A "Davos" World In Which The 85 Richest People Have The Same Wealth As Half The World's Population

Tyler Durden's picture

There is something morbidly gruesome and ironic in having the world's wealthiest people, among them the presidents and central bank heads of the world's most "advanced" nations, as well as the CEOs of the biggest corporations, sitting down in Davos - a place where the press passes alone cost thousands of dollars - and discussing global inequality: the same inequality that their policies and principles are responsible for. It is even more morbid when one considers that according to a recent Oxfam report, one that will be used in Davos itself, the disparity in wealth between the haves and the have nots has reached absolutely record proportions, surpassing any previous inequality gaps seen before and during the Great Depression.

Which brings us to the topic of wealth.

By now everyone is familiar with the popular wealth pyramid, which shows that "29 million, or 0.6% of those with any actual assets under their name, own $87.4 trillion, or 39.3% of all global assets."

One can extend that rule of thumb to say that almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

However, for the best visual of the disparity between the haves and the have nots we go to Oxfam once more, which just penned the soundbite of the day, and possibly, of the week for suddenly very bleeding-heart Davos:

That's right: "the 85 richest people own the same wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people" ... aka half the world's population.

Naturally this should come as no surprise: after all the past 5 years of this website have been, more than anything, a testament to the systematic theft, plunder and pillage of the global middle class by a small cabal of global financial oligarchs - those who have implicit control of the printing presses, who have the legal and legislative support of a few, actually make that all, corrupt and purchased politicians, who have merely made this wealth transfer from the poor, not so poor and modestly wealthy to the wealthiest, possible.

And not only possible, but the most rapid it has ever been in history.

The chart below from OxFam summarizes the unprecedented speed of wealth transfer going to the richest 1% courtesy of Bernanke et al's theft-enabling, and Congress-approved policies.

Some of the findings by Oxfam:

Given the scale of rising wealth concentrations, opportunity capture and unequal political representation are a serious and worrying trend. For instance:

  • The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
  • Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
  • The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population.
  • Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
  • The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
  • In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

Oxfam's conclusions should be perfectly known in advance by anyone who has been following said systematic wealth plunder over the years:

Some economic inequality is essential to drive growth and progress, rewarding those with talent, hard earned skills, and the ambition to innovate and take entrepreneurial risks. However, the extreme levels of wealth concentration occurring today threaten to exclude hundreds of millions of people from realizing the benefits of their talents and hard work.


Extreme economic inequality is damaging and worrying for many reasons: it is morally questionable; it can have negative impacts on economic growth and poverty reduction; and it can multiply social problems. It compounds other inequalities, such as those between women and men. In many countries, extreme economic inequality is worrying because of the pernicious impact that wealth concentrations can have on equal political representation. When wealth captures government policymaking, the rules bend to favor the rich, often to the detriment of everyone else. The consequences include the erosion of democratic governance, the pulling apart of social cohesion, and the vanishing of equal opportunities for all. Unless bold political solutions are instituted to curb the influence of wealth on politics, governments will work for the interests of the rich, while economic and political inequalities continue to rise. As US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, ‘We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of the few, but we cannot have both.’


Oxfam is concerned that, left unchecked, the effects are potentially immutable, and will lead to ‘opportunity capture’ – in which the lowest tax rates, the best education, and the best healthcare are claimed by the children of the rich. This creates dynamic and mutually reinforcing cycles of advantage that are transmitted across generations.

It is this threat of a global revolution that suddenly has the panties of all the Davos participants in a bunch: because regardless of the amounts of cholesterol consumed over the past 5 years of epic wealth transfer, we are confident all of these individuals recall well what happened in France in 1789.

This also means that these unbelievably wealthy men and women will suddenly sit down and fight to undo all the legalized theft they have engaged in since the Lehman collapse, and instead fight for the common man.... The same common man, who would be shot on sight if seen walking through one of Davos' marble halls without credentials, by the specially trained army of guards protecting the world's if not best, then certainly wealthiest.

And just who are these kind-hearted Robin Hoods, who will gladly take from themselves and give to the poor? Here, courtesy of RanSquawk, is a very partial list of the people the world's poor should pray to tonight (and every other night):

President and Prime Ministers from the G20 countries who will address the Meeting include:

  • Tony Abbot, PM of Australia and 2014 Chair of the G20
  • Shinzo Abe, PM of Japan
  • David Cameron, PM of the UK
  • Enrico Letta, PM of Italy

Some of the leading public figures who will be participating in the 2014 Annual Meeting are:

  • Mark J. Carney, Governor of the Bank of England
  • Mario Draghi, President, European Central Bank
  • Haruhiko Kuroda, Bank of Japan
  • Thomas J.  Jordan, Swiss National Bank
  • Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Jim Yong Kim, President, The World Bank, Washington DC
  • Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York
  • Jacob J. Lew, US Secretary of the Treasury
  • Olli Rehn, Vice-President, Economic and Monetary Affairs, European Commission
  • Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Shimon Peres, President of Israel

Some of the leading business figures who will be participating in the 2014 Annual Meeting are:

  • Lloyd Blankfein  - Goldman Sachs
  • Douglas Flint – HSBC Holdings
  • Antony Jenkins – Barclays
  • Laurence Fink – BlackRock
  • Christophe de Margerie – Total
  • Bob Dudley – BP
  • Klaus Kleinfeld – Alcoa
  • Doug McMillon – Wal - Mart
  • Marissa Mayer - Yahoo
  • Joe Kaeser - Siemens
  • Lakshmi Mittal – ArcelorMittal
  • Sir Martin Sorrel – WPP
  • Paul Bulxke - Nestle

Our advice to the disenfranchised and the poor around the globe hoping that any of the people listed above will do much if anything to help their plight: it will get worse... before it gets much worse.

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Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Ayn Rand's bony corpse is fingering herself. The cream surely has risen to the top!

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

There's 85 people out there thinking:  "Yes, we can still double our wealth by stealing from the poor bastards in the 3rd world!  Low hanging fruit, FTW!"

Divided States of America's picture

Yeah and God says everyone was made equal....

maybe he meant equally poor and irrelevant...unless you belong to the tribe.

outamyeffinway's picture

Mankind, putting words in the mouth of god for Aeons now....

Chuck Norris's picture

There's 85 people out there thinking "I'm on a boat Mother F##KER!"


Pladizow's picture

And where may I ask are the Rothscilds and Rockerfellas?

superflex's picture

They, along with the Morgans, Lehmans, Lazirs, etc avoid the list for obvious reasons.

On a bright note, look at the lineup for the powwow.  Anybody have a spare SS-20 layin around?

NoDebt's picture

Why's everyone griping about this?  They're working as fast as they can to gt the number down to 40 people having the same wealth as half the world's poulation.  And then 30, then 20 and finally, like in 'Highlander', "there can be only one" at which point the winner will be announced.

Jeez, guys, have some patience, would ya?

Son of Loki's picture

Do the wealthy Chinese know something we don't?

A new report shows that 64 percent of Chinese millionaires have either emigrated or plan to emigrate—taking their spending and fortunes with them. The United States is their favorite destination.

The report from Hurun, a wealth research firm that focuses on China, said that one-third of China's super rich—or those worth $16 million or more—have already emigrated.



AldousHuxley's picture

The wealthy have always been global and mobile.


change residency to low tax municipalities, bank account in multiple countries to diversify against political powers, homes in multiple exotic locations to spend their time depending on mood or need....



Anusocracy's picture

Dumb asses want government which, from its very beginning, has operated to enslave the masses.

Then the dumb asses complain because it happens.

boogerbently's picture

.....names and addresses...family information.

If THEY knew, WE knew........

AldousHuxley's picture

government is just a socially acceptable means of exercising power by proxy lawyers which we call politicians.

suckerfishzilla's picture

something is wrong with the voating softwear.  An error occurs when I hit the voat up icon.  Real stuff man

Ignatius's picture

"the 85 richest people own the same wealth as the 3.5 billion poorest people"

Sounds fair.

Pure Evil's picture

Actually, the rich people own all the wealth, they just let the serfs think they hold some of it, but as we all know its really debt instruments called an FRNs.

Cheduba's picture

This gave me chills with the truth of the extent of our slavery.  That is pure evil!

Fortunate Fool's picture

Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few and yet Tyler Durden (whoever is behind that name) has no words strong enough to condemn the french "socialist" (oh the insult...) president for wanting to tax more heavily the wealthiest... Cognitive dissonance much?

shepherd's picture

That's why mostly losers read this site. They don't even get the most glaring contradictions in their own world view. They are just sheep like people everywhere.

They believe Ayn Rand is white picket fence capitalism.

Idiots. The lot of them.

James_Cole's picture

Talking about taxing the rich is a game the masters like to play for the peons, keeps the charade going. 

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Most people don't know the difference between income and wealth, so its a difficult discussion to have.

