Ever wondered how long it would take Bill Gates to go bankrupt if he wasn't making any more income? Wonder no more, because after conducting an extensive research on the extreme economic inequality that is prevalent in today's world, Oxfam, a charity organisation, has announced that 218 years will be required for Gates to spend his entire fortune.
Oxfam's calculations, which were published earlier this year under "Even it Up: Time to end extreme inequality", had found that the upper crux of the world's economy, which consists of 85 individuals, owns the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the global population.
Subscribing to this theory, one can safely assume that even if the billionaire were to buy three Ferraris every single day, it would take Gates around 218 years to spend his entire assets.
According to another study "Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality", almost half of the world's wealth is now owned by just 1% of the population and it warns that if left unchecked, this massive and unfair concentration of economic resources in the hands of a few could be a real threat to inclusive political and economic systems around the world.
Oxfam says in the report: "Once accumulated, the wealth of the world's billionaires takes on a momentum of its own, growing much faster than the broader economy in many cases".
This is not just a conundrum for the rich countries alone, either. Oxfam claims that the "billionaire boom" is increasingly seen in poor countries such as India and Africa as well. "India, which had two billionaires in the 1990s, now has 65, while by March 2014 there were 16 billionaires in sub-Sharan Africa," according to the research.
Interestingly, according to Oxfam's report, endorsed by Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, it would take Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, approximately 220 years to spend his $80 billion fortune, at a spending rate of $1 million per day.