As Davos crowd gathers, governments urged to rein in 'billionaire class'

January 15, 2024

By Mark John(Reuters) - The combined fortunes of the world's five richest men have more than doubled to $869 billion since 2020 while five billion people have been made poorer, anti-poverty group Oxfam said. Oxfam called on Monday for governments to rein in corporate power by breaking up monopolies; instituting taxes on excess profit and wealth; and promoting alternatives to shareholder control such as forms of employee ownership. "This inequality is no accident; the billionaire class is ensuring corporations deliver more wealth to them at the expense of everyone else," said Oxfam International interim Executive Director Amitabh Behar. Of the world's 1,600 largest corporations, just 0.4% of them have publicly committed to paying workers a living wage and to supporting a living wage in their value chains, the study found. (Writing and reporting by Mark John; Editing by Alexander Smith)