According to a new report, the world’s wealthiest are getting more prosperous by the day.
The annual World Wealth report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini shows that the wealth of “high net worth individuals” (HNWIs) around the world reached $42.7 trillion (£26.5 trillion) in 2010, rising nearly 10% on the previous year and surpassing the peak of $40.7 trillion reached in 2007.
In Britain the wealth of the 1,000 richest individuals — as measured by the Sunday Times — was £333.5 billion in 2010. After a year of everyone being exhorted to pull together and share the burden, the wealth of this top 1,000 had increased to £395.8 billion.
The rich making fortunes on the backs of others is nothing new of course. The UK Chief Executive of Tesco was paid £5 million in 2005. In the same year the average Tesco employee was paid £12,713. Is the Chief Executive of Tesco 430 times more industrious and productive than the average Tesco employee?
But the wealth of these “entrepreneurs” and “tycoons” ultimately comes from the sweat and hard work of the majority.
In the midst of austerity, however, what the figures do show is that there are some cuts we desperately need: cuts to the wealth of the super-rich!