Tags: El-Erian | Billionaire | bloomberg

Pimco's El-Erian: Billionaire Index Shows Competing Social Forces

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:06 AM

Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian says Bloomberg’s new index of billionaires illustrates competing social forces.

"The launch of the Billionaires Index could be yet another illustration that certain segments of society remain tone deaf when it comes to social realities," El-Erian writes in the Huffington Post.

"Indeed, some could view it as a sign of how information disseminators and opinion leaders are overly interested in metrics that say little about the underlying health and well-being of society."

"This is clearly a risk. Fortunately there are countervailing forces."

El-Erian notes that a growing number of politically and financially influential people are recognizing that, in today's highly interconnected world that is trying to overcome anemic growth and an unemployment crisis, the well-being of the rich cannot (and should not) be viewed in isolation.

“To use one of my favorite real estate analogies, it is hard to be a great house in a weakening neighborhood—which leads to the upside of the new data releases,” he says.

This is where the potential upside comes in, says El-Erian, because Bloomberg's daily identification of the top billionaires could reinforce a trend where these individuals allocate a growing portion of their wealth in a manner that helps society as a whole.

“In this way, the appeal of the index would prove to be less about what has happened and more about the responsibility that the rich share to help the least and less fortunate members of our global society,” El-Erian says.

Bloomberg reports that its Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world’s 20 richest people.

“In calculating net worth, we strive to provide the most transparent estimates available,” a Bloomberg article said. “Each Bloomberg Billionaire profile contains a detailed analysis of how that person’s fortune has been tallied.”

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Wednesday, 07 March 2012 08:06 AM
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