Europe overtakes US as the world’s wealthiest region

LONDON (MarketWatch) — A year after the Lehman Bros. collapse and subsequent credit crisis comes new confirmation that America is falling behind.

A report by the Boston Consulting Group finds that the U.S. is no longer home to the greatest chunk of the world’s wealth. That honor now belongs to Europe. See related story.

Of course, it’s not like anybody is really getting ahead. Global wealth fell nearly 12% in the past year to $92.4 trillion. It’s just that America’s share is falling faster than Europe’s, where total wealth declined a mere 5.8%.

And it could just be a case of America having a higher “beta” than the rest of the world. In which case, even though wealth gets destroyed faster in the U.S., it also is created more quickly there.

One had better hope so, given that the effect on the U.S. tax base over the past year has been pretty devastating, especially at a time when the country’s need of big earners has never been greater.

Tom Bemis, assistant managing editor.
Sept. 15, 2009, 10:11 a.m. EDT

Source: MarketWatch

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