Suppose all of the world's wealthiest people got together and pooled their assets into one lump sum. How much money would that be?
According to the New York Post, a report released Wednesday, the combined wealth of the globe's richest individuals rose more than 11 percent to a grand total of $37.2 trillion last year.
...Thanks to a strong global economy, 9.5 million people held at least $1 million in financial assets — excluding the value of their primary homes — in 2006, up from 8.7 million in 2005, according to the 11th annual World Wealth Report compiled by Merrill Lynch & Co. and the consulting firm Capgemini Group.
...Those accumulated trillions give these individuals control of about a quarter of the world's total wealth, or nearly three times the United States' gross domestic product.
...If all ranks of the world's wealthiest decided to give away their combined assets, they could pay off the U.S. federal deficit, 250 times over. Or they could write a check for nearly $33,000 to every resident of India, though some investors there are faring well on their own.
Wealth among the world's rich is expected to hit $51.6 trillion by 2011, growing at an annual rate of 6.8 percent, the study stated.
INTERESTING: In the annual study's first breakdown of philanthropic giving, individuals worth $1 million or more donated an estimated total of $285 billion in 2006.
SADLY: This $285 billion dollars in donation only add to 0.007 of the total $37.2 trillion earned!