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World’s five richest men double their fortunes as poorest 60 percent lose money, Oxfam says

A graffiti reads "Tax the richs" onto the facade of the national French Bank" during a demonstration Thursday, April 13, 2023 in Paris.
A graffiti reads "Tax the richs" onto the facade of the national French Bank" during a demonstration Thursday, April 13, 2023 in Paris. Copyright AP Photo/Lewis Joly
Copyright AP Photo/Lewis Joly
By Euronews
Published on Updated
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A concentration of global corporate and monopoly power is contributing to deepening inequality which is making the richest richer and the poorest poorer.

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The world’s five richest men have more than doubled their fortunes since 2020, while the poorest 60 per cent have lost money, according to an Oxfam report released on Monday in Davos, Switzerland, where the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) is being held.

According to data from research company Wealth X, the combined wealth of Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison and Mark Zuckerberg – the five richest men in the world - has increased by €423.8 billion ($464 billion), or 114 per cent since 2020. 

Within the same timeframe, the world’s poorest 4.77 billion people have lost 0.2 per cent in real terms of their wealth.

That means that while the world’s billionaires were €3 trillion ($3.3 trillion) richer in 2023 than in 2020 - with their wealth growing three times faster than the rate of inflation -, almost five billion people have gotten poorer.

According to the international network, the huge gap between the rich and the poor is likely to continue growing, leading to the creation of the world’s very first trillionaire within a decade.

World poverty, on the other hand, won’t be eradicated before 230 years, Oxfam estimates.

The existing inequality is partly due to the concentration of power in the hands of those who have an interest in making maximum profits for themselves rather than redistributing wealth among workers and society.

Seven out of ten of the world’s biggest corporations have either a billionaire CEO or a billionaire as their principal, according to the Oxfam report, while the world’s richest 1 per cent own 43% of all global financial assets.

This same richest 1% emits as much carbon pollution, on a global level, as the poorest two-thirds of humanity.

It’s also not by chance the world’s richest people are all men. 

According to Oxfam, globally men own €95.9 trillion ($105 trillion) more wealth than women. 

The network estimates that it would take 1,200 years for a female worker in the health and social sector to earn what a CEO in the biggest Fortune 100 companies earns on average in one year.

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