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Data: Credit Suisse; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Pandemic era policies intended to backstop the economy have helped make the rich much, much richer.

Why it matters: Critics of central banks often argue this is an unacceptable side effect of emergency monetary policy.

By the numbers: At the end of 2020, there were 215,030 adults in the world who were classified as ultra-high net worth — those with more than $50,000,000 in net assets — according to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report released Tuesday.

  • This is up by 41,410 individuals, or 23.9%, from a year ago, the highest rate of increase since 2003.
  • There were 56.1 million millionaires, up 5.2 million or 10.2% from a year ago.

On the flip side: About 2.9 billion adults had a net worth of less than $10,000 as of the end of 2020.

  • The bottom 50% of adults accounted for less than 1% of total global wealth.

What they’re saying: "The lowering of interest rates by central banks has probably had the greatest impact," Credit Suisse analysts said.

  • "It is a major reason why share prices and house prices have flourished, and these translate directly into our valuations of household wealth."

The other side: Policymakers didn’t have many options as they faced a pandemic that forced businesses everywhere to immediately shut down, putting millions out of work.

Go deeper

Harris touts expanded child tax credit in trip to Pittsburgh

Vice President Harris speaks with the media before boarding Air Force Two on June 18. Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images.

Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday encouraged families to take advantage of the new child tax credit, arguing it's key cutting childhood poverty, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The expanded tax credit, which was passed as part of the American Rescue plan, has the potential to decrease the number of impoverished children by 40%, the Post notes.

Heat dome sends temperatures soaring from Oregon to Louisiana

Forecast maximum temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (WeatherBell)

The Pacific Northwest is once again in the midst of a heat wave after already seeing its worst such event on record this summer. Temperatures are soaring into the low 100s in some areas, while dangerous heat is also affecting the South Central states and Gulf Coast.

Why it matters: The occurrence of yet another heat wave during a drought in the West is ratcheting up wildfire risks. The heat itself is a major public health risk, since extreme heat is typically the biggest annual weather-related cause of mortality in the U.S.

Biden calls on Congress to extend eviction moratorium as deadline looms

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden called on Congress on Thursday to extend the CDC's national eviction moratorium due to the threat of the Delta variant, after the Supreme Court ruled that the administration couldn't extend it past July 31 without specific legislation.

Why it matters: Millions of tenants across the country face the threat of eviction in the coming days. The moratorium was first implemented in September 2020 and extended several times to prevent a wave of evictions caused by pandemic-related economic decline.