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US billionaires see their fortunes grow by over $500 bln during pandemic

This is 19.15% higher than the figures before the pandemic
CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos
© REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

NEW YORK, June 5. /TASS/. Since March 18, the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, US billionaires have increased their wealth by a total of over $500 bln, according to the Institute for Policy Studies report. The study includes owners and founders of companies with activities directly related to online trading and services on the Internet, the demand for which has grown sharply amid the pandemic.

The report’s authors focus on the fact that the pandemic had an extremely negative impact on the wealth of ordinary Americans. Thus, they cite the data published by the Department of Labor, according to which the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits in the United States over the past 11 weeks exceeded 42 mln.

At the same time, the report indicated that the combined fortune of billionaires in the US has grown by $565 bln. According to the experts, this is 19.15% higher than the figures before the pandemic. To date, the total volume of funds held by American billionaires reaches $3.512 trillion. At the same time, experts highlighted a number of rich people who managed to increase their fortune by more than $10 bln in almost three months.

The list includes CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos - their fortune increased by $36.2 and $12.6 bln, respectively. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg added $30.1 bln to his wealth, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk - $14.1 bln, co-founders of Google Sergey Brin and Larry Page - by $13.9 and $13.7 bln, respectively. The founder of Microsoft Bill Gates increased his fortune by $11.8 bln, while the company’s former CEO Steve Ballmer - by $13.3 bln. Entrepreneur and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg made $12.1 bln, and one of the founders of Nike Phil Knight - $11.6 bln.