Sasapost (Egypt): how pandemic made billionaires even richer

As evidenced by the statistics of the U.S. Department of labor, since mid-March of the lost one-sixth of the American worker, which is the largest on record for the country. And while people worldwide are out of work due to the effects of the pandemic coronavirus, there are billionaires whose status in the current environment has only increased.

According to a recent report, 34 billionaires among the richest people in America this year increased their capital by millions of dollars. From 1 January this year, amid the pandemic, as eight of the world’s billionaires increased by more than $ 1 billion. Many of them are owners of companies that are involved in combating the epidemic, or whose popularity has grown it is the time of General quarantine.

The most famous such person is Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, Eric yuan, founder of Zoom, and other members of the club of billionaires, whose General condition has increased by almost 10%, that is began to 282 billion dollars more compared with the beginning of March this year. The total capital of the club currently stands 3,229 trillion dollars.

As the pandemic has turned from a curse into a blessing for those lucky? How they managed to increase capital, despite the collapse of the markets?

The story of two pandemics: for billionaires and ordinary workers

As Charles Dickens in his novel “a Tale of two cities,” Chuck Collins, Director of the Program on inequality and social welfare in the Institute for policy studies and co-author of the new report, Billionaire Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes, and Pandemic Profiteers talks about “a story of two pandemics”. While some people are trying to survive, others seem to never suffer, on the contrary, become richer.

“While the wealth of some people increased by billions of dollars, others suffer. We are not all in the same boat, while the billionaires of the world are enjoying their yachts, most people are trying to stay afloat,” says Collins. In a report on the impact of the pandemic and the long-term trends in the wealth of American billionaires, it was discovered that between 1990 and 2020 their state has increased more than 200-fold, while the capital of Americans with average incomes only increased by 5.37 % over the same period.

Currently, the media focus on the negative economic consequences of a pandemic, including falling stocks, the production stops and the loss of some of the billionaires of his condition. However, according to the report of the Institute, many of the billionaires is absolutely not affected, and some of them increased his fortune compared to last year.

Thus, in the period from 1 January to 10 April this year, 34 of the 170 richest Americans increased their wealth in the tens of millions of dollars. Eight of them have accumulated more than a billion dollars. Who are these lucky people?

The unprecedented increase of the capital of the richest man in the world

For the third year in a row, the 56-year-old Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, tops the list of world’s billionaires, according to Forbes. In the midst of a pandemic, it retains the title of richest person, even after he paid ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos 36 billion dollars in the divorce process last summer.

Since January of this year as Jeff Bezos grew by $ 25 billion. From 21 February to present a further 12 billion, bringing his personal assets reached 145,1 billion dollars. According to the Bloomberg billionaires index, the founder of the company-the leader in online trading, was only in the ranking of the richest people in the world, not out of money in 2020.

This is the sort of strategy adopted Bezos in connection with the measures of social distancing in many countries. Last month, Amazon hired 100 thousand new employees working full-and part-time, to meet the growing demand from consumers making purchases on the Internet. This has led to a rise in price of shares of the company by 15% compared to last year. In addition, the company plans to create 75 thousand jobs, to satisfy customers and help long-term employees to meet the basic product requirements.

Although the initial stock market crash affected some of his assets, which led to a reduction in its state to $ 105 billion (on March 12), April 15 capital Bezos has increased again. This is an unprecedented success in modern financial history because his income exceeded the GDP of some countries, such as Honduras. The last GDP in 2018 amounted to 23.9 billion dollars.

Another $ 5 billion in a safe Deposit box, Elon musk

The impacts of the pandemic were also favorable for Elon musk, CEO of Tesla, founder of SpaceX and a member of the American club of billionaires of the world, whose fortune this year increased by $ 5 billion. According to a report in mid-March, its capital was reduced by 3.1 billion, but then increased again when the billionaire helped to cope with the shortage of critical medical equipment.

SpaceX started cooperating with the Medtronic Company for Medical Devices to help to increase the production of the ventilator. Meanwhile, the Tesla engineers also create ventilators from parts of electric vehicles.

Skype and Times brought Ballmer $ 2.2 billion

The popularity of apps for videoconference Skype and Microsoft Teams has increased dramatically in March. Since the American billionaire and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is still the key shareholder of the company, his fortune increased by $ 2.2 billion this year.

Status Mackenzie Bezos, ex-wife of the founder of Amazon, has increased by $ 3.5 billion this year. The woman is one of the 25 richest billionaires and is listed in the top five richest women in the world after the result of the divorce process received a 25% share of her ex-husband in Amazon.

Among other beneficiaries in 2020 are John albert Sobrato, President Sobrato, which is estimated to be earned 2.07 billion dollars; Joshua Harris, co-founder and first managing Director of Apollo Global Management, whose profit was 1.72 billion; Rocco Commisso, founder and CEO of Mediacom Communications, has scored 1.09 billion dollars.

Chinese billionaires got their share of the pie

Of course, Americans are not the only one who benefited in conditions of a pandemic: in China, the first outbreak of the epidemic, nine billionaires was among the 100 richest people in the world. In the period between January 31 and March 31, their status was increased on a permanent basis.

Eric yuan, founder and CEO of platform for video Zoom, became the main beneficiary in the last two months: his condition has increased by 77%, equivalent to $ 2.5 billion 8.7 billion. This leap was the result of the growing popularity of Zoom application among users for conducting online conferences, meetings and lectures during the crisis. According to the report, the number of users of the application since the beginning of this year to now exceeding the figure for the whole of last year.

And it’s not just about the Yuan. Also increased the capital of the President of Mindray, specializing in the production of medical equipment, the demand for which is still growing.

On the other hand, Muyuan Foods, Chinese giant, controlled Qin Yinglin and his wife earned a fortune when in China, an outbreak of African swine fever. With the reduction in the rate of production prices rose sharply, and the stock has risen almost threefold. As a result, Qin Yinglin has risen to 43rd place in the list of the richest people in the world and became a rich pork producer in the world.

The dilemma of inequality

“Charity is not an alternative of a fair tax system, and adequately funded social protection system”.

For Collins reviewed by us is a glaring example of the separation during the pandemic shows that in the United States is deeply rooted inequalities in the distribution of wealth. He said: “the Pandemic has just begun, and already we are faced with the polarization of society. Unfortunately, it’s not like we want to get out of it if we’re not more divided”.

Another key conclusion of the report is that after the financial crisis of 2008 class of billionaires took less than 30 months to return his wealth to the level prior to the collapse, and this wealth was soon exceeded the levels prior to 2008. On the other hand, the middle class of America has still not returned to 2007 levels.

The percentage of billionaires in America has increased over the last four decades. In the period from 2006 to 2018, almost 7% real growth for the General welfare of the United States had 400 richest families of the country, while millions of ordinary Americans struggling to pay the rent, food and to survive the crisis.

Moreover, the tax obligations of American billionaires, measured in percentage of their state decreased by 79% between 1980 and 2018. Therefore, when the pandemic has affected the financial market, those who are on the top of the pyramid, was in the best position and has the greatest chance to benefit from chaos than ever, though some of them decided to contribute to the fight against coronavirus, Collins commented on the charitable activities of the rich during a pandemic: “the Billionaires are not only engaged in charity. They decades used their political influence to reduce their tax liabilities, to impose the costs on ordinary citizens”.