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How has the Pandemic Redistributed the World’s Wealth?

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At a recent IMF event on recovering nations from the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the COVID-19 coronavirus plunged over 100 million people into poverty, with over 4 billion people with little or no social support.

Hardly anyone would deny that the coronavirus pandemic is having a disastrous impact on the world, its people, its economies, and, most importantly, on the means of subsistence of about a quarter of the world’s population, which is already at or beyond the point of vulnerability and dependence. Without work – even casual, hourly, or daily work to earn money to buy food – people are doomed to die of disease, starvation, or complete neglect. For 40 million Americans, the pandemic resulted in a hike in unemployment benefits, reaching its highest level in decades. For many small companies, it threatened bankruptcy and withdrawal from the market.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the world with unprecedented damage across the vast majority of sectors. The transport, aviation, tourism, and energy industries have suffered huge losses.

Nevertheless, as the statistics quoted by many media outlets show, to some, the global crisis caused by COVID-19 has brought not ruin but new super profits, confirming the postulate that “in times of change and turmoil, the rich become richer and the poor become poorer.”

According to the Swiss bank UBS, during the coronavirus disaster, the combined fortune of our planet’s billionaire super-rich has grown to $14.7 trillion, as a study by the Hurun Research Institute confirms. This is a record high, well above the level of 2017, when it was considered the highest. The number of dollar billionaires has also increased to over three thousand. The most significant piece of the coronavirus pie came from those whose business was initially related to medicine and, in particular, pharmacology. Their wealth increased by 50%. Prominent among the lucky ones are Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna Therapeutics, an American company awarded a grant for developing a vaccine........

© New Eastern Outlook

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