$450bn payday: How did the rich get richer over the Covid-19 pandemic?
The Covid-19 pandemic may have taken a toll on the economy, but for the richest 10 people in the world – they got one heck of a payday. The ten collectively boosted their wealth by more than $450bn since the pandemic began as their businesses profited off forced lockdowns and financial crises across the globe.
According to Forbes, the 10 men approximately made $450bn over nine months.
A related report from the campaign group Americans for Tax Fairness estimates the collective wealth of the US’s 651 billionaires has risen by $1.1tn over the period.
Frank Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness said:
“Their pandemic profits are so immense that America’s billionaires could pay for a major Covid relief bill and still not lose a dime of their pre-virus riches. Their wealth growth is so great that they alone could provide a $3,000 stimulus payment to every man, woman and child in the country, and still be richer than they were nine months ago.”
The 10 richest people in the world
Jeff Bezos (Amazon) started the year off as the wealthiest man alive and over the pandemic he’s topped up his finances. His wealth shot up by $70bn since March to a record $185bn as millions of people stuck at home turned to the online delivery giant to keep themselves entertained.
Elon musk richest man in the world? Elon Musk (Tesla) had a rapid rise to the world’s second wealthiest person alive. His fortune soared to $135bn, up from $25bn in March, as investors bet the pandemic would lead governments to speed up the switch from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. In January, Musk was the 35th richest person and now sits as the 2nd. It may not be long before Elon musk is the richest man in the world.
Europe’s richest man, Bernard Arnault (luxury brand LVMH) saw his finances double since the beginning of the pandemic as the demand for luxury brands in his LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton stable bounced back. He saw his wealth increase from $69bn in March to $148bn, now the third-richest person on the planet.
Bill Gates (Microsoft and philanthropist) has an estimated $120bn fortune. Gates’s wealth has increased by about $20bn since March. Over the same period, he has committed billions to the development of coronavirus vaccines and healthcare projects related to the Covid-19 pandemic. He is the fourth-richest person.
Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) saw his wealth increase by about 80%. He is now the fifth-richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $100bn.
The other billionaires who have benefitted from the pandemic are investor Warren Buffett, whose fortune increased by 26% to $85bn, and Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, whose wealth swelled by 50% to $88bn. Google’s Larry Page increased his wealth by half to $76bn, his co-founder, Sergey Brin, saw a similar increase to $74bn, and Amancio Ortega, the founder of Inditex, saw his fortune rise 47% to $75bn.
Ana Arendar, the head of Oxfam’s inequality campaign, said the fact that the richest of the rich have made so much money during the coronavirus pandemic “proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the global economic system is not fit for purpose”.
“Allowing the wealth of a tiny few to explode while hundreds of millions suffer is nothing short of a dereliction of duty,” she said of global governments’ inaction on widening inequality.
“Extreme poverty is rising for the first time in a decade and hundreds of millions of people face dire hardship; in many cases failing into debt, skipping meals and being forced into destitution,” Arendar said. “Governments need to stop pandering to the richest. A wealth tax would barely make a difference to the fortunes of the richest but could provide a lifeline for those hit hardest by the pandemic.”
richest man in the world ever
Mansa Musa I of Mali
At an estimated value of $400 billion, Mansa Musa I of Mali is the richest person who ever lived. Born in 1280, Mansa Musa was the ruler of the Malian empire, and acquired the most part of his wealth from the production and trade of salt and gold; more than half of the world’s supply at the time.
how the rich get richer documentary
How the rich get richer- DW Documentary – Watch here.
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