The rich got richer in 2017, but mostly on paper as their wealth is tied primarily to the stock market
According to a new study from Bloomberg, the world’s richest people saw an overall increase to their wealth by over $1 trillion as the divide between the 1% and 99% got wider.
However what is missing from this equation is the underlying truth that all the machinations done by the central banks over the past six years have been primarily dedicated towards siphoning wealth upward, and this can be seen by the fact that nearly all the wealth accumulated this year by the elite is on paper, and not in real assets.
The worldâ€™s wealthiest people have become more than $1 trillion richer this year, earning four times more than in 2016, data collected by Bloomberg revealed. Chinese billionaires gained the most.
In 2017, there was a 23 percent increase on theÂ Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which ranks the worldâ€™s top 500 moneybags on a daily basis, the agency said. A total of 440 billionaires on the list were able to increase their net worth last year, jointly making an astounding $1.05 trillion.
The combined wealth of those in the Top 500 went up from $4.4 trillion to $5.3 trillion between December 27, 2016 and December 26, 2017. The main source of the gains was the activities of the billionaires on the stock market.
Thereâ€™s been a change at the top of the index, with Bill Gates, who has been the worldâ€™s richest man since 2013, being replaced by Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Bezos was the top earner in the last 365 days, adding $34.2 billion to his account. He currently has assets worth $99.6 billion, surpassing Gates by $8.3 billion.
All in all, the tech sector saw the largest increase (35 percent) in the ranking compared to other industries, with 57 listed technology moguls earning $262 billion. Facebook co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was fifth placed on the list, and had the fourth-largest US dollar increase, increasing his wealth by 45 percent, or $22.6 billion. â€“Â Russia Today
In the U.S. alone in 2017 the Dow stock market average rose over 5000 points, and set new records on how quickly it moved between 1000 point increments.Â And it was these skyrocketing equity markets that led Jeff Bezos to catapult over long-standing leaders on the Forbes richest list such as Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim, and Bill Gates.
While being rich on paper is nice, and does provide individuals opportunities that most others cannot receive in the realms of loans, capital accumulation, and prestige, the bottom line is that the artificial creation of tens of trillions of dollars by the central banks may have boosted the value of paper assets, but it is belayed in the fact that the purchasing power of the currency no longer buys as much as it used to.
Just ask the new owner of aÂ Da Vinci paintingÂ who paid at least three times its true value because the currency isn’t worth what it used to be.
Kenneth Schortgen JrÂ isÂ a writer forÂ The Daily Economist,Â Secretsofthefed.com,Â Roguemoney.net, andÂ Viral Liberty, and hostsÂ the popularÂ youtube podcastÂ on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.Â Ken can alsoÂ be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on theÂ Angel Clark radio show.