NAIROBI, KENYA: For the first time in US history, the top twelve billionaires surpassed a combined wealth of Sh108 trillion, according to the Institute of Policy Survey. (IPS).
On August 13, the 12 had a combined over Sh100 trillion.
The twelve are Jeff Bezos (Sh20.4 trillion), Bill Gates (Sh12.3 trillion), Mark Zuckerberg (Sh10.3 trillion), Warren Buffett (Sh8.6 trillion), Elon Musk (Sh7.9 trillion), Steve Ballmer (Sh7.6 trillion), Larry Ellison (Sh7.7 trillion), Larry Page (Sh7.2 trillion), Sergey Brin (Sh7.1 trillion), Alice Walton (Sh6.7 trillion), Jim Walton (Sh6.7 trillion) and Rob Walton (Sh6.7 trillion).
Since March 18, the beginning of the pandemic, the dozen have seen their combined wealth increase Sh74 trillion, an increase of almost 40 per cent.
- 1 US says Google breakup may be needed to end violations of antitrust law
- 2 Instagram agrees curbs on paid influencers
- 3 EU planning tougher regulation for 'hit list' of big tech firms
- 4 How big tech companies gain and maintain dominance
Elon Musk has been the biggest pandemic profiteer, seeing his wealth triple from Sh74 trillion on March 18 to Sh7.9 trillion on August 13, an increase of 197 per cent.
Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos was worth Sh20.5 trillion on August 13, up Sh 8.2 trillion or 68 per cent since March 18.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was worth Sh10.3 trillion on August 13, up Sh4.4 trillion or 75 per cent since March 18.
During the first stage of the pandemic, between January 1st and March 18, the collective wealth of the Dozen declined by Sh4.4 trillion. But their wealth quickly rebounded and surpassed their March 2019 Forbes Global Billionaire wealth level. The only exception is Warren Buffett, who is still $2 billion below his March 2019 wealth but is currently worth Sh8.6 trillion.
March 18th, 2020 marked the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown and historic filings for unemployment and also the intervention of the Federal Reserve with monetary actions to stabilize markets.
A number of the rich are members of the Giving Pledge, a group of billionaires who promised to give away at least half their wealth before their death. But as an Inequality Brief “Giving Pledge at 10,” by the Institute for Policy Studies reveals, ten years after beginning the Pledge, their combined wealth has doubled. Among the dozen, five of the top seven billionaires — Gates, Buffett, Zuckerberg, Ellison, and Musk — have taken the Giving Pledge.