zyakaira notes: WSJ blogs also have U2’s Larry Mullen speaking against the Irish Bile and resentment against the rich..the US is cautioned not to treat them poorly. In a related story, the death of Michael Jackson has caused speculation about the sale of his rich music collection that’s jointly owned with Sony and includes the vintage Beatles collection purchased by him for $47.5 million. This collection along with his own is valued at $1 billion and may go higher given the quality of the artiste’s recordings despite the debts that pwned him and raised questions on his lifestyle. Sony has hard work cut out for them to sort out these squabbles

The world population of millionaires fell 15% last year, with the super-rich taking an even bigger hit, according to a new survey.

The Capgemini and Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report, released this morning, finds that the number of global millionaires fell to 8.6 million from 10.1 million in 2008. The declines were the largest since Capgemini/Merrill started the survey 13 years ago. (The survey defines millionaires as those with investible assets of $1 million or more).

There were 2.5 million millionaires in the U.S. at the end of 2008, down from 3 million in 2007.

The wealth held by the world’s millionaires plunged nearly 20%, to $32.8 trillion from $40.7WBHNWIpopulation
trillion. The ultrawealthy, or those with $30 million in investible assets, saw their ranks drop 25%, with their wealth dropping 24%.

According to the survey, the more rapid fall in wealth by the superrich had an outsize impact on the overall numbers, since so much of global wealth is concentrated at the top of the millionaire pyramid. At the end of 2008, the ultrawealthy accounted for less than 1% of the millionaire population but held 34.7% of the wealth.

The main reason for all the declines: the financial crisis, contracting gross domestic product and the accompanying declines in stocks, real-estate values, private equity, hedge funds and other things the wealthy invested in.

Surprisingly, the U.S. wealthy fared better than many

via The Wealth Report – WSJ.

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