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Global wealth rises over decade, but rich-poor gap grows

15 November 2017

Early this year, U.S. authorities announced a $5.28 billion settlement with Credit Suisse over its role in the sale of the kind of toxic securities that led to the global financial crisis of 2008. The Millennial group as a whole may face some ongoing challenges that prior generations have not faced.

Comparing wealth gains across countries, the United States is an unquestionable leader.

The rise in the stock market is the biggest reason for the gains, which in turn were driven by both stronger underlying economic conditions and the prospect of lower taxes and deregulation, Credit Suisse reported.

Europe followed an identical patter, with wealth across the continent also rising by 6.4pc during the 12 month period. The report suggests inequality is still worsening some eight years after the worst global recession in decades. Traders in online chat rooms also colluded with other banks, seeking to "diminish competition" and "reap higher profits from the execution of FX trades at customers' expense", the DFS order said.

The report showed that there are now more than 36 million global millionaires in dollar terms.

"The bottom half of adults collectively own less than 1% of total wealth, the richest decile (top 10% of adults) owns 88% of global assets, and the top percentile alone accounts for half of total household wealth", the Credit Suisse report said. Most of these influences have been positive during past 12 months, including in India, where market capitalisation rose by close to 30 per cent, house prices by around 10 per cent, while Indian rupee rose 4 per cent against the USA dollar.

Put another way: "The top 1% own 50.1% of all household wealth in the world". That brings the total number of millionaires in the US up to approximately 15,356,000, or about one in every 20 Americans.

Credit Suisse is even forecasting that the number of ultra-high net worth individuals will likely increase by 45,000 to a level of 193,000 individuals by 2022.

This report was the eighth such annual report out of Credit Suisse, and the firm measures roughly 4.8 billion adults over approximately 200 countries for its data.

Global wealth rises over decade, but rich-poor gap grows