The world’s five richest men have doubled their wealth since 2020, a report says

Jeff Bezos watches from the sideline before kickoff between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on September 15, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. The founder and chairman of Amazon is one of the richest people in the world.

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The world’s five richest men have more than doubled their vast fortunes since 2020, according to an Oxfam report, as the charity calls for curbs on “corporate power”.

The report found that the combined fortunes of the world’s richest people — Tesla CEO Elon Musk, LVMH boss Bernard Arnault and family, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Soothsayer founder Larry Ellison and veteran investor Warren Buffett — jumped from $405 billion in March 2020 to $869 billion in November 2023. Oxfam used data from Forbes and Wealth X, which was not independently verified by CNBC.

The Oxfam report was released on Monday to coincide with the start of the World Economic Forum’s final annual meeting, which brings together the so-called global elite of top business and political leaders in Davos, Switzerland, although the five billionaires named in the report are not two. wait.

Seven of the world’s 10 largest companies have a billionaire as their CEO or major shareholder, the report says. Meanwhile, the world’s richest 1% own 43% of global financial assets, such as publicly listed instruments such as stocks and bonds, along with stakes in private companies, according to the research.

“If current trends continue, the world will have its first billionaire within ten years, but poverty will not be eradicated for another 229 years,” Oxfam said.

The charity also highlighted that net profit among the world’s 148 largest companies jumped 52% in the year to June 2023 compared to their average profits between 2018 and 2021.

“Extreme poverty in the poorest countries is still higher than it was before the pandemic, yet a small number of super-rich men are racing to become the world’s first billionaire within the next decade,” said Aleema Shivji, Oxfam’s interim chief executive. .

The charity called on governments to reduce the gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of society by “maintaining corporate power”, including breaking up monopolies, capping CEO pay and adding new taxes on permanent wealth and excess profits.

CNBC attempted to reach those named for comment.

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