Infotech Did French billionaires triple their fortunes under Macron, as Ruffin says?

Did French billionaires triple their fortunes under Macron, as Ruffin says?

For the past two days, the rebellious French deputy François Ruffin has found a new mantra that he repeats over and over on all the media: “In five years of Macron, French billionaires have seen their wealth tripled. » He said it in an interview with “Le Monde” this Wednesday, June 22, repeated it the same evening on France 5 in It’s up to you »and this Thursday morning on BFMTV:

“The first five fortunes have tripled under [Emmanuel] Macron. »

And the re-elected MP to tell his campaign: “I would ask people, ‘Your salaries have tripled? Have your pensions tripled? Your APLs [aides au logement] have tripled?” People laughed, or protested: “Well no, no…” And I explained: “Because great fortunes have tripled under Macron. So they mustn’t stuff themselves upstairs while we’re being rationed downstairs”. »

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Who are really the “rich” of France?

The number is surprising. It has been said, and repeated in recent months: the rich are richer than before. The Covid, and the economic deadlock, have paradoxically contributed to strengthening the stock markets: this is also where a good part of the billions poured out by all Western states to save companies and employees ended up, this is also where was placed the “additional” savings generated by the confinements and the impossibility of traveling or going to the restaurant… But from there to a multiplication by three? Well yes, or almost. “The Obs” has plunged back into the ranking of the greatest fortunes in the world, established each year by the magazine “Forbes”. In 2017, among the 1,000 first fortunes in the world, there were 23 French people. They are now 27. Not exactly the same – for example, Liliane Bettencourt died, leaving her place to her daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.

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Among all these French people, the total wealth has increased from 221 billion dollars in 2017 to 519.80 billion today – a multiplication by 2.35. It’s even more obvious when we look at the top 5 French billionaires: their combined fortunes have gone from 125.80 billion dollars in 2017 to 345.80 billion now – a multiplication by 2.75.

The 5 greatest French fortunes of the ranking of the magazine “Forbes”

Admittedly, François Ruffin is forcing the line a bit, and forgets to specify that the top 5 has evolved in five years (Rodolphe Saadé, boss of the carrier CMA, won, while Patrick Drahi, owner of SFR, got out… ), but the order of magnitude is this.

“A considerable bonus for the very rich”

Of course, these fortunes are “theoretical”, since they are correlated to the market value of the companies of these billionaires. Nevertheless, more than the gross amount, it is worth noting this spectacular development. Just like the weight in the French economy. In its latest ranking of the top 500 fortunes in France, “Challenges” also noted that global wealth is at its highest, at 1,000 billion euros, up 30% in just one year! In the magazine, economist Gabriel Zucman noted:

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“In 1980, in the United States and in continental Europe, the share of the richest 1% in the national income was the same: about 10%. Since then, it has doubled across the Atlantic and increased to around 12% in Europe. France followed this trend, but with a remarkable prosperity of its billionaires. In the United States, the first 400 fortunes represent 19% of GDP. In France, it is 20%. »

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Similarly, a report by the Swiss bank UBS and the firm PWC notes that between 2009 and 2020, the fortune of French billionaires rose from 82.2 billion dollars to 442.9 billion, an increase of + 439% – much more than that of German (+ 175%) or English (+ 168%) billionaires.

François Ruffin takes the opportunity to denounce the policies of Emmanuel Macron during his first five-year term, which notably benefited from the end of the wealth tax (ISF) and the “flat tax” policy which caused the payment to jump. of dividends. The recent report on the rich by the Observatory of Inequalities thus underlined that, on average, the 10% of the best paid French people earned an additional 2,200 euros each year between 2014 and 2019, twice as much as the middle classes in the same time. “The higher your income, the more the policies carried out between 2017 and 2022 have increased it, with a considerable bonus for the very rich”criticizes the report.

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