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World’s wealthiest people
Jill Treanor
Guardian, 22 June 2011

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “World’s Wealthiest Richer Than Before Credit Crunch!”

  1. Jo says:

    Wasn’t that kinda the point??


    John D Rockefeller: ” I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.”

  3. mathman says:

    Maybe they have more money now, but richer? i’m not sure – i think the whole world has spun out of control now that they’ve engineered this latest financial fiasco and that we’re all so much poorer than we were mere years ago, not to mention the orders of magnitude we’ve fallen from a generation or so back.

    Capitalism has ruined the planet.

  4. b_thunder says:

    Greenspan is padding himself on the back for bailing out HNWIs in 1987, 94, 98, and 2000-2003

    Man-of-the Year Bernanke is doing victory laps and lecturing the great unwashed masses about the benefits the bailouts of 2008-2009 and the newly invented ways to create the “wealth affect” (not to be confused with creating real wealth)

    Rep. Cantor and Rep. Ryan are busy pushing for the elimination of capital gains and estate taxes which will effectively permanently separate the owners of “big capital” from everyone else – a short-circuiting of the american dream for most.

    G.W. Bush is smirking about 3 rounds of unfunded tax cuts, unaccounted billions of dollars in Iraq, tax breaks for Big Oil and open checkbook for DoD contractors

    Obama is totally dumbfounded why no more than 30% says they’d vote for him if the elections were held today

    And somewhere in the Communist Heaven (or Hell if you’re Ayn Rand) Karl Marx is smiling because he knows his predictions may finally be coming true!

  5. VennData says:

    But there’s no way we can go back to the Clinton marginal rates when we paid down OUR deficit because… why, again?

  6. forwhomthebelltolls says:


    Trickle down economics will have us out of this jam any moment now.

    Annnnnny moment now…..

    (says the skeleton waiting patiently)

  7. mad Albanian says:

    Why is generally accepted that political power cannot be hereditary , yet economic power is treated differently?
    Why should economic wealth be hereditary and not political power? They both can do so much harm to the public good when too concentrated.

  8. hmmmm says:


  9. wunsacon says:

    Good point, mad Albanian.

    Unfortunately, when you make arguments like that (justifying progressive tax rates) to many (but obviously not all) self-professed “capitalists”, they immediately assume the speaker has an agenda to switch to 100% tax rates and 100% central planning, as though countries like Germany, Japan, or the US (from 1935-1980) hadn’t found some happier medium. It can be darn frustrating trying to converse with some of these binary-loving people.

  10. victor says:

    Lately the “German economic model” has been cited as a possible model for the US economy: positive trade balance, balanced federal budgets, health care for “everybody”, low(er) unemployment, better energy policy, a more aggressive approach to combating climate change, better education system, darned it! better almost anything, higher taxation in general, except for corporate tax which at least nominally is 15% vs. US” 35%.

    Yet, Germany’s HNWI number is greater than US’ on a per capita basis as US’s population is almost 4 times Germany’s. And Germany absorbed some 20 million poor East Germans, not to mention an additional couple of million Turks, Poles, Romanians etc just within the last 2-3 decades (some 20-25% of today’s population). The US only “absorbed” 12 million illegals (some 4% of today’s population), granted substantially poorer than the East Germans. These stats may be (almost) meaningless, but any comments would be appreciated.

  11. philipat says:

    IMHO, the problem is not capitalism but the corrupt form of crony capitalism which presently operates in the United Corporatocracy of America.

    The over-concentration of wealth at the top in the US is clearly of concern, either in absolute terms or in comparison to other developed countries where higher top marginal tax rates and capital gains tax rates result in wealth concentration with the top 1% at about half the US level.

    That said, it is also the case that in the US the top 10% pay about 80% of all Federal income taxes. Perhaps even more importantly, almost 50% in the US pay NO Federal income taxes. In comparison to Greece, it is the same issue. Government largesse is great, and giving bailouts to everyone is easy. Taking it back again is more problematic, as seen on the streets of Athens recently. So the 50% of Americans paying no Federal income taxes, at best, cannot be expected to vote for higher taxes, at worst will emulate the Greeks.

    Welcome to Socialism.

  12. Greg0658 says:

    Victor “German economic model” .. I would consider these thought help points
    1> in their stride from WW2 rebuild
    2> denser population keeps cross transportation needs minimized (public trans systems work more efficiently)
    3> healthcare for unbridled profit is messy

  13. Greg0658 says:

    another ps – that #3> is why I believe the Food & Drug Administration should Not be under 1 control roof … research/test those additives and cures (in true game fashion) .. trust but verify …. I want to Submit Comment as is .. but – so hard to admit I worry profit outweighs scruples at various levels in government

  14. rktbrkr says:

    You can’t have 9% long term unemployment, millions of foreclosures, very special treatment for the biggest banks and their managements and unending health care debate without examining the social compact of this country.

    I don’t know if the other advanced democracies of the world are “better” than the US but they certainly seem to be kinder and gentler to those on the lower rungs of their democracies. Too many Americans seem hellbent on killing ragtag enemies 10,000 miles away while ignoring the needs of their countrymen 10 blocks away. A big part of our budget resolution will be killing vs caring, do we want to spend our money killing people half a planet away or caring for our own? I don’t think we will be able to reach a consensus and will do a “soft” national default via inflation. If QE resumes that will be confirmation of a one way trip down this road.

    Every single person I have spoken to who throws out the term “Obamacare” has good (subsidized) health care, some with good, steady incomes even label the current unemployed as “lazy”. We are moving to strident extremes both politically and socially and I think we are headed to a combustion point, especially if the big banks mortgage mess blows up in our faces.

  15. victor says:

    @Greg0658, thanks for the comments, agree. Further, look at USA’s military expenditures: % of GDP and in $ terms, by far the largest in the world, many times larger than Germany’s, see:

    So, we seem to have high (and unsustainable) sets of expenditures, on one side of the ledger and an unwillingness to pay for them on the other side. What gives: Hopefully not some sudden crisis/panic?

  16. Omnivore says:

    The report defines HNWI as “those having investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.” Depending on where one lives a good bit of that wealth is probably tied up in real estate (even in this market). I suspect not many people who are part of the HNWI consider themselves as priveledged as this report makes out. For this group, in terms of making gobal comparisons, power purchasing parity is crucial. I’d rather be a millionaire in Honduras than San Francisco.

    I think the real focus should be on the $30m

  17. socaljoe says:

    Wealthier in theory… but who do they sell their $trillions of financial investments to, in order to realize their wealth without collapsing the price?… Poor people?

  18. xynz says:

    I wonder why the chattering classes and the US political leadership keep saying that government budgets must be balanced on the backs on the working and middle class? It wouldn’t be because they are essentially paid to do so, through columnists and TV commentator salaries and contributions to political campaigns……would it?