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The Scottish Capitalist Class get 58% Richer

This year’s Sunday Times UK rich list, which includes a total of 78 people from Scotland in its top 1,000, the most to feature in a decade. There are now six billionaires from north of the Border on the list, one more than in 2012. £21bn of wealth has been accrued by the top 100 millionaires.


Scotland’s rich are getting richer as the rest of Scots continues to struggle economically. The most affluent Scots saw their personal wealth soar by up to 58 per cent.

Highland Spring owner Mahdi al-Tajir is still Scotland’s richest man, and the 44th wealthiest in the UK, now boasting a fortune of £1,656 million up £56 million on 2012.

Banffshire distiller William Grant remain in second place on the list with family wealth totalling £1,400 million.

Sir Ian Wood’s, former chairman of Aberdeen-based Wood group, personal wealth now stands at £1,200m.

Ian Coxon, the rich list editor, said: “The 2013 rich list shows that business is booming in Scotland from Aberdeen to Ayr.”

Yup, capitalism is okay …

Facts of the Day

How many people know that out of 150 countries, the United States have the fourth-highest wealth disparity? Only Zimbabwe, Namibia and Switzerland are worse. 93% of financial wealth is owned by the richest 20% of Americans.

The richest 1% have doubled their share of America's income in 30 years. From 1980 to 2006, the richest 1% actually tripled their share of after-tax income.

Only 4% of those raised in the bottom fifth make it to the top fifth as adults. Only about 20 percent even make it to the top half. 80% of black children who started in or near the top half of U.S. income levels experienced downward mobility later in life.

According to UNICEF, among industrialized countries only Romania has a higher child poverty rate than the United States. Just in the last 10 years the number of impoverished American children increased by 30%. While 12 percent of white children live in poverty, 35% of Hispanic children and 39% of black children start their lives below the poverty line.

 F…

Britain's '101 Wealthiest Asians 2012'

LN Mittal and his family continue to head the list at £13.5 billion.

The Hindujas, whose activities span from transport to oil, have seen their fortune improve further with a wealth of £9.5 billion during the year, up by £ 500 million, are second in the list.

Anil Agarwal chairman of Vedanta Group is third in the list with a fortune of £3.2 billion

Lord Swraj Paul chairman of Caparo and Chancellor of Westminster and Wolverhampton Universities is 7th in the list with a wealth of £675 million, up by £75 million from 201

all at sea

How the other half live and more accurately how the 0.00002 per cent live. CRN Spa, builders of mega-yachts, estimates that there are just 1,500 people in the world wealthy enough to consider buying a boat from them. ( there is also, of course, the "ultra-mega yachts" of the type recently purchased by the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the world's biggest, featuring two helipads and a submersible escape submarine.)

"I know the names of all our clients," says the boatyard's chairman, "They're not famous people. You won't have heard of them." But, chances are, in one way or another, money that was once in your bank account is now in theirs'.

A few years ago an American client arrived and had signed a contract to buy a 43-metre yacht within two hours, with a price tag of €25m (£21.6m). He had never owned a boat before. "He told us: 'The interiors, the colours, the finishes, I don't care. The only thing I care about is the saf…

funemployment

The Guardian columnist describes what is called "funemployment"

Workshy, embracing unemployment as a lifestyle choice, sometimes one inherited from the parents, and spending money scrounged off others on booze and drugs. No, not the feckless "chav" caricatures who regularly feature in tabloid horror stories, used to justify further attacks on Britain's besieged welfare state. It's a new generation of young, wealthy freeloaders - the "funemployed".

It might seem perverse to associate fun with the trauma of unemployment. Around 2.5 million Britons are officially without work; youth unemployment is currently running at over 20%. But in a society where Jobseekers Allowance is just £67.50 – among the lowest of comparable western European nations – it's a right that only a small elite can meaningfully exercise. While most Britons are suffering the biggest squeeze on living standards for nearly a century, there is plenty of money around for the uber-…

shooting estates rise

The multimillion-pound Scottish sporting estate market has had an extremely successful year in an otherwise relatively static property market, according to an estate agent.

