As Coronavirus Lockdowns Expand Billionaires Get Richer
As we head into a new round of more severe CCP coronavirus lockdowns in many (Democrat-run) states, the world’s richest billionaires and largest businesses continue to thrive. This while many small businesses shutter, unable to compete against government-mandated closures that often exempt big box stores. This continues the same pattern from the first round of lockdowns when billionaires such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison saw their fortunes nearly double.
At the beginning of the year, for instance, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was worth $115 billion. In August he became the first person in human history worth $200 billion. Obviously, Amazon has been front and center in the new normal in which healthy people are quarantined and most of our interactions with other humans are online and not in person. Home delivery has boomed, and online shopping has made Amazon indispensable for many Americans. Other billionaires, especially in the tech sector, saw similar jumps in personal net worth.
Fortune reported in April, less than a month after most of the lockdowns started:
The world’s richest person is getting richer, even in a pandemic, and perhaps because of it.
The pandemic has brought the global economy to a near standstill and pushed almost 17 million Americans onto the unemployment rolls in the span of three weeks. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. signaled Tuesday that loan losses fueled by the unprecedented job cuts—many of them in the retail sector that Amazon so efficiently disrupted—could rival those incurred after the 2008 financial crisis.
Yet Bezos and many of his wealthy peers in technology, private equity and elsewhere are doing just fine, helped by unprecedented stimulus efforts by governments and central bankers. While the combined net worth of the world’s 500 richest people has dropped $553 billion this year, it has surged 20% from its low on March 23, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
A report in May revealed that America’s billionaires, combined, got $434 billion richer between March and mid-May, the period when many governors responded to the CCP coronavirus pandemic by ordering all “non-essential” businesses to close. CNBC reported:
Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos and Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg had the biggest gains, with Bezos adding $34.6 billion to his wealth and Zuckerberg adding $25 billion, according to the report from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality. The report is based on Forbes data for America’s more than 600 billionaires between March 18, when most states were in lockdown, and May 19.
The billionaire gains highlight how the coronavirus pandemic has rewarded the largest and most tech-focused companies, even as the economy and labor force grapples with the worst economic crisis in recent history.
According to the report, the net worth of America’s billionaires grew 15% during the two-month period, to $3.382 trillion from $2.948 trillion. The biggest gains were at the top of the billionaire pyramid, with the richest five billionaires — Bezos, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, and Larry Ellison — seeing combined wealth gains of $76 billion.
As we head into a new round of severe lockdowns, and more small businesses shutter across the nation, America’s billionaires seem poised for even more spectacular growth in wealth. The Democrat politicians ordering these lockdowns once again prove they are more beholden to the ultra-wealthy, in direct contrast to the image they spin.
Author: Jeff Reynolds