Global Trend: The Rich Are Getting Richer

According to a report published by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch, in 2009 the wealthy got wealthier worldwide despite the global economic downturn. Globally, the number of millionaires rose by 17 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, the middle class and the poor are getting increasingly squeezed as the result of the 2008 global financial meltdown, which translated quickly in a persistent lack of employment, especially in the US and Europe, a sharp drop in real estate value, cuts on social programs, retirement and pension benefits, and last but not least a much tighter credit from financial institutions.

In other word, as a global society, we have not learn anything from the economic meltdown of 2008. And if the report shows some sign of global economic recovery, it also demonstrates that the key systemic problem of  obscene concentration of wealth has not been tackled whatsoever, and that we are still functioning in the same unsustainable logic of  “shock Capitalism” with too much wealth concentrated into too few hands. As most of us, worldwide, are struggling for such  basic needs as feeding our families and keeping a roof above our head the gap between the super-wealthy and the rest of us is growing with no end in sight.

For example, India, which is one of the country who saw the sharpest rise in millionaires in 2009, remains a country plagued by extreme poverty and social injustice. In 2009, the Asia-Pacific region saw the sharpest rise in the club of the super-wealthy since 2008 with a rise of 26 percent. The region, with Hong Kong and India in the lead, now has as many millionaires as Europe with three million.

The number of millionaires in the Middle-East rose by 7.1 percent, to some 400,000, last year back to the level before the global financial crisis. The number of super-rich went up in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, but dropped sharply in the United Arab Emirates due to the Dubai debt crisis.

From 2008 to 2009, the number of people with at least one million US dollars in assets, excluding primary residences, expanded to 10 million from 8.6 million in 2008.

After Asia, North America had the second biggest increase, 17 percent, to 3.1 million, which is the largest increase for a single region. Global wealth held by the super-rich rose by 19 percent, to about $ 30 trillion, after falling more than 19 percent in 2008 following the financial meltdown.

Wealthy investors increased their relative share of holding in markets outside their home regions reversing a trend that began in 2006 of increasing investment in their home countries. According to the report, in 2009 the US had 2.87 million millionaires, followed by 1.65 million in Japan and 861,500 in Germany.


8 Responses to Global Trend: The Rich Are Getting Richer

  1. Ole Ole Olson June 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    The rich and their corporations that are their means to wealth extraction have been busy playing class warfare against the poor and middle class for a long time, but in the last 30 years, they have been on steroids and are starting to threaten national sovereignty around the globe. The future may not be like Star Trek, it might end up being like Aliens.

    • Stephen Dufrechou June 25, 2010 at 5:43 am

      I’d go as far as to say that “national sovereignty” is already a principle that’s been tossed into the historical dustbin…. Even moderate historians (not just leftists like Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky) have noted that the “nation state” has vanished and become replaced by–what is being called–“market states”.

      Conservative historians, of course, praise this shift. (See the recent book, “Terror and Consent”–though I forget the author’s name on this one…. I also think Freud would chuckle at my lapse, here.)

      • Ole Ole Olson June 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm

        The most ironic part in my mind is that the very political forces that seem to push for international dominance of corporations are the very ones who detest the idea of things like the EU and whine about the imaginary North American Union the loudest.

        Thanks for the heads up on Market States.

  2. Stephen Dufrechou June 25, 2010 at 5:33 am

    As always: grim reality, stellar report, Gilbert.

  3. Wingnut June 25, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Hi author/readers. First time here, for me, I think. I have light gray text on white backdrop in this text area… not much contrast… a bit hard to read what I type. I think a bit of CSS styling could be applied here.

    I’m an anti-capitalism-ist. I’m a SYSTEM fighter, not a people fighter. But maybe moreover, I’m a fighter for the abolishing of economies and ALL ownership, state or otherwise. I’ve been at this ‘campaign” for about 20 years now, and below is a paste of one of my campaign post(er)s… which views the problem in a possibly-unique way. Its meant to be a scolder and heart string puller for out of control capitalists, and I see none here, but maybe the rant will still be an inspiration for others to “run with”. Here it comes…

    Readers, capitalists, you DO see the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA one dollar bill, right? You DO see the servitude infestation in capitalism, right? And do you see the “pay up or lose your wellbeing” Chicago mob-like felony extortion widespread within capitalism? Do you see the “join or starve” felony extortion done to the 18 year olds… by this ugly competer’s church called capitalism? See how forcing competer’s religions onto 18 year olds… kills membership in the cooperator’s church (Christianity/socialism)?? Do you understand that AmWay (American Way) (New World Order) got “the exclusive” (legal tender) on the TYPE of survival coupons (money) accepted in supply depots (stores) and leverages 18 year olds into the organization via that felony activity as well? (It puts AmWay-coupon slaving requirements called price tags… on all the survival goods). Do you understand how farmyard pyramids work… from your childhood? Remember? Upper 1/3 are “heads in the clouds” while the kids on the bottom ALWAYS GET HURT from the weight of the world’s knees in their backs? Still with me? Do you see anything illegal, immoral, or just plain sick… in any of this pyramid scheme’s activities?

