American billionaires, mostly tech billionaires, got $434 billion richer during the coronavirus pandemic
In a time when many Americans are out of jobs, U.S. billionaires saw their personal fortunes increase by a combined $434 billion during the nation’s lockdown between mid-March and mid-May, according to a report, which was first reported by CNBC.
According to the analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality, 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.
The two organizations examined and analyzed data based on Forbes data for America’s more than 600 billionaires from March 18 to May 19. Their findings further highlight how the coronavirus pandemic has rewarded the largest and most tech-focused billionaires at the expense of regular workers who are still struggling to make ends meet.
“Elon Musk had among the largest percentage gain of billionaires during the two months, seeing his net worth jump by 48% in the two months to $36 billion. Zuckerberg was close behind, seeing his wealth surge by 46% in the two months, to $80 billion. Bezos’ wealth increased by 31% to $147 billion. Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, who received Amazon shares in their divorce, also saw her wealth increase by a third, to $48 billion,” CNBC said.