The Rich Got Richer In 2017... One Trillion Dollars Richer

2017 has been a banner year for the world’s richest individuals.

Pumped by a tidal wave of central-bank driven liquidity and corporate buybacks, equity indexes around the world climbed to all-time highs this year – a phenomenon that has disproportionately benefited the world’s wealthiest, particularly the 500 individuals included in Bloomberg’s billionaires index.

By the end of trading Tuesday, Dec. 26, the 500 billionaires controlled an aggregate $5.3 trillion, a $1.1 trillion increase from their holdings on Dec. 27 2016.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest beneficiary of this Federal Reserve inspired rally was Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, who added a staggering $34.2 billion to his net worth in 2017 as Amazon shares soared above $1,000.

After announcing in October that his family office had given $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations over the past several years (Masking an elaborate tax dodge under the guise of altruism), Soros slipped to No. 195 on Bloomberg’s ranking, with a net worth of $8 billion.

Bezos notably knocked Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates out of his spot as the world’s richest person in October – a position that Gates had held since May 2013. Notably, Gates has been donating much of his fortune to charity, including a $4.6 billion pledge he made the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in August. Bezos, whose net worth topped $100 billion at the end of November, currently has a net worth of $99.6 billion compared with $91.3 billion for Gates.

While China topped the US in terms of the number of billionaires last year, the tax bill that Trump signed into law last week will certainly go a long way toward helping the US reclaim the top spot.

As the chart below shows, the wealthiest Americans will receive an overwhelming share of the benefits from the Trump tax cut plan.

Meanwhile, corporations, which received a massive tax cut, will have even more money to continue buying back their shares, driving benchmark indexes ever higher and minting even more billionaires and millionaires in the process. 

It's also worth noting that, while the rich are getting richer, the average life expectancy in the US declined in 2016 for the second straight year, largely a result of a spike in drug overdose deaths even as the overall rate of deaths declined.

And while it's entirely possible that the flood of free corporate cash flow unleashed by the tax cuts could buoy stocks for years to come (JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon fittingly compared the cuts to the Federal Reserve's QE program), such sharp declines in life expectancy have historically been an ominous indicator for equity returns.



ShrimpinAin'tEasy Wed, 12/27/2017 - 14:24 Permalink

Look on the bright side. Either one of us is gonna have to fork over the same amount for a pizza tonight (depending on how much flecked gold it's topped with). But I won't have to worry about losing a coupla billion, getting tossed into jail for fucking a teenager. or getting scammed by a hockey team full of jews tomorrow.

Iconoclast421 Wed, 12/27/2017 - 14:26 Permalink

That's more than a trillion stolen right out of everyone elses pockets primarily in the form of the healthcare inflation tax and some other less extreme stealth taxes. If only people werent dumb as boxes of roxes they'd be bustin out the pitchforks and boiling the rope.

One And Only Wed, 12/27/2017 - 14:28 Permalink

As long as they spend it I really have no problem here.If you have 100bb dollars and you don't spend like a drunken sailor you can get fucked. But if you spend that cash more power to you, it's the best way to redistribute that wealth where everyone benefits. They buy a cool 500 million dollar house and need to hire a staff, construction crews, maintenance people, hospitality people (to staff the clubs and bars in these houses), etc etc. Love it. Just spend it. 

Dexter Morgan Wed, 12/27/2017 - 14:34 Permalink

Per the US government, health care was 5% of GDP in 1960.  Free market capitalism delivered me in a church hospital for a hospital bill of $85 in 1956.  Health care was much better back then, and nobody went without.  When I was 1 year old my mom called the doc at 2 am on his home phone, he said meet me at the ER.  Helped save my life.Then they created Medicare, end of story.

Stan522 Wed, 12/27/2017 - 14:39 Permalink

Money + (Correct financial decisions) = Richer ROMANCE MATHEMATICSSmart man + smart woman = romanceSmart man + dumb woman = affairDumb man + smart woman = marriage Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy OFFICE ARITHMETICSmart boss + smart employee = profitSmart boss + dumb employee = productionDumb boss + smart employee = promotionDumb boss + dumb employee = overtime SHOPPING MATHA man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs.A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn't need. GENERAL EQUATIONS & STATISTICSA woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.A successful woman is one who can find such a man. HAPPINESSTo be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.

falak pema Wed, 12/27/2017 - 15:33 Permalink

Haha! So much for the Deplorables and the Evangelicals, whose flagbearer  Bannon works for Nero, the nec plus ultra of the new Emperors."Purple is my favorite colour; in fact I wanna make purple the colour of the rose of Cairo; after Jerusalem of course. The purple rose of Cairo; now ain't dat a slap in the face of those snowflakes; making that effete liberal an icon of Cairo's defeat; you bow to our money and don't ya eva talk of China... Haha! Snowflakes; this is #Maga !"Ya think the Duck can make Cairo the next shuttle after Jerusalem's tower of Babel? We live n learn. As for the gold diggers : go shag a sheeple on the slopes of Bitcoin's Mount Kilimandjaro,  a place where the Wa-Tutsi kill their snow leopards and the local innocents  and Alan Quartermain  reigns as White man's poacher of King Solomon's mines !But for how long...?Maybe we should ask Glencore!

Utopia Planitia Wed, 12/27/2017 - 16:12 Permalink

Who cares if the "rich" made more money this year?  That result is simply a symptom of the real problem, not the problem itself.  People who are upset about that are making a public statement that they are unable to have a single critical thought.The "problem" is the multitudes of laws that have been passed that enable many (not all) of the so-called "rich" to attain their heights.  People such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet (the person not the restaurant), Larry Ellison, Tom Steyer, Elon Musk, etc. etc. etc.  Many (not all) of those people reached their rarified heights (financially) because they convinced (paid) politicians to pass laws that in effect gave them a monopoly or near-monopoly on a market.  That is why most "rich" are democrats.  That is precisely why Donald Trump is really a democrat (though he tries hard - sometimes - not to act like one).Look at what happened when Oblamocare was passed.  A few insurance companies now have the entire health insurance market to themselves.  Do you know what else Oblamocare required?  Why, it required PROVIDERS of medical care to purchase all sorts of computer equipment and software!  (i.e., Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, etc.)  Massive purchases of hardware and software that have NOTHING to do with delivering health care were REQUIRED to be purchased.  The "cause and effect" is often carefully concealed, but if you have at least one functioning brain cell you should be able to find it easily.The "problem" is how the laws of this country have CAUSED the methodology by which a few get insanely rich.  The majority of those laws were instituted by demonrats, who the average brain-dead citizen believes is "for the little guy".  Just keep voting for them and soon you will live in the gulag archipelago.  I am not suggesting there are not republicrats who are a problem too, but the vast majority of the problem lies in the nest of the rats.

Deep Snorkeler Wed, 12/27/2017 - 16:28 Permalink

41 million Americans live in poverty,consumed in thoughtless leisure,immersed in pagan frivolities,porn people in frenzied procreation,hyperventilating.God does not love them,He loves Trump.Trump already has spent $100 million taxpayerdollars on golf excursions and untold taxpayerhours watching Fox News. 

moonmac Wed, 12/27/2017 - 17:43 Permalink

ZIRP & QE was just another Get-Rich-Quick Scheme for Millionaires and Billionaires that worked perfectly. No late night infomercials needed just a Fed printing press and a willingness to destroy working class Americans forever.

presidentsarkozy Thu, 12/28/2017 - 11:51 Permalink