There’s good news in the National Business Review’s 2010 Rich List.
It’s behind the pay-wall or in the print edition so I’ll restrict the copy and paste to the opening paragraphs:
It may surprise some people that, despite perceptions to the contrary, wealth is no easy come, easy go phenomenon. Of course, there are exceptions, such as those who have heavily borrowed to create property empires.
You will find a few have dropped off this year’s Rich List but others have joined. The country is not littered with abandoned mansions, repossessed yachts and collapsed businesses.
Private philanthropy – helped by permissive tax advantages – has largely continued.
If you think being equally poor is better than being unequally rich you won’t be cheered by that. But if you realise that you don’t help the poor by hurting the rich this is encouraging.
It means most of our wealth generators have got through the recession relatively unscathed which is good for them and gives a glimmer of hope for the wider economy.
Another positive sign is the growth of wealth earned from intellectual property and ideas. Those are both assets which generally aren’t disadvantaged by our geographic isolation.
The hard work most of the rich listers undertook to earn, and retain, their wealth isn’t detailed but there is information on their philanthropic activities which reflects well on their generosity.
The list doesn’t purport to be exhaustive but even so I’m always surprised by how few farmers appear on it.
That could be because farming wealth may be in the hands of individuals, families, trusts or private companies and therefore harder to calculate.
It could also mean, that in spite of fears that corporate farming is taking over the country, the family farm is still alive and well – if not making enough to earn its owners a place on the rich list.