Why the wealth of the richest French is growing so much


This is a chronicle by Pierre Kupferman on BFMTV on Monday 3 May which made the entire leftist political class react. By looking at the Bloomberg ranking of the greatest fortunes, with three French people among the 25 richest in the world (Bernard Arnault, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, and François Pinault), the editorialist of BFM Business recalls that, between 2009 and 2020, the wealth of French billionaires increased by + 439% (i.e. it was multiplied by five), much more than the wealth of German billionaires (+ 175%), Americans (+ 170%), British (+ 168%) or Indians (+ 90%), but less than for Chinese billionaires (+1 146%), based on a report from the Swiss bank UBS and the firm PwC.

Evolution of the wealth of billionaires between 2009 and 2020

The wealth of billionaires between 2009 and 2020

The wealth of billionaires between 2009 and 2020

This ten-year increase, relayed in the midst of a pandemic and economic slump, made the left leap. Macron, president of the ultra-rich, tackled the deputy of rebellious France Jean-Luc Mélenchon. There was a real urgency in 2017 to remove the ISF and establish a flat tax, joked the deputy PS Boris Vallaud. And the “rebellious” member Mathilde Panot to abound: When will a solidarity tax on wealth and a tax on crisis profiteers be reinstated?

This graphic on the French ultrariche that boils the left

The findings are now shared everywhere: the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting economic crisis,exacerbated pre-existing inequalities and poverty, points out the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The public authorities’ response should take the measure of the fact that the different aspects of inequalities (income, wealth, opportunities) are mutually reinforcing and create a vicious circle, continues the fund. Before calling bluntly, in addition to a global vaccination, to “An injection of equality” for everyone. Even if it means raising taxes.

56% of French heritage captured by the richest

The idea echoes new US President Joe Biden’s proposal to further tax capital income for the richest 0.3% of Americans – this rate would almost double from 20% to 39.6% . Where Emmanuel Macron has just insisted in his interview with the regional press: There will be no tax hikes out of the crisis.

The richest 1% in the world captured 27% of income growth.

The richest 1% in the world captured 27% of the income growth.

However, it must be noted that, for the past forty years, inequalities have been rising steadily. The richest 1% in the world have thus benefited from twice as much income growth as the poorest 50%, observe researchers from the World Wealth and Income Database. From one zone to another, the richest 10% own a large part of the national wealth:

Share of national income held by the richest 10%

Share of national income held by the richest 10%

This finding of inequalities also applies to France, where the richest 10% now have 56% of French wealth (up since the 1980s), mainly thanks to the explosion of financial assets, as the researchers detail. Bertrand Garbinti and Jonathan Goupille-Lebret:

Evolution of the concentration of wealth between the richest 10% in France and the poorest 50%

Evolution of the concentration of wealth between the richest 10% in France and the poorest 50%

Evolution of the wealth of the richest 1% in France

Evolution of the wealth of the richest 1% in France

60 years on average for rich French people

The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) also looked at the wealth of very high French incomes, that is to say above 106,210 euros in income (the 1% most rich). And notes that ” very high-income households stand out because they own their main residence much more frequently “:

The richest 1% of French people are almost all homeowners, are on average 60 years old, and live in Île-de-France.

The richest 1% of French people are almost all homeowners, are on average 60 years old, and live in Île-de-France

INSEE also notes that very high incomes live mainly in Ile-de-France and in certain border departments, in particular with Switzerland:

Where do the very high incomes live in France

Where do the very high incomes live in France

More generally, INSEE finally points out that very high French incomes benefit more from “Income from property” (especially financial) and “Non-salaried income” (especially real estate):

The incomes of very high incomes

The incomes of very high incomes

The richest 1% of French people mainly benefit from income from furniture and real estate

The richest 1% of French people mainly benefit from income from furniture and real estate

Conclusions that are unlikely to calm the reactions of the left …



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