One of the underlying themes of the global financial crisis is the disparity in wealth and income between most of the world’s population and a very small few. The divide between the amount of money and assets held by the “really rich” and the rest of the world’s people has grown to a chasm compared to what it had been in, for instance, post WWII America.
No surprise that in the United Arab Emirates, new millionaires are being created at a rapid pace. According to the Gulf News, Dubai: “The UAE’s millionaire population surged 15.3 per cent from 68,000 in 2006 to 79,000 last year, making it one of the countries that has highest growth personal wealth, according to the latest World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini.”
And, the latest world-wide figures show that the global credit crunch has so far resulted in a widening of the disparity across the world as a whole:
“[A]n additional 600,000 people became millionaires or richer even as problems tied to the U.S. credit crisis spread in the second half of the year. The combined wealth of the millionaires’ club meanwhile grew 9.4 percent to $40.7 trillion. Their average wealth, which didn’t include primary homes, surpassed $4 million for the first time. The super rich — those with at least $30 million — grew by 8.8 percent in population while their accumulated wealth grew by 14.5 percent. This rarefied group controls about a third of the $40.7 trillion. For such an elite club, 10.1 million may seem like a lot of members. But the figure represents just 0.15 percent of the world’s population of 6.7 billion. ”