We are living through tough economic times but is that really true? News that global wealth has risen by 68 percent over the past 10 years to reach a new all-time high of $241 trillion certainly paints a different picture.
According to Credit Suisse's World Wealth Report global wealth is on the increase and the United States accounts for nearly three quarters of this increase.
The richest people in the world though are Australians -- the average wealth of adult Australians stands at $US219,505 ($233,504).
Reuters reports that average global wealth is now $51,600 per adult. It is the first time since 2007 that average wealth has passed $50,000. It is a new all time high. Averages of course take into account the poorest and richest people in the world and do not offer a fair representation of economies or the wealth of a nation.
The World Wealth report continues -- inequality remains high, with the top 10% of the world population owning 86% of global wealth, compared to barely 1% for the bottom half of all adults.
Reuters has published some shocking statistics by way of the World Wealth report:
"Global wealth will jump a further 40 percent by 2018 to reach $334 trillion, the report added. The richest nations, with wealth per adult of more than $100,000, are concentrated in North America, Western Europe and among the rich Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern countries. They are headed by Switzerland, where average adult wealth amounts to $513,000, followed by Australia, Norway and Luxembourg. However, two thirds of adults in the world have assets worth less than $10,000 and together account for just 3 percent of global wealth".
Austerity measures in Europe have reduced people's incomes. Many people now struggle to make ends meets yet a small percentage of the world's population appear to riding the crest of a wave. You can almost hear them singing "I'm in the money".
Thursday a report in the Guardian claimed:
"Europe is sinking into a protracted period of deepening poverty, mass unemployment, social exclusion, greater inequality, and collective despair as a result of austerity policies adopted in response to the debt and currency crisis of the past four years, according to an extensive study being published on Thursday. "Whilst other continents successfully reduce poverty, Europe adds to it," says the 68-page report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "The long-term consequences of this crisis have yet to surface. The problems caused will be felt for decades even if the economy turns for the better in the near future … We wonder if we as a continent really understand what has hit us.""