Billionaires made more money in 2017 than in any year in recorded history.
The richest people on Earth increased their wealth by a fifth to $8.9tn (£6.9tn), according to a report by Swiss bank UBS.
The fortunes of today’s super-wealthy have risen at a far greater rate than at the turn of the 20th century – when families such as the Rothschilds – Rockefellers and Vanderbilts controlled vast wealth.
The report by UBS and accountants PwC said there was so much money in the hands of the ultra-rich that a new wave of rich and powerful multi-generational families was being created.
‘The past 30 years have seen far greater wealth creation than the Gilded Age’ the UBS Billionaires 2018 report said. ‘That period bred generations of families in the US and Europe who went on to influence business – banking – politics – philanthropy and the arts for more than 100 years.
With wealth set to pass from entrepreneurs to their heirs in the coming years the 21st century multi-generational families are being created’.
The world’s 2,158 billionaires grew their combined wealth by $1.4tn last year – more than the GDP of Spain or Australia – as booming stock markets helped the already very wealthy to achieve the ‘greatest absolute growth ever’.