The average size of estate has increased from 3700 acres to 4467 acres and the average sale price has increased from £.2.6 million to £3.5 million. Offers have risen from an average of 2% over the asking price to 6% over the asking price.

Robert McCulloch, an associate in the Edinburgh office of estate agents Strutt & Parker who specialises in the sale of farms and estates, said:“In short, despite the pessimism which inevitably accompanies the present ‘age of austerity’, the Scottish sporting estate market is in good health and appears set to remain so.”

Okay for some , eh?

The Hong Kong Dream

Mr Li says he is growing increasingly uneasy about the widening gap between rich and poor in Hong Kong.
According to a recent Gini co-efficient - a measure that gauges the divide between rich and poor - the gap between the haves and have nots in Hong Kong is the widest in the world. Mr Li says the divide has the potential to hit Hong Kong's competitiveness and social stability.
"If achieving the Hong Kong dream becomes a vanishing hope, then our society will suffer. What would the Hong Kong dream be? It's no different from the American dream whereby an everyday man on the street who works hard, would be able to make good savings and use those savings as equity for their future small business,"he explains.

Mr Li is the younger son of Li ka-Shing, Asia's wealthiest man and started by building a media empire with a multi-million dollar investment from his father. His father indirectly bailed him out of a tangled financial transaction involving attempts to sell his sta…

Indian wealth

According to the BBC , UK developers are heading to India in search of wealthy new customers for their luxury flats. But why would anyone invest in London's wobbly property markets? Because the super-rich still have plenty of cash to spend.

One of the world's most expensive homes is currently being built in Mumbai for Reliance head Mukesh Ambani. His personal skyscraper will boast six storeys just for parking cars, and is expected to cost nearly $2 billion by the time it is complete.

Nick Candy, one half of the design and development firm Candy & Candy, is in Mumbai to drum up interest for his own super-luxury project, One Hyde Park. The central London project is offering apartments - to the right kind of customer - for an average of £20m. Mr Candy is a man used to dealing with the fabulously rich. But he says, "I'm flabbergasted by the amount of wealth in India. It's staggering."
Candy & Candy specialises in strictly top-end property. Its customer base…

The Gap Widens ( 4 )

And From the BBC
The rapidly rising incomes of the richest 10% of the population are the major factor contributing to growing inequality in Britain.
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), an independent think tank, the incomes of the top 10% have risen faster than those of the population as a whole since Labour came to power in 1997. And that increase has been particularly concentrated at the very top of the income distribution - among the half million individuals in the top 1% of the income scale.
Between the 1996-97 tax year and 2004-05, the income of the richest 1% grew at an annual rate of 3.1%, compared to 2.3% for the population as a whole, and the income of the top 0.1% grew by 4.4%. The stock market boom has boosted the income of the rich
The growth was particularly strong in the Labour's first term, where the income of the super-rich grew by 8% per year. The IFS suggests that the rising stock market between 2005 and 2007 may have further boosted the income of t…

The Super-Star Super-Rich

A report by the BBC on those super rich super-stars .

England captain Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup in 1966 he earned £100 a week. Today's England captain, John Terry, holds the same position, but reportedly earns over £130,000 a week. David Beckham earned over £11 million from endorsements alone last year.

Then there are humble cooks like Gordon Ramsay , wealth of nearly £70 million , James Oliver , almost £60 million .

Superstars are boosting the luxury goods market, with worldwide sales in the sector topping £75 billion last year. Its all Aston Martins and private jets .

Naturally , the apologists of this insane distribution of riches claim that there are the benefits of the "trickle-down effect " but other commentators are more observant .