    Us American Christian socialists are still patiently awaiting the natural fall of the pyramid-o-servitude, or the busting of the free marketeers felony… by the USA Dept of Justice. Us Christians are VERY CLOSE to issuing a cease and desist order until the servitude and inequality goes away… which means it turns into a commune. Commune is a word we LOVE when used in the word “community”… but its one the caps HATE when used in the term “commune-ism”. Go fig. PROGRAMMED!!

    Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ to see a full color picture made way back in 1911, when capitalism was first discovered to be a con/sham instigated by the Free Masons/Illuminati. Folks sure bought into the thing… hook, line, and sinker just the same. The caps didn’t even check if a string was attached! Now THAT’S easy fishing, eh?

    Time to level the felony pyramid scheme called capitalism. Abolish economies and ownershipism worldwide, and hurry. Economies just cause rat-racing, and rat-racing causes felony pyramiding. BUST IT, America! Look to the USA military supply/survival system… (and the USA public library system) for socialism and morals done right. Equal, owner-less, money-less, bill-less, timecard-less, and concerned with growth of value-criteria OTHER THAN money-value. Quit doing monetary discrimination immediately, and make it illegal. There are MANY measurement criteria of “value”… not just dollars. Try morals, efficiency, discrimination-levels, repairability, etc etc. Economies are cancerous tumors, and to cheer for their growth… is just insane. Profiting causes inflation, so if caps LIKE inflation, and if they LIKE a terrible time in afterlife when they meet the planet’s ORIGINAL OWNER before caps tried to squat it all with ownershipism, then keep it up with the felony pyramiding. I dare you. While us Christians are finally bulldozing that pyramid scheme back to level, lets make servitude and “join or starve” (get a job or die) illegal in the USA, and lets level the architecture seen in USA courtrooms, too. Right now, USA courtrooms are church simulators or “fear chambers”, by special design. Sick.

    Isn’t that back-of-the-dollar pyramid… a Columbian freemason symbol? And WHERE is the USA gov located? District of Columbia? (Not even part of the USA!) How much more blatant can ya get? The “Fed” runs a pyramid scheme called the free marketeers. If you’re using the “federal reserve note” certificates, or using no-other-living-thing-on-the-planet entitles of ownership, you’re bought into a servitude/slavery con/sham… called capitalism. Pyramiding 101.

    Newsjunkies… that’s MY take on the situation at hand. Thoughts? I think pyramiding is the reason for most/all of the problems well-illustrated by our article author… Mr. Mercier. Is the PURPOSE of The Great Pyramids… to tell us ALL… that we are here to study and learn to stop… pyramiding? You know, getting a leg up on everything and everyone? (Doing competing instead of its opposite, cooperating. I don’t think competing is healthy at all, and it never was.)

    The problem with economies is in a phenomena that I call spirography… and what others call “What goes around, comes around”. No matter which way one rotates the gears on the spirograph (giving or billing)… the pen (the issued bill or love) loops around and around and around until it ALWAYS, eventually, returns to its starting place. Every time someone bills/invoices more intensely, the more intense the cost of living becomes (ebb spirography). Conversely, the more love, giving, and sharing that gets issued, the more of it will come into your mailbox (flow spirography).

    We can talk more about spirography later… as interest merits. Again, comments very welcome. Try to stay on subject and take it easy on the name calling and person pummeling, please. (thx)

    Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
    Bessemer MI USA

    • Stephen Dufrechou June 25, 2010 at 6:28 am

      Above all, “red herring”.

      • Wingnut June 25, 2010 at 7:22 am

        Hi again. Is there anything more off-topic than a post calling something off-topic? C’mon SD! The article told WHAT was happening and to what extreme. I took it to WHY its happening. Hardly “red herring”… and you know it.

        • Wingnut June 26, 2010 at 4:47 am

          Interesting read, SD…. thanks for the URL to that. Its a bit of a fantasy in itself, but, in my book, fantasies are also called dreams and strife. I have a feeling we have different definitions of “Red Herring”. I don’t do politics, I do survival systems… trying to keep some kids from starving, mainly. i think last i herd, it was around 20,000 kids under 5 die per day, worldwide, from lack of basic survival supplies. The removal of ownership and money… will dis-empower those who camp on the peaks of the pyramid and never look down. I don’t care about them now, nor after they bite gravel in the fall. I care about systems, which includes the system that lets them camp up in their “fantasy” land. Good writing over there, SD, and thanks for the comments. This indenting thing weirds me out a bit. Anyone know if I can flatten this? I wouldn’t mind doing some sizable discussions with you, SD. You have an interesting perspective.

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