Billionaires are making billions more during a pandemic that has left tens of millions out of work.
“While most Americans are facing financial setbacks amid a pandemic that’s wreaking havoc on the economy, the wealthiest are faring much better.
U.S. billionaires are not only holding on to their wealth in the early days of this crisis, some are making rapid and substantial gains, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based research center focused on inequality. IPS analyzed data from business publications Bloomberg and Forbes.
In just one month of the pandemic, overall U.S. billionaire wealth grew by nearly 10 percent, raising the combined net worth of the super rich to $3.2 trillion.
Since the start of 2020, eight billionaires have seen their net worth surge by more than $1 billion. Almost three dozen others have grown their wealth by tens of millions of dollars.
Jeff Bezos, who was already the world’s richest man before the pandemic, is now at least $25 billion richer.
Billionaires with a stake in industries seeing a pandemic boom are predictably bringing in the biggest payouts.
With Americans doing more online shopping as they shelter at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ wealth has surged at a rate unprecedented in modern financial history. Bezos, who was already the world’s richest man before the pandemic, is now at least $25 billion richer.
A surge in video conference calls has meant a $2.5 billion boost for Zoom founder Eric Yuan and a $2.2 billion bump for former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.”
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