inflate the figures all they like, this lot of multinationals no matter what brand jet they fly will go down in history as never stepping out of the trash bin.