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IMF head Christine Lagarde: "Inequality is rising"

"If you take the 85 wealthiest people in the world -- they can all fit in a double-decker bus -- well, they have more amongst themselves than half of the population of the world -- the poorest have, of course, but that is 3.5 billion people."
By Aileen Graef   |   May 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, May 27 (UPI) --IMF managing director Christine Lagarde warned that inequality is rising during a conference about the future of capitalism in London.

"Inequality is rising. To the extent that inequality is not particularly supportive of sustainable growth, it's an issue and one that we have to look at carefully and try to address in order to maintain stability and sustainability of economies," she told the BBC.

Lagarde said in addition to the growing problem of inequality, banking reforms enacted to prevent another financial crisis have not made enough progress. "The industry still prizes short-term profit over long-term prudence," she said.

She partially attributes the spike in inequality to the crisis.

"If you take the 85 wealthiest people in the world -- they can all fit in a double-decker bus -- well, they have more amongst themselves than half of the population of the world -- the poorest have, of course, but that is 3.5 billion people," said Lagarde. "Now what is causing rising inequality, you know, is a fultitude of factors: one is certainly technology. The second one is probably accelerated this rise of inequality has been the crisis."

Lagarde said leaders and investors around the world need to gain social consciousness around the world to recover from the crisis.

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