Despite the plethora of analysis and commentary from economists and other experts, who use various tools in order to reach several useful conclusions regarding the present state and future state of the global and regional economies, what seems to remain unchanged is the great socio-economic inequality between different social groups in each country, a fact which further fuels the financial crisis and prevents the remedy of a great number of socio-economic problems.
More specifically, while a recent survey by Deloitte highlights the very mediocre rate of growth of the global economy and a recent analysis by Standard and Poor’s talks about the dramatic increase in corporate bankruptcies, a study by Wealth-X and UBS says that the number of billionaires in the world has exceeded 2000 individuals, with their total wealth reaching the staggering amount of 6,5 trillion USD. According to this World Ultra Wealth Report the total number of ultra wealthy people increased by 6% in 2013. What is striking however is that the rise is recorded in Europe and the USA and not in the emerging markets, since the slowdown in China and Brazil has actually led to a decrease in billionaires in these countries.
So the really rich and getting richer and they are also growing in numbers. But what about the prevailing economic conditions across the globe and in the corporate world? Well, in the latter the effects of the financial crisis are still more than evident, since according to S&P more and more firms, especially in Europe, are failing and filing for bankruptcy, with the number of failing companies growing especially in France and the Netherlands.
To add to the grim picture, the Deloitte survey on the prospects of the global economy for the third quarter of 2013 talks about very low growth rates coupled with intense uncertainty and a total lack of confidence about what the future might hold. Europe is still in recession, US growth remains slow while the growth rate in the major emerging markets has been reduced.
At the same time, the world financial markets are faced with increased mobility and fluctuations due to the expected changes in the American monetary policy, the new policies in Japan as well as the instability in the Chinese banking system.