The world’s billionaires increased their wealth by 20% in 2017. Congratulations. The world’s GDP growth is more like 4%. It’s reasonable to predict that wealth inequality just got worse. While there are reports that wealth growth may moderate in 2018, so much wealth has been accumulated that even slight retractions won’t significantly shift power. Recessions and such may even cause the wealthy to hold onto their money tighter, further limiting the cash available for the rest of the economy to operate. Accumulated wealth is now also expected to survive for generations, creating a wealth class that is not likely to demonstrate social mobility.
“More than 40 of the 179 new billionaires created last year inherited their wealth, and given the number of billionaires over 70 the report’s authors expect a further $3.4tn to be handed down over the next 20 years.” – The Guardian
This wealth growth is setting records and may be defining a new economic era, or may be the sign of an extreme being met. Either case is likely to lead to a significantly different new normal.