Want to save this page for later?

NextGen Magazine


Report: America's Billionaires Doing Quite Well in COVID-19 Pandemic

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 22, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic has dissolved huge chunks of the American economy, billionaires are doing well, as a recent report has found that they collectively increased their wealth by a further $434 billion between mid-March and mid-May, said CNBC. The report, from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality, used Forbes data for America’s more than 600 billionaires between March 18, when most states were in lockdown, and May 19. The overall net worth of these billionaires grew by 15 percent, expanding to $3.382 trillion from $2.948 trillion. The biggest gains went to tech billionaires Jeff Bezos ($34.6 billion) and Mark Zuckerberg ($25 billion), likely due to the meteoric rise of their firms' stock values since the pandemic. CNBC noted that the snapshot period that the study used obscures how some billionaires, such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, had been steadily losing money before the pandemic began, but even when the study looked at the entire year, Bezos still gained $35.5 billion and Zuckerberg gained $9 billion.

At least two billionaires lost money during this time, however. One, Ralph Lauren, lost $100 million, while hotel magnate John Pritzker lost $34 million.