In Russia, however, 100 billionaires control 20 percent of the country’s GDP (in the United States, billionaires control 10.6 percent). Russia’s billionaires also control twice as much total wealth as China’s billionaires – though their economy is one quarter the size. More than 80 percent of the Russian oligarchs' wealth comes from what Sharma calls “non-productive” industries like real-estate, construction and commodities.
In India, billion-dollar fortunes are often the products of government favoritism, he says. India’s tech moguls are being replaced by “provincial tycoons who have cut deals with state governments to corner the market in location-based industries like mining and real-estate.”
He adds that turnover of Indian billionaires is slowing, which doesn’t bode well for the economy.
America’s billionaires, he said, are rooted in “exactly the kind of productive companies (Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway, and Walmart) that would make any economy ... more competitive.”Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page