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Global 1% own 43% of financial assets, 5 richest billionaires doubled wealth while 5 billion workers got poorer

The world’s richest 1% own 43% of global financial assets, and the wealth of the top five billionaires has doubled since 2020, while 60% of humanity got poorer, according to a report by Oxfam.

billionaires wealth inequality 1 percent richer

The world’s richest 1% own 43% of global financial assets, and the wealth of the top five billionaires has doubled since 2020, while 60% of humanity – nearly 5 billion people – collectively got poorer, according to a report by Oxfam, a leading international humanitarian organization.

Oxfam published the study, “Inequality Inc.”, to coincide with the World Economic Forum meeting of corporate oligarchs and Western government officials in Davos, Switzerland this January.

The five richest people on Earth in 2023 were Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, and Warren Buffett. Their combined wealth skyrocketed from $340 billion in 2020 to $869 billion just three years later.

Adjusted for inflation, this was a real increase of 114%.

Oxfam 5 richest billionaires wealth 2020 2023

Oxfam found that the wealthiest 1% of the world population emit as much carbon pollution as the poorest two-thirds of the entire human population.

“Only 0.4 percent of the world’s largest corporations are publicly committed to paying workers a living wage and support a living wage in their value chains”, the organization wrote.

“While corporate profits are soaring, the wages of nearly 800 million workers around the world have failed to keep up with inflation, resulting in a loss of $1.5 trillion for those workers over the last two years”.

Oxfam likewise discovered that seven out of 10 of the largest corporations on the planet either have a billionaire as their CEO or have a billionaire as their principal shareholder.

oxfam 5 richest men doubled wealth 2020

“We are living through an era of monopoly power that enables corporations to control markets, set the terms of exchange, and profit without fear of losing business”, Oxfam cautioned.

This growing inequality is especially clear in the differences between the Global North and South.

“Rich people in the Global North still own the world”, Oxfam wrote.

A staggering 69.3% of the world’s wealth is located in the Global North, which has just 20.6% of the planet’s population.

Oxfam wealth Global North South billionaires

Oxfam warned that the world capitalist “economic system has created a new type of colonialism”.

“Many of the world’s super-rich are concentrated in countries that were once colonial superpowers. Neocolonial relationships persist, perpetuating economic imbalances and rigging the economic rules in favor of rich nations”, the anti-poverty organization wrote.

It added, “Low- and lower-middle-income countries are set to pay nearly half a billion U.S. dollars a day in interest and debt payments between now and 2029, and they are having to make severe spending cuts to be able to pay their creditors”.

Oxfam wealth 60 percent population fell poor 2020



  1. Eric Arthur Blair

    2024-01-18 at 10:20

    Buffet is a speculator who has contributed nothing of value to the world. Some may argue that Musk, Bezos, Gates and Ellison deserved their great fortunes because they delivered useful goods and services to the feckless, unenterprising masses. However nothing they have done cannot be done better and cheaper by China, indeed Walmart’s and Amazon’s very existence are because of imported Chinese goods. All software and Internet packages offered by the US uber rich braggarts can and are being provided by better Chinese equivalents (certainly provided to the Chinese people, and given half a chance, to the rest of the world eg TikTok). For anybody interested in value for money, Huawei phones win out against Apple phones* and BYD electric cars win out against Tesla cars* every single time. (*those are mainly made in China anyway). Most innovations these days come from China, reflected in the number of their annual patents and scientific publications. This is not proChina antiUS propaganda, it is a simple statement of the facts. Real world material wealth today comes from China.
    The biggest FIRE sector rentier and rort fortunes originate from the USA.
    “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime” – Balzac.
    Those fortunes are made by the dynasties and corporations and banks that are driving humanity towards extinction especially the US MIC and fossil fuel companies. It has been argued that the greatest fortune ever has been accumulated by the Rothschilds, who have funded both sides of every major war for centuries. They have taken great pains to hide their actual wealth, unlike the foolish strutting peacocks mentioned above. They mostly operate under the radar to influence governments around the world.
    China refuses to go down that road of perdition by reining in people like Jack Ma when they start behaving in reactionary counter revolutionary ant-socialist ways. Importantly, China does not have a so-called Federal Reserve owned by a private banking cabal who, surprise, surprise, serve the interests of the private banks.

    • JonnyJames

      2024-01-18 at 11:41

      I agree and will add my twenty bucks worth (two cents, adjusted for inflation):

      Re: Gates, Bezos, Musk, Ellison, Zuckerburg et al. all benefit from massive subsidies, tax breaks and contracts with the US gov. The corrupt US gov protects their oligopoly/monopoly operations. The financialized economic system has multiplied their wealth exponentially as well.

      I would argue that they have contributed nothing, but are rather part of the financial parasite class.

      These oligarchs are allowed to accumulate unprecedented amounts of wealth, in a truly perverse fashion, while the vast majority are extorted.

      Then we have less well-known figures like Larry Fink and others who are allowed to “manage” some of the largest funds in history. The concentration of financial power appears to be accelerating

      • Eric Arthur Blair

        2024-01-18 at 16:10

        JJ made yet another good point, sharpened to the extent it can be used as a pointy stick to poke in the eyes of those billionaire oligarchs.
        Whether we look at wealthy US individuals or corporations or banks or asset managers, they are all parasitic entities, blood sucking vampires, arising from the fetid swamp of neoliberal, neocolonial, neoconartist ideology, who employ their war machine to enforce their neoslavery agenda on the global majority. Blackrock and Blackstone use their goon squads like Blackwater to exploit and steal the labor and resources of Black people (and the rest of the Global South) around the world. SLAVES NO MORE shout new leaders like Ibrahim Traore who, invoking the spirit of Thomas Sankara, are effectively fighting back. Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkrumah would be so proud. Bring on the multipolar world!!

  2. Cure E Us

    2024-01-19 at 17:12

    Billionaires don’t earn a billion dollars, they steal their billions from the poor and disadvantaged; and they fabricate economic conditions (Wall Street crashes, bank bailouts, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve system financing Adolf Hitler during WWII, etc.) that facilitate their thievery.

    For centuries the U.S. has preached that it believes in democracy, freedom and self-determination, but its actions towards other countries speak louder than words. Internationally the U.S. is a predator and a bully. It subjugates small countries, corrupts them by backing right-wing dictators, and enables death squads to commit mass murder of all suspected dissidents. During the First Cold War leftists, anti-colonialists, nationalists and intellectuals were called “communists” and imprisoned, tortured and executed. Now they are called “terrorists”.

    The foreign policy interests of the U.S. are to promote the neocolonial interests of U.S. corporations, and to project the (financial) and military power of the U.S. internationally. If the U.S. cannot bully a head of state into collaborating then it backs a military coup d’etat, stirs up internal violence with divide and conquer strategies, and covertly uses mercenaries to start civil wars. If all else fails it will find a pretext or a false flag to invade and overthrow an unfriendly government.

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