World's eight richest men are as wealthy as half the planet

An Oxfam report published to coincide with the week-long World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, says the world's eight richest people, all men, are as wealthy as the planet's 3.6 billion poorest people.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The eight business leaders include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and New York businessman Michael Bloomberg.

Updated Jan 17, 2017

The world’s eight richest men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, Oxfam said on Monday in its annual report on global wealth.

The report, "An Economy for the 99 percent," highlights that the gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared.

The charity's chief executive Winnie Byanyima described the situation as poisoning politics and fracturing global society.

“It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when one in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy,” she said.

The eight named in the report are Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Inditex founder Amancio Ortega, investor Warren Buffett, Mexico's Carlos Slim, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Oracle's Larry Ellison and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

TRT World's Editor-at-Large Craig Copetas has more.

To read the full report, click here.