World’s 5 richest men double their wealth since 2020:Oxfam

7 out of 10 of world’s largest public companies have either a billionaire CEO or shareholder, Oxfam report says

(From left to right) Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison and Warren Buffett. — Reuters/File
(From left to right) Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison and Warren Buffett. — Reuters/File

The world’s top five richest people have more than doubled their wealth since 2020, while five billion people around the globe have become poorer, CNN reported citing a report by Oxfam.

According to the annual inequality report by Oxfam, published just before the start of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Switzerland, the world’s five richest men — Tesla chief Elon Musk, Frehcn luxury mogul Bernard Arnault, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and American tycoon Warren Buffett — have increased their fortunes by 114% to $869bn, growing it three times faster than the rate of inflation.

Over the same period, the total wealth of the poorest five billion people — making up 60% of the world population — has declined by 0.2% in real terms. 

Furthermore, if the current trends continue, the world will have its first trillionaire within a decade but poverty will not be eradicated for another 229 years.

Seven out of 10 of the world’s largest public companies have either a billionaire chief executive officer or a billionaire as its principal shareholder.

The top 1% holds 43% of the world’s financial assets, according to Oxfam, In the United States, this 1% owns 32% of the financial wealth, in Asia, 50% and in the Middle East, 48%, while it is 47% in Europe.

CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and several other companies Elon Musk, multiplied his wealth by an increase of 737% from March 2020 up to $245.5 billion by the end of November.

Chairman of the French luxury goods giant LVMH, Bernard Arnault, and his family grew their net worth by 111% to $191.3 billion.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns fortune of $167.4 billion, up 24%; while Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s wealth totalled $145.5 billion, up 107%.

Berkshire Hathaway CEO and investor Warren Buffett grew his net worth by 48% to $119.2 billion.

According to the Oxfam report, “Corporate power is used to drive inequality: by squeezing workers and enriching wealthy shareholders, dodging taxes, and privatising the state.”

It added: “Around the world, members of the private sector have relentlessly pushed for lower rates, more loopholes, less transparency, and other measures aimed at enabling companies to contribute as little as possible to public coffers.”

Corporate taxes have significantly dropped in countries part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from 48% in 1980 to 23.1% in 2022, Oxfam noted.

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