An industry for creating dynasties

From Moneyland by Oliver Bullough pg 101. As he points out, the logical end result of this is the creation of dynasties so that privilege persists and grows, as opposed to slowly diminishing over generations.

Wealth-X, a consulting company that maps the movements of the super-rich as if they are wildebeest, calculates that in 2016 there were 226,450 people in the world with assets worth more than $ 30 million (it calls them ultra-high-net worth people, or UHNWs), a 3.5 per cent increase on the year before. Collectively, their wealth had increased over the previous twelve months by 1.5 per cent to $ 27 trillion, which is roughly equivalent to the entire output of China and the United States added together. And the outlook for further increases is good: ‘SOLID GROWTH EXPECTED ACROSS THE ULTRA WEALTHY SECTOR,’ proclaims the company’s World Ultra Wealth Report 2017. ‘The global ultra-wealthy population is forecast to rise to 299,000 people by 2021, an increase of 72,550 compared with 2016 levels. UHNW wealth is projected to rise to $ 35.7 trillion, which implies an additional $ 8.7 trillion of newly created wealth over the next five years.’

If this prediction comes true, the planet’s UHNWs will have added the equivalent of the GDPs of Japan and Germany to their stock of wealth, in half a decade. Wealth-X sells its insights to the global class of lawyers, bankers and professionals that manages this wealth. The more wealth there is, the more they get paid. They have moved on from simply de-embarrassing assets, and now husband them, protect them, multiply them, and make them available to anyone who needs them anywhere in the world. The world has come a long way since that first elaborately organised eurobond drilled holes in the tanks of the great oil tanker of the world economy, and allowed tax dodgers and kleptocrats to make a fortune.

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