Bill Gates would have to spend US$1m a day for 218 years to go broke

31 Oct 2014

Oxfam claims the number of billionaires in the world has doubled since the financial crash, with the gap between rich and poor continuing to expand.

At the start of 2014, Oxfam calculated that the richest 85 people on the planet owned as much as the poorest half of humanity. Between March 2013 and March 2014, these 85 people grew US$668m richer each day.

Now Oxfam claims that Bill Gates, the world’s second richest person, could spend US$1m a day for the next 218 years before he runs out of cash – and that’s ignoring any interest he would gain in the meantime which, at a conservatively estimated US$4.2m a day means the Microsoft mogul would never, really, go broke!

However Oxfam did laud Gates for his philanthropic projects. “The decision of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to give away their fortunes is an example to the rest of the world’s billionaires. In fact, many billionaires and millionaires have been vocal in their agreement that extreme wealth is a problem that threatens us all,” reads the report.

The research into inequality released by the charity this week warns that the “billionaire boom is not just a rich country story.” India, which had two billionaires in the 1990s, now has 65, while there are 16 billionaires in sub- Saharan Africa, “alongside the 358 million people living in extreme poverty. Absurd levels of wealth exist alongside desperate poverty around the world.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic