Economists say - and data is beginning to show - that the rich, as a group, are no longer getting richer, according to a recent article in The New York Times, and that could have a big impact on the megayacht sector of the boating industry.
During the last two years, the rich have become poorer. And many might not return to their old levels of wealth and income anytime soon.
Some of the clearest signs of the reversal of fortunes can be found in data on spending by the wealthy. An index that tracks the price of art, the Mei Moses index, has dropped 32 percent in the last six months.
In one ZIP code in Vail, Colo., only five homes sold for more than $2 million in the first half of this year, down from 34 in the first half of 2007, according to MDA Dataquick. In Bronxville, an affluent New York suburb, the decline was from 17 to two, according to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
"We had a period of roughly 50 years, from 1929 to 1979, when the income distribution tended to flatten," Neal Soss, the chief economist at Credit Suisse, told the newspaper. "Since the early '80s, incomes have tended to get less equal. And I think we've entered a phase now where society will move to a more equal distribution."