Table of Contents

Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich

Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich

Edited by Iain Hay and Jonathan V. Beaverstock

Fewer than 100 people own and control more wealth than 50 per cent of the world’s population. The Handbook on Wealth and the Super-Rich is a unique examination of both the lives and lifestyles of the super-rich, as well as the processes that underpin super-wealth generation and its unequal distribution. Drawing on a multiplicity of international examples, leading experts from across the social sciences offer a landmark multidisciplinary contribution to emerging analyses of the global super-rich and their astonishing wealth. The book’s 22 accessible and coherently organised chapters cover a range of captivating topics from biographies of illicit super-wealth, to tax footprint reduction, to the environmental consequences of super-rich lives and their conspicuous consumption.

Chapter 10: Biographies of illicit super-wealth

Tim Hall

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, geography, economic geography, human geography, urban and regional studies, regional economics, regional studies


As well as holding great material wealth, the super-rich have immense normative power across a range of cultural discourses. They shape desires and resultant spending patterns across a wide economic and cultural spectrum (Frank, 1999). This chapter is concerned, in part, with the normative power of super-wealth, and its consequences, and explores it through the lens of that subset of the super-wealthy whose money has been derived from illicit economic activities. Illicit economic activities here refer to either those activities that are located within illegal markets, for example, illegal narcotics markets, or activities that are illegal but take place within legal markets, such as financial fraud. In addition we might also recognize and include the actions of corrupt public officials. This chapter aims to say something about the illicitly super-wealthy, of whom the super-rich literature has said very little to date, and also about the normative power that comes with wealth, again, something that the salient literatures have only explored in a limited sense thus far. It aims, therefore, to add a little range and nuance to the multidisciplinary literatures of the super-rich. Implicit in this chapter are a number of questions regarding the literature of the super-rich.

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