The World’s Wealthiest Family Gets $4 Million Richer Every Hour.

From left: Jim Walton, Alice Walton, Jim’s wife Lynne McNabb Walton, Rob Walton’s wife Melani Lowman Walton and Rob Walton. Photograph: Rick T. Wilking / Stringer

The numbers are mind-boggling: $70,000 per minute, $4 million per hour, $100 million per day.

That’s how quickly the fortune of the Waltons, the clan behind Walmart Inc., has been growing since last year’s Bloomberg ranking of the world’s richest families.

At that rate, their wealth would’ve expanded about $23,000 since you began reading this. A new Walmart associate in the U.S. would’ve made about 6 cents in that time, on the way to an $11 hourly minimum.

Even in this era of extreme wealth and brutal inequality, the contrast is jarring. The heirs of Sam Walton, Walmart’s notoriously frugal founder, are amassing wealth on a near-unprecedented scale — and they’re hardly alone.

The Walton fortune has swelled by $39 billion, to $191 billion, since topping the June 2018 ranking of the world’s richest families.

America’s richest 0.1% today control more wealth than at any time since 1929, but their counterparts in Asia and Europe are gaining too. Worldwide, the 25 richest families now control almost $1.4 trillion in wealth, up 24% from last year.

To some critics, such figures are evidence that capitalism needs fixing. Inequality has become an explosive political issue, from Paris to Seattle to Hong Kong. But how to shrink the growing gap between the rich and the poor?

As the tension increases, even some billionaire heirs are backing steps such as wealth taxes.

“If we don’t do something like this, what are we doing, just hoarding this wealth in a country that’s falling apart at the seams?” Liesel Pritzker Simmons, whose family ranks 17th on the Bloomberg list, said in June. “That’s not the America we want to live in.”

Tallying dynastic dollars isn’t an exact science. Fortunes backed by decades and sometimes centuries of assets and dividends can obfuscate the true extent of a family’s holdings. The net worth of the Rothschilds or Rockefellers, for instance, is too diffuse to value. Clans whose wealth is currently unverifiable are also absent.

But of those we can track, most are reaping the rewards of ultra-low interest rates, tax cuts, deregulation and innovation. Koch Industries, for instance, has a venture-capital arm. The latest generation of Waltons is establishing its own enterprises.

Other big gainers include the owners of fashion house Chanel and Italy’s Ferrero family, whose brands include Nutella spread and Tic Tac mints. In India, the fortune of the Ambani family swelled $7 billion, to $50 billion.

In all, the world’s 25 richest families have $250 billion more wealth, compared to last year.

See more detail on the top richest families and read more the the Bloomberg article here.

Target drops Kindle.

Target Corp. has decided to drop Kindle products, including Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet, its range of Kindle e-readers and all accessories for the devices, including covers and chargers, says Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder.

Target will still sell other e-readers and tablets, including the Nook from Barnes & Noble , Snyder added.

“This is evidence that Target is getting more serious about Amazon as an enemy rather than a partner,” said Matt Nemer, an analyst at Wells Fargo.

Amazon ran Target’s website for several years, but that relationship ended last year amid a legal battle.

“That’s probably something Target now regrets,” Mr. Nemer said. “It put them behind in the world of multi-channel retail and let a serious competitor learn a lot about their business.”

Wal-Mart Stores, the world’s largest retailer, will keep selling Kindles, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday. An Amazon spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

Target’s move comes as the retailer outfits some of its stores with special displays of Apple Inc. products, including the iPad, which competes with Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet.

Source: Globe and Mail