How Money Is Distributed in The World?

Projecting what the future holds is an important exercise for businesses looking to plan ahead. At the moment, thanks to the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programs worldwide during pandemic times, which started in the industrialized nations (where most wealth is created), and finally the May 5th 2023 statement from the World Health Organization officializing the end of Covid-19, we are all progressively gearing towards a brighter future. 

The war between Russia and the Ukraine will end very soon despite Putin preparing Russia for “forever war”, the global economy will move on, as normally as before. This is great news spreading around all corners of the planet, a news that will make money travel around the world – again. But do you really think that a pandemic like Covid or a war can affect billion dollar businesses? And how is wealth, in general, distributed throughout the world? To answer these questions without having to go into the inner workings of various countries and their financial frameworks, we will start with a list of some of the richest men and women in 2023. We will then show you how money works its way from there.

How much money do you need to make to be among the richest people in the world? As an individual you need to have a very high net worth in the billions of dollars to be considered one of the richest in the world. A net worth millionaire is someone who has a net worth of at least $1,000.000.

Don’t feel down for not having that high amount of money. Look around and get inspired by some talented people. Let’s take for example Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega Gaona, founder and former chairman of Inditex fashion group. Amancio started working as a delivery boy for a men’s shirt store then he worked as an assistant in a tailor’s shop which led him to create Zara years later. So, yes – average people using clever business strategies can indeed become millionaires or billionaires.

Now, let’s have a look at who are some of the 13 richest men and women across the planet as of 2023:

#1: Bernard Arnault & Family – LVMH – Net Worth: 240.7bn
#2: Elon Musk – Tesla, SpaceX – Net Worth: $180bn
#3: Jeff Bezos – Amazon – Net Worth: $114bn
#4: Warren Buffett – Berkshire Hathaway – Net Worth: $113.3bn
#5: Larry Ellison – Oracle Corporation – Net Worth: $107bn
#6: Bill Gates – Microsoft – Net Worth: $106bn
#7: Larry Page – Google – Net Worth: $95.8bn
#8: Michael Bloomberg -Bloomberg LP – Net Worth: $94.5bn
#9: Carlos Slim & Family – Telecom – Net Worth: $90bn
#10: Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook – Net Worth: $87bn
#11: Sergey Brin – Google – Net Worth: $87.6bn
#12: Dan Gilbert – Quicken Loans – Net Worth: $82.7bn
#13: Amancio Ortega – Inditex – Net Worth: $81.5bn

As the end of the Covid 19 pandemic was being proclaimed, Russians started to destroy Ukraine, the US and European countries invested $40 billions in military supply, and inflation was growing in many countries around the world. At the same time, the net worth of these 13 richest men and women was growing by 2.7 billion dollars a day. To put that in perspective, let’s look at Bernard Arnault for example who saw his wealth increase at least by 500% in the last year. His fortune increased by $2.4bn last week to 240bn after LVMH reported sales rose sharply last quarter in Europe, United States and Japan fueled by local customers, international travelers, Chinese shoppers and fashionistas.

The end of the Coronavirus pandemic, the power of influencers, social media, TV and telecommunications, the growth of e-commerce, the use of the internet, the people traveling from one country to a another, pressure from the green-energy lobbyists to purchase electric is testament of the divide between rich and poor around the world.

So, money has a big significance in our lives. Money does not automatically guarantee happiness, but there are new studies confirming that by having more money you can improve your wellbeing.  At least with money you can survive, grow, succeed, feel powerful and be kind to help others.

How much money is there in the world?

At the end of May 2023, it is estimated that the total amount of physical money, aka cash in the world, including what’s in the hand of banks, people, and governments, etc., is around $40.94 trillion. However, this figure is deceptive because that’s not the total amount of money. Money also exists in the form of derivatives, investments, undeclared money, money that’s left in safety deposit boxes, or similar, amounting to $1.2 quadrillion.

Now that we know a little more about money, the next question is how does it get distributed?

Money is distributed in several different ways around cities, countries and continents.

-The World’s Billionaires: the World’s 2,640 Billionaires are worth $12.2 trillion
-The World’s Gold: The World’s Gold is estimated at 197,576 gold tonnes by the World Gold Council. This is worth worth $10.9 trillion
-Stock world markets: worth $90 trillion
-The World Bank: $183.4 trillion

You also need to consider unconventional forms of money like cryptocurrency, which alone is over $1.08 trillion across the world. So, it is safe to say that the total amount of money worldwide including hidden money is about $1.4 quadrillion to $2 quadrillion.

Who controls the money around the world?

Americans control almost 30% of the entire world’s wealth, China controls almost 18% and other Asian countries are climbing up the ladder. 

What are the richest countries in the world in 2023?

The ten richest countries in the world are Luxembourg, Bermuda, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Singapore, the United States, Iceland, Denmark, and Qatar, with GDP per capita values ranging from US$62,276 to US$135,700.

Banks Distribute Wealth

Believe it or not, banks are the uncrowned custodians of wealth across the world. Whether it is the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, or a country’s national bank, they happen to control all the wealth and have a say in how it is distributed.

Banks are responsible for lending money to governments, individuals, and corporations alike. Institutions like the World Bank, along with the International Monetary Fund, regularly provide loans to countries who need it, often benefiting from an interest rate that’s set at the time of approving the loan.

While you may assume that all the wealth is created in the first world and flows over to the third world, that’s not entirely true. Wealth is created across the world and held in bank accounts of varying types and sizes. Most Banks and credit unions offer the following account types: saving accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposits, retirement accounts. Banks use the money from those accounts to invest in giving loans to individuals and businesses; the interest earned from that is how banks make a profit.

Global Transactions

Thanks to the internet, global transactions across international borders now take seconds. Today transactions, especially international ones, account for a significant chunk of how wealth is distributed. Buyers from Western Countries can and do often purchase items online from other countries, exchanging their high-value currency for a cheaper product. That currency goes into the market, converts into the native currency of the seller, and generates wealth in the form of profit for them.

The more transactions you’re able to attract by selling products or services, the more money you make. But the same goes for any other business. Whether it is a mom-and-pop store or Facebook, these businesses make money off transactions which then go towards stuff like paying employees’ salaries (also taken care of via a bank), buy property (here too banks are involved), and make other investments.

So, as you can see, banks are the hub of wealth or money distribution. They have been at the center of it for over a century.

Here are the top ten transnational companies that hold the most control over the global economy:

#1: JP Morgan Chase & C
#2: Bank of America
#3: FMR Corporation
#4: AXA
#5: State Street Corporation
#6: Capital One
#7: Legal & General Group plc
#8: Vanguard Group Inc.
#9: UBS AG
#10: Merrill Lynch & Co

As Head of Marketing at Ya-Hub Group, I can tell you this: “Follow the money and be focused on ways to earn it. Money is the key that will open all hidden doors on your way.”