Number of global billionaires climbs to record level in 2015

Since 2008 when the war on wealth inequality accelerated between the 99 and 1%ers, the disparity even between the 1 and .1% grew sharply as well.  And in the latest Wealth-X billionaire census, the number of billionaires in the world climbed to a new all-time high of 2,473.

In 2015 , the unique club of the ultra wealthy gained 148 new members, with the combined wealth that this group now controls being over $7.7 trillion, or 3.3% of the world’s household wealth.

The world now has 2,473 dollar billionaires who have accumulated $7.7 trillion, according to the Wealth-X billionaire census. The 2015 figures show the number of ultra-rich up 6.4 percent and a 5.4 percent growth in their overall wealth compared to 2014.

Last year, billionaires controlled 3.9 percent of world household wealth, slightly down from 2014. The combined wealth of $7.7 trillion is bigger than the combined GDP of Germany and Japan, the world’s third and fourth richest nations. – Russia Today

The primary reason for the rise in the number of ultra wealthy over the past 20 years is due to the financialization of the economy, and the expansion of the monetary system through cheap credit and debt.  In fact, if you were to go back to the late 1990’s before the start of Greenspan’s low interest rates policies and the passage of Congressional bills that led to this financialization, the total number of billionaires in the world were only 298 in 1998.

Ultimately, the disparity in wealth between the .1% and the rest of the world rests solely in the hands of central banks and government legislators who helped create the crony capitalist system much of the world resides under today.  And the ironic thing is that these same entities are also trying to tell individuals that they are the ones who can fix it, while at the same time doing more of the same which helped create the disparity in the first place.

The last time wealth inequality between the upper tiers and the rest of the people was this great, the system crashed into a worldwide depression.  And judging from the fact that central banks need to continue to print up new money simply to keep their economies from completely collapsing, it is much more likely that the billionaire class will grow even more until this credit creation implodes upon itself, and much of this ‘paper wealth’ is liquidated.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for,, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.