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Rising Inequality Amidst COVID-19: A Troubling Tale

Rising Inequality Amidst COVID-19: A Troubling Tale
By Anuda Weerasinghe • Issue #1 • View online

Hello everyone,
Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. This week I wanted to share this article with you, which reports on how the billionaires in the world have gained $485 Billion in wealth since mid March this year.
At first glance, this doesn’t seem too surprising. As I explained in my first piece about the economic impact of COVID-19, at the onset of the pandemic in mid March, low investor confidence had contributed to bear markets across the world. As a result, most of the world’s billionaires saw a sudden decline in their wealth as stock prices plummeted. Now that most markets have been recovering, it makes sense that they have gained more wealth since mid March.
But, if you take a closer look at the article, it explains that in addition to the losses from the pandemic being erased, total billionaire wealth has increased by $328 Billion since 2019. This means that despite the unprecedented economic downturn we’re seeing today, the wealthiest minority has seen an increase in their wealth year on year. This is really troubling and reveals a big problem in our tax structures, when you consider the fact that hundreds of millions of people have lost their jobs and have struggled to survive without a proper safety net to support them. One survey found that one in five mothers with children under the age of 12 describe their children as hungry due to this pandemic.
I wrote a detailed piece back in April about how COVID-19 is exacerbating inequalities not only in terms of wealth, but also in terms of access to education and health care, and even in terms of the risk of contracting the virus. I also detailed how we are seeing these inequalities between households, firms and nations; and discussed some of the implications and potential solutions. If you are intrigued by any of this, you can take a look here.
Thank you once again for subscribing. Please share this with your friends and colleagues if you found it interesting.
Have a Great Week!
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Anuda Weerasinghe

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