The world’s ten richest men more than doubled their fortunes from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion —at a rate of $15,000 per second or $1.3 billion a day— during the first two years of a pandemic that has seen the incomes of 99 percent of humanity fall and over 160 million more people forced into poverty. “If these ten men were to lose 99.999 percent of their wealth tomorrow, they would still be richer than 99 percent of all the people on this planet,” said Oxfam International’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. “ They now have six times more wealth that the poorest 3.1 billion people”
Billionaires’ wealth has risen more since COVID-19 began than it has in the last 14 years. At $5 trillion dollars, this is the biggest surge in billionaire wealth since records began. A one-off 99 percent tax on the ten richest men’s pandemic windfalls could pay for: enough vaccines for the world, universal health care and social protection, climate adaptation funding and reduced gender based violence in over 80 countries. All of this, while still leaving these men 8 billion dollars better off than they were before the pandemic.
Statistics Courtesy of Oxfam International
Reporting Courtesy of Frank Emspak
Image Courtesy of Colm MacCárthaigh on Flickr