More than 42 million people in the US have filed for unemployment since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. Data shows that, over those same 11 weeks, the nation’s billionaire wealth has risen by more than half a trillion dollars.
According to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), the fortunes of US billionaires soared by $565 billion between March 18 and June 4, growing almost 20 percent.
As of June 4, the total wealth of billionaires in the US was $3.512 trillion, the report said, noting that there are also 16 more billionaires than two months ago.
The top four moguls – Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla and SpaceX’s Elon Musk, and Google co-founder Sergey Brin – saw their wealth grow by a total $94.3 billion. The list also includes, among others, Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos (up by $12.6 billion) and founder of Microsoft Bill Gates (up by $11.8 billion).
Some billionaires have lost wealth since the beginning of the year, according to the research, especially those in the oil and gas sector. Warren Buffett is down over $14 billion since the start of 2020.
“A large segment of the US billionaire class is beating the market. And we stand by our analysis that it is newsworthy and meaningful that billionaire wealth is accelerating while others are experiencing job losses, declining savings, debilitating illness, and death,” said IPS.
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