RUSSIA -- October 9, 2013 at 5:10 PM ET
35 percent of Russian wealth belongs to 110 of its citizens
110 Russians own 35 percent of the country's wealth, creating one of the largest income inequality gaps in the world, according to a new report by a major investment bank.
Credit Suisse, who published the report, wrote that Russian leadership crushed hopes of having a high income economy with social protections after the fall of the Soviet Union:
At the time of transition there were hopes that Russia would convert to a high skilled, high income economy with strong social protection programs inherited from Soviet Union days. This is almost a parody of what happened in practice. Efforts were made at the outset to distribute state assets equitably: most of the housing stock was given away to residents and shares in Gazprom were allocated to Russian citizens. But other choice assets in resource-rich companies went to the chosen few, and subsequent developments in a nation notorious for weak institutions have reinforced the importance of political connections rather than entrepreneurial talent.
Worldwide, there is one billionaire for every $170 billion in household wealth. The report says Russia has one billionaire for every $11 billion in wealth.