The WEALTHY have a lot of WEALTH, no one said they have lots of income.  You can tax income to prevent more (poor) people becoming wealthy, though.  A barrier to entry, if you will. 

I want the SUPER wealthy to be 'taxed', but I don't want that money going to the gov't.  Rather it should go to those it was stolen from.  That is justice.

LetThemEatRand's picture

There it is in a nutshell.  Why this concept eludes most is beyond comprehension.  The wealth was stolen, most of it generations ago by sociopaths who wore crowns and/or sociopaths who consorted with them.  The spoils have been handed down for generations in a legal form of money laundering.     It was once called the right of Kings.  Now it is called inheritance.  The free market view espoused by most ZH readers will never work unless and until the wealth of Kings is taken back.  Then and only then could we have a level playing field in which merit could stand a chance on a society-wide basis.

Oldwood's picture

How much did Blankfein and Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffet and all the rest of these guys inherit? I call bullshit. Just because you aren't inheriting anything you don't think anyone else should either. Do you ever get tired of living with envy? Government should have absolutely nothing to do with any kind of wealth or income tax, period. The concept always sounds good but it is the doing of it where the smell of shit becomes obvious. If taxation was such a good means of your beloved "equality of outcome" how come its worse now than before we had all these taxes? Just not enough, right? just a little more here and a lot more there, until we get it just right, right? Any rule of law which allows the discriminate theft of a persons property is fatally flawed and will take us to...well, here and now. Taxation and economic justice, another tool of corruption.

Anusocracy's picture

What amazes me is all of the people who think that kings obtained ill-gotten wealth but that the modern day kings and their backers don't.

Theft is theft and that is the basis of government. You can call it something else, but it won't change what it is.

Muppetrage's picture

Actually it's just everyone for themselves. The more ruthless you are the farther up you will go privately and politically. It's the chicken and the egg.
Believe whatever ism you want, in the end it's just people doing whatever is best for themselves.

Anusocracy's picture

A very large percentage of the population is wired to be obedient to authority.

Those who are unscrupulous gravitate to government and use that obedience for their advantage - and the others' disadvantage. That's okay for the animal world but not in the so-called human world.

Muppetrage's picture

I'.m not buying that. It's the same in business.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Hence the saying from a French philosopher who said that the earth shall have no peace until the last monarch is hung by the entrails of the last priest.

The secular rulers and religious rulers have always been in cahoots. Dumb fucking sheep.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Indeed, and nowadays instead of a priest, they call you a "New York Times best-seller", economist, PhD, etc.

Drifter's picture

Founders inferred we need a revolution every 20 yrs.  We haven't had one in 150 yrs.  That's the problem.

Oldwood's picture

How about we make rules that prevent theft and punish those that do? Instead we would rather lump everyone who succeeds into the same basket. What we have is corruption that benefits those at the top the most but also bleeds down to the lower tiers, the ones who make and enforce the rules. Sometimes too many here sound more like sore losers than actually wanting to solve the problem and the problem isn't wealth, it is theft. And lets just look at where most of that theft occurs...the financial industries. That's right, the very commerce that so many here are into up to their necks, enabling these corrupt fucks to rob the rest of us blind. But NO, we would never think about reining in the blatant casino that has overtaken our economy. Hell, that's where the money is right? Easy money if you are a little smarter or quicker than the big boys. Its just a game until someone gets hurt, right? Our government is responsible for this corruption and they are profiting from our collapse. Just look at the growth in government. Who else has that kind of growth now? And for every fucking corrupt player that gets "caught" (fails to play along), they don't get jail time, they get fined, the cash going directly into the government coffers, not to the actual injured parties. Meanwhile they are agitating idiots out there with the blatant corruption and wealth and then presenting you with choices like, raising taxes on the rich, or wealth taxes on the rich or regulations on the rich industries, with ultimately all those costs coming back onto the consumers of the products and services we must buy. Warren Buffet could care less what they raise taxes to. Like with Obamacare, those on the short list of waivers and variances, are untouchable and will remain so. Its about corruption. Its about accountability and its not about giving government anymore power to tax anyone, because you know who will pay for it. We are playing at a crooked table and no amount of card shuffling or declarations will change it. The government IS the problem and until they are defanged, there is nothing else policy-wise we can do.

LetThemEatRand's picture

So get rid of the elected government and let the descendants of Kings and their money changers keep their 1/2 of the world's wealth?  Yeah, that will end well.   Certainly the guys holding vast wealth will not use the power vacuum to raise massive private armies and rule over us and make the rules directly instead of by proxy.

