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World’s richest 1% control more than half of all wealth

Wealth creation is on the rise around the world, but not everyone is sharing equally in the newfound riches.

Since the Great Recession, the richest global citizens have benefited far more from the worldwide increase in wealth than their poorer countrymen, according to a new report from investment bank Credit Suisse. The result? The top 1 percent of global citizens own 50.1 percent of all household wealth, up from 45.5 percent in 2000, the study found.

Widening wealth inequality has been a hallmark of the post-recession economy, causing policy experts and lawmakers to question whether the impact could do everything from stunt the U.S. economy to shorten people’s lives. The wealth gap recently spurred credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s to warn that worsening inequality could hamper long-term economic growth by dampening social mobility and creating a less-educated workforce.

Credit Suisse’s findings may add to the debate over tax reform and which groups stand to grab the lion’s share of benefits from Republican proposals to cut taxes. Critics say both the House and Senate tax reform plans will favor the rich over the middle class by taxing businesses at a lower rate and potentially lowering capital gains taxes for some households, which they say could exacerbate income inequality.

The wealth of the top 1 percent is being bolstered by the rising value of investments like stocks, bonds and real estate, Credit Suisse said.

“The value of financial assets — especially company securities — is likely to be an important factor, because wealthier individuals hold a disproportionate share of their assets in a financial form,” the report said.

That’s created a bumper crop of millionaires, with the bank estimating that 23.9 million new millionaires have been minted since 2000. 

Source: Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, 2017

By contrast, the impact of wealth inequality is…

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