- US billionaires increased their collective wealth by $282 billion in just 23 days during the initial weeks of the coronavirus lockdown, a report from the Institute for Policy Studies claims.
- The Billionaire Bonanza report says that between March 18 and April 10 2020, billionaire wealth in the US increased 9.5%. During that same period, the report noted, 22 million Americans filed for unemployment.
- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, has increased his wealth by $25 billion since the beginning of the year, the report estimates.
- Eight billionaires in the US have seen their net worth surge by over $1 billion this year, the report said.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The US’ richest people continue to get richer even as the coronavirus pushes millions of American workers into unemployment and a deep recession looms large over the economy, according to a report
In the first three months of 2020, even as panic gripped markets, 34 of the US’ wealthiest 170 billionaires saw their fortunes surge by millions of dollars, according to a Billionaires Bonanza 2020 report published by the Institute for Policy Studies last week. Eight even saw their wealth increase by more than $1 billion, the report said.
Research by Forbes year showed that US billionaires’ wealth declined from $3.1 trillion to $2.9 trillion in 2020 as of March 18, but the new Billionaires Bonanza report which looks at billionaires wealth from the start of January until April 10, shows that billionaires have cashed in so far this year.
In the 23 days between March 18 and April 10, the report states, billionaire wealth in the US increased $282 billion, or 9.5%. Over the same period, 22 million Americans filed for unemployment, it noted.
Billionaires saw their net worths increase in those weeks as stock markets rallied sharply, rewarding those with large stock market investments.
Amazon founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, who is also the world’s richest man, saw his wealth rise the most according to the Billionaires Bonanza 2020 report, increasing his net worth by $25 billion since the start of the year.
Read more: A fund manager who’s beating the market by betting on tiny companies says the coronavirus ‘turbocharged’ the trends driving his portfolio. He told us what they are and the 3 stocks he’s most bullish on.
The report said: “No one has benefited as much as Jeff Bezos, whose wealth surge is unprecedented in the history of modern markets. As of the publication of this report, Bezos’ wealth has increased over $25 billion since January 1, 2020 and $12 billion since February 21, 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Of the billionaires who saw their wealth increase in the first three months of 2020, eight saw that wealth increse by more than $1 billion. You can see them below:
- Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon has seen his wealth rise by $25 billion as of April 15, 2020.
- Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla and founder of SpaceX: up $5 billion.
- MacKenzie Bezos, philanthropist, and the ex-wife of Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos: up $8.6 billion
- Eric Yuan, chief executive and founder of Zoom: up $2.58 billion
- Steve Ballmer, owner of Los Angeles Clippers: up $2.2 billion
- John Albert Sobrato, real estate developer and founder of Cupertino: up $2.07 billion
- Joshua Harris, Apollo Global Management cofounder and American private equity investor: up $1.72 billion
- Rocco Commisso, Mediacom Communications founder and chief executive: up $1.09 billion
The report also says taxes paid by billionaires have fallen by 79% between 1980 and 2018.
“As we emerge from the pandemic with trillions in additional national debt, substantial tax increases will be inevitable. Our super-rich must bear their fair share of these increases,” the report said.