Myth: 1% own half the world’s wealth

Another statistic I heard and immediately thought, must be bullshit. Here is a glimpse into Oxfam’s state of the art methodology:

According to this methodology, the poorest 2 billion people in the world have a negative net wealth. Someone who has 50p but no assets or debts would be above the bottom 30 per cent of the world’s population. It doesn’t take an advanced mathematician to work out that adding up lots of negatives at the bottom to an overall wealth share figure for the bottom 99 per cent will of course make that figure much smaller than a gross wealth figure. Oxfam has then taken this bogus figure, looked at recent trends (which show the share of the top 1 per cent rising) and simply extrapolated into the future to get their headline (which seems a huge assumption given the potential QE unwinding).

What’s sad is the number of journalists who swallow numbers like these without question.

Stephen By Stephen

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Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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