Oldwood's picture

Why do you want to ignore how they accumulated this vast wealth? If they stole it, punish them for it. If it is through corruption, do the same. But do not tax them, not for their crime but of their result, and expect anything but more of the same. After all, who do you think benefits from these increased taxes? You? Me? or is it just one of your "justice" things? How are all those fines (taxes) that Goldman and JPM paid playing out? They really looked like they have changed their ways and are suffering terribly for their misdeeds.

LetThemEatRand's picture

How do you punish someone who inherited his wealth?   Punish the great great grandson for a crime he did not commit?  That is not a workable solution.  The only workable solution is to take back the wealth and call it the money laundering it is.  The money was taken by force by Kings and then handed down (legally) to descendants.    Your ideology prevents you from seeing the elephant in the room which is systemic wealth inequality that no free market could fix.  And the same goes for the Jamie Dimon's of the world.  They wrote the rules and paid politicians to pass them into law.  Under the law they wrote, what they did (much of the time) is legal, like the bank bailouts.  You can't prosecute a crime when the people who control the system classify it as legal.   Why do you think it's okay for these guys to redistribute wealth to themselves by force, but that it is somehow an affront to all that is good in the world to preach that we should take it back?  

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

The Golden Rule is that the guys with the gold and guns make the rules.

Oldwood's picture

I have guns but no gold and my wife makes the rules.

MieleBauknecht's picture

if you keep contradicting yourself, you are always right, one way or the other. ZH is a left brain/right brain thing,

GernB's picture

You seem to be assuming the current wealth inequality is a result of capitalism. That's a difficult argument to make when the US is so far from being capitalistic. Is the Fed buying trillions in US debt capitalism? That's a lot of money going to prop up a stock market that disproportionatly rewards those 85 richest people.

Harbanger's picture

"Yeah and God says everyone was made equal...."

o no he ditten, what you heard was some progressive thinking he was God.  What he said was, you has to pay the piper.

Watauga's picture

Jefferson, Lincoln, Supreme Courts, and many others have written or stated that men were "created equal," which was, depending on the writer or speaker, either a sincere intimation of their belief that God created all men equal "in spirit" or a deceitful and evil tool they used to enslave men.  I leave it to you to determine which ones used the concept for either purpose.

But here is the thing--Don't blame God for what men have done, even with the idea of God.  God did not give those 85 their wealth.  They took it.  Maybe some built it.  But in the end, they have it through their actions or the actions of their ancestors.  What God did was give those 85, and the 3.5B, and everyone in between, life.  And with life, He gave each of the billions who have ever lived the opportunity to know eternal life by accepting Him as their Lord, Creator, and Savior. Insofar as each and every man and woman has or has had the chance to accept God in their souls, then it is true that He created everyone equal.  Each of us has an equal chance of salvation by accepting God as our Savior.

The mistake, it seems to me, is that we are placing all value on the trillions of dollars in question.  This fleeting existence passes in the blink of an eye in eternity--not even a blink--in an instant within a blink.  Concern yourselves not with the money of the 85.  Concern yourselves with accepting Christ as your Savior and you shall know eternal life.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

Is it possible for the comments on this site to go one day without mentioning god, just once, just fucking once.

You nuts have god on the brain. You Mericans have been well and truly indoctrinated, they got to you young didn't they and I don't mean got to you in a catholic priest type of way, I mean they got into your head.

Oldwood's picture

We are kind of stuck between those who believe in a God and those who believe they are God. It is after all, all about "me".

Watauga's picture

Open your mind. Open your heart.  Open your soul.  You will receive His Grace if you do.  

Oldwood's picture

People don't want grace. They want money and for others to stop telling them they are doing it all wrong. You are just going to have to let God sort them out.

chindit13's picture

Ten years ago about 300,000 people along the Indian Ocean coast opened their doors and found His Grace in the form of a tsunami.

When's the next election for His position?  That Master Plan is no better than QE.

BringOnTheAsteroid's picture

You little devil, that's a piss take isn't it just to make me mad.

By the way, so god is a he, well fuck me. Who'd a thunk that the creator of the universe has a dick. I wonder what he looks like, would Christians be pissed off if he was black and had an Afro. Now that would be epic.

Parroting words and sentences like every good automaton before you. How do you open your soul for fucks sake. Does one have conscious control of their soul and if so isn't the soul really then the mind. Talking to 'the sun feels like a hug from Jesus' Christian is enough to do anyone's head in.