"Although these are people who will clearly have significant interests here in the UK and invest here in the UK, they're also looking to place their money around the world," said Mr Charrington , head of Citi's U…

All at sea

"I want to create my own monument," the 60-year-old Italian entrepreneur says as he gazes across the sprawling ship building yard . Mr Vitelli has chosen a relatively modest yacht; a 103 feet long Azimut sports yacht, with a list price of 7 million euros ($10m or £5m). Modest, that is, compared with some of the other yachts sold by Azimut-Benetti Group. As one of the world's biggest players in the fast-growing market for hyper-luxurious motor-yachts, its multi-storey crafts can cost as much as $50m (£25m) and stretch from 24 metres to 85 metres in length.

Some of the world's wealthiest people will travel here to commission their own life monuments . In the year to September, the group built 800m-euros worth of yachts for the world's super-rich. And with an order book worth more than 1.5 billion euros, at a time when the global yacht market is growing steadily at some 10-15% per year.

In order to get the super-rich's attention, Azimut-Benetti's well-heele…

Yuppie Blues

They were the generation with"loadsa money" .
But now the former 1980s yuppies are struggling to live within their means in middle age.
Almost half of the Young Urban Professionals of 20 years ago are finding it tough financially,
"Despite the champagne lifestyle and optimism of the time, our research reveals that many former high flyers have ended up no better off than the average mid-life family. They are just as worried about meeting the monthly bills, the cost of bringing up their kids and how they will fund their old age." - said the communications director at Liverpool Victoria friendly society



It is expensive being rich

It seems, it is the rich who have it hard. Luxury goods are rising in price three times faster than their more mundane consumer counterparts.

Robby Hilkowitz, executive director of the Stonehage Group which helps the world's super-wealthy manage their incomes said ;-
"Global wealth is growing at an unprecedented rate and as it increases they want more luxury goods to meet their lifestyle needs. With status items, the more expensive they become the more desirable they become..."

There are some 800 US dollar billionaires in the world, a figure that rose by 15 per cent last year. They are among the class of ultra-high net worth individuals with a personal fortune in excess of £25m of net investable assets. The second tier covered by the survey, so-called high worth individuals with more than £5m to spare, grew by 20 per cent.

* School Fees (Up 6.8 per cent)
With a history dating back to the time of Pope Alexander III, Westminster offers one of the most desirable old school ties…

someone with too much to even care much

It emerged that a 39-year-old hedge-fund tycoon took three months to collect his £80,000 Maserati Cambiocorsa after it was towed away for not having a valid tax disc.

Despite repeated calls from the DVLA to reach him Mr Des Pallieres said that he was "too busy" setting up a new business to fetch his car. " ..I only ever use the car in the summer and this summer I have hardly been in London."

Mr Des Pallieres left Deutsche Bank with two colleagues in April to set up his own company, the SPQR hedge fund. Now worth £170 million, his fund manages investments in debt markets. Yesterday, he claimed that the stress and workload involved in setting up his own firm were to blame for his forgetfulness.

Uh-huh , and i wonder how many of us could let our £80,000 car slip our mind - if of course we had such a car , in the first place .

The trickle-down theory

The Crystal nightclub in London's West End made the news recently when one businessmen spent £105,000 in one night. The club's general manager says it is becoming more common for bills to reach these eye-watering figures. Many of Crystal's party-goers can be found in their suits and at their desks inside the glass skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. But is it actually good for London? "Yes,"says Howard Wheeldon, a city analyst with BGC Partners based in Canary Wharf, "there's a massive trickle-down effect."


In the shadow of Canary Wharf's towers, a charity called Toynbee Hall is holding an open day for under-privileged East End kids. The children here - often from Somali or Bengali families - are among the poorest in the country.

Toynbee Hall's director, believes there is not much evidence of the "trickle-down effect" for them. I ask him if the rich and poor in the area ever mix. He tells me to go and sit in the designer shopping mall under…

For those who have too much

Royal Bank of Scotland has awarded millions of potentially lucrative share options to top executives under a controversial new bonus plan a report in The Herald says .

Chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin, head of corporate markets Johnny Cameron, and Larry Fish, head of US subsidiary Citizens, are among the major beneficiaries. The scheme could see executives including Goodwin gain three times their basic salary - which in his case would amount to £3.6 million. Goodwin was granted options over nearly 700,000 shares. Cameron was granted options over 374,332 shares and Fish over 523,640 shares. Finance director Guy Whittaker and retail markets chief Gordon Pell also received big awards.

RBS announced to the stock market yesterday that it had granted options to 15 senior executives which will vest between 2010 and 2017 at an exercise price of 561p, a level which some might view as low by recent standards. RBS shares closed up 1.5p at 577p last night, but were until recently trading well above…

Keeping up with the Joneskys

A new conservatory ...some decking in the back garden ...perhaps an attic conversion to have an extra room for the kids ...well for some of us that will be a worth-while achievement , but for the capitalist class , its underground tennis courts and three story car parks .

The Times reports that with 15 bedrooms, vast entertaining suites and exquisite plasterwork, 15 Kensington Palace Gardens was one of the most expensive – and exclusive – houses ever to have changed hands in London when it was bought by Leonard Blavatnik, a Russian-born oil tycoon, for £41m in 2004. Yet all that opulence is clearly not enough for Blavatnik . According to plans submitted this summer to Kensington and Chelsea council, the tycoon, who has relocated to London, is seeking permission to excavate under the garden, to the front and rear of the sprawling pile, making space for a three-storey garage with car stacker, a swimming pool, a gym and a private home cinema.

Russian oligarchs, private-equity traders and h…

Fancy a drink ?

The businessman's night out with friends started quietly enough with a £25 bottle of wine. It ended a few hours later with a bar bill for £105,805.
In between, the businessman and his circle of friends, which had swelled by closing time, had polished off 80 bottles of champagne, including a six-litre methuselah of Cristal worth £30,000 and a £9,600, three-litre jeroboam . The bill for champagne alone came to more than £80,000. One bottle of vodka cost £1,400.

The celebration took place at Crystal in Marylebone, central London, a nightclub launched with the help of Prince William and Prince Harry's friend Jacobi Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe.
A favourite with the horsey set, its founding members include Lady Victoria Hervey and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.

Consumed: one methuselah of Cristal (£30,000); two jeroboams of Cristal (£9,600), 36 bottles of Cristal (£12,960); six magnums of Dom Perignon (£4,200); 12 bottles of Dom Perignon Rose (£4,200); 15 bottles of Dom Perignon 1999 (£3,600), t…

More on class divisions

The gap between rich and poor in the UK is as wide as it has been for forty years, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has said in a report. Full report here

Since 1970, area rates of poverty and wealth in Britain have changed significantly. Britain is moving back towards levels of inequality in wealth and poverty last seen more than 40 years ago. Over the last 15 years, more households have become poor, but fewer are very poor. Even though there was less extreme poverty, the overall number of 'breadline poor' households increased – households where people live below the standard poverty line. This number has consistently been above 17 per cent, peaking at 27 per cent in 2001 . Already-wealthy areas have tended to become disproportionately wealthier.

There is evidence of increasing polarisation, where rich and poor now live further apart. In areas of some cities over half of all households are now breadline poor. Both poor and wealthy households have become more and more geographica…

Stagecoach Returns

Brian Souter of Stagecoach pocketed another £100m recently following the company's decision to return cash to investors is on his way to making another £1m. Souter was yesterday granted deferred bonuses worth nearly £800,000 at last night's closing share price of 182.75p. Souter had been granted 141,526 deferred shares under the 2005 executive participation plan with a paper value of £260,000. He also got 294,129 "incentive units" under the firm's long-term incentive plan.

Another beneficiary of awards granted yesterday was Martin Griffiths, the finance director. He got 70,677 deferred shares under the EPP, notionally worth more than £129,000, plus a 199,170 LTIP units worth nearly £365,000. These awards also vest in 2010. Four other executives, including rail chief Ian Dobbs and Les Warneford, managing director of Stagecoach UK Bus, were granted deferred shares under the EPP plan. Dobbs got 42,710 and Warneford 39,501.