Tuesday 18 August 2020

Every cloud has a silver lining

Apparently the Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the wealth of the top 12 billionaires in the US by 40% to a total of more than US$1 trillion. As might be expected, this is mostly due to them having large stakes in online services and retail channels that have received a major boost during the pandemic. The 'top 12' list is:

1. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos $189.4 B USD

2. Microsoft founder Bill Gates $114 B USD

3. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg $95.5 B USD

4. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett $80 B USD

5. Tesla founder Elon Musk $73 B USD

6. Former microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer $71 B USD

7. Businessman and investor Larry Ellison $70.9 B  USD

8. Google co-founder Larry Page $67.4 B USD

9. Google co-founder Sergey Brin $65.6 B USD

10. Walmart heiress Alice Walton $62.5 B USD

11. Walmart heir Jim Walton $62.3 B USD

12. Walmart heir Rob Walton $62 B USD

Unfortunately this vast boost to wealth at the top end has occurred while thousands of people are dying and millions of people losing their jobs due to Covid-19.

Of course Covid-19 hasn't helped all the rich get richer - those with fortunes tied up in airlines, travel agents, hotels, and restaurant chains have probably taken a huge hit due to the pandemic.

And even if you are 'working class' the impact of the pandemic on your finances has depended on who you work for - I've been lucky in that my job seems reasonably secure, I haven't had a pay cut or a reduction in hours, and I've actually enjoyed the transition to working from home for the past several months.

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