Billionaire Pandemic Profiteers

This year’s Forbes report examines billionaire wealth as of March 18, 2020. By April 10, their wealth had surged to $3.229 trillion, surpassing the 2019 level.

No one has benefited as much as Jeff Bezos, whose wealth surge is unprecedented in the history of modern markets. As of the publication of this report, Bezos’ wealth has increased over $25 billion since January 1, 2020 and $12 billion since February 21st, 2020, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Billionaire wealth, as these numbers show, tends to rebound from market meltdowns. Within 30 months of the September 2008 crash, most billionaire fortunes had recovered. And between 2010 and 2020, the combined wealth of the U.S. billionaire class surged by a staggering 80.6 percent.

Since January 1, 34 of the wealthiest 170 U.S. billionaires have seen their total net worth increase by tens of millions of dollars, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. These include eight billionaires who, as of April 10, have seen wealth gains of over $1 billion.

Bezos’ space company Blue Origin, the world is not enough

  1. Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO: up $10 billion ($25 billion as of April 15, 2020)
  2. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder and CEO: up $5 billion
  3. MacKenzie Bezos, novelist and philanthropist: up $3.5 billion (and up $8.6 billion as of April 15, 2020)
  4. Eric Yuan, Zoom founder and CEO: up $2.58 billion
  5. Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles Clippers owner and former Microsoft CEO: up $2.2 billion
  6. John Albert Sobrato, Silicon Valley real estate mogul: up $2.07 billion
  7. Joshua Harris, Apollo Global Management cofounder and owner of multiple professional sports teams: up $1.72 billion
  8. Rocco Commisso, Mediacom Communications founder and CEO and owner of two professional soccer teams: up $1.09 billion