The wealth of the top 1% may have peaked

LEE SHAU KEE moved to Hong Kong from mainland China in 1948, the year before China’s Communist Party seized control. In 1976 he set up a property company, Henderson Land Development, which helped to develop the tallest building on Hong Kong island and the hotel where Edward Snowden spilled America’s national-security secrets. Mr Lee is now the world’s 27th-richest person, according to Forbes, a business magazine. He and the 26 richer individuals have a combined worth of $1.39trn—more than the entire wealth of the poorest half of humanity.

This kind of startling comparison between the world’s most and least pecunious has been popularised by Oxfam, a charity. It draws on Forbes’s regular rankings of the world’s billionaires and the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s annual reports on household wealth. But the precision implied by such comparisons is spurious. The data on...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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