[News] Who are the 10 Biggest Pandemic Profiteers?
news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 25 11:45:25 EDT 2021
Who are the 10 Biggest Pandemic Profiteers?
by Chuck Collins <https://www.counterpunch.org/author/t2equdrukeya/> -
March 25, 2021
One year ago, the Institute for Policy Studies published “Billionaire
Bonanza 2020: Wealth Windfalls, Tumbling Taxes and Pandemic
Profiteers,” � <https://ips-dc.org/billionaire-bonanza-2020/>and began
tracking billionaire wealth gains as unemployment surged. We teamed up
with Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) to track the wealth growth of
America’s billionaires over the last year. This report summarizes
the extraordinary growth in wealth of those now 657 billionaires based
on real-time data from Forbes on March 18, 2021.
Here are highlights from the last 12 months of billionaire wealth growth:
+ The combined wealth of the nation’s 657 billionaires increased
more than $1.3 trillion, or 44.6 percent, since the pandemic
lockdowns began. *[See Master Table
Over those same 12 months, more than 29 million
<https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/> Americans contracted the virus and
more than 535,000 died from it. As billionaire wealth soared over,
almost 80_million lost work_
<https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/claims.asp> between March 21, 2020,
and Feb. 20, 2021, and _18 million were collecting unemployment_
<https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf> on Feb. 27, 2021
+ There are 43 newly minted billionaires since the beginning of the
pandemic, when there were 614
A number of new billionaires joined the list after initial public
offerings (IPOs) of stock in companies such as Airbnb, DoorDash, and
+ The increase in the combined wealth of the 15 billionaires with
the *greatest growth in absolute wealth* was $563 billion or 82
percent. *[See table 1]* The wealth growth of just these 15
represents over 40 percent of the wealth growth among all
billionaires. Topping the list are Elon Musk ($137.5 billion richer,
559 percent), Jeff Bezos ($65 billion, 58 percent) and Mark
Zuckerberg ($47 billion, 86 percent).
The *10 biggest “Pandemic Profiteers”* saw the greatest percentage
increase in their wealth—at least 300 percent. *[See Table 2]*
They mostly multiplied their fortunes in the world of online goods,
services and entertainment, as forcibly homebound Americans shopped,
invested and diverted themselves in isolation. They include the owners
of ecommerce leaders Quicken Loans, Square, Carvana, and cryptocurrency
exchange Coinbase; social media sites Snapchat and Twitter; online
streaming platform Roku; and digital ad agency Trade Desk. 19 other
billionaires experienced increases of over 200% while 48 others more
than doubled their fortunes with 100%+ gains.
*1. Bom Kim (670 percent/$7.7 billion): *A U.S. citizen and founder of
the e-commerce giant Coupang, the Amazon of South Korea. Kim’s fortune
surged as high as $11 billion after the company’s IPO
in early March.
*2. Dan Gilbert (642 percent/$41.7 billion):* Owner of Quicken Loans,
which capitalized on cloistered citizens tapping online financing. Lives
*3. Ernest Garcia II (567 percent/$13.6 billion)*: Biggest shareholder
of Carvana, the online car sales and auto-financing giant. *Arizona.*
*4. Elon Musk (559 percent/$137.5 billion):* Musk is now the second
wealthiest Americans—at nearly $138 billion—as his shares in Tesla,
Space-X and other companies that he owns continue to climb. Lives in
*5. Brian Armstrong (550 percent/$5.5 billion)*: Chief executive of
Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country.
*6. Bobby Murphy (531 [ercent/$10.1 billion):* Co-founder of Snapchat,
with his Stanford fraternity brother, Evan Spiegel. *California *resident.
*7. Evan Spiegel (490 percent/$9.3 billion):* Co-founder of Snapchat
with his other billionaire super-gainer, Bobby Murphy. *California
*8. Jack Dorsey (396 percent/$10.3 billion):* Co-founder and CEOs of
both Twitter and Square, the small business payment app. Lives in
*9. Anthony Wood (331 percent/$5.3 billion):* Founder of *Roku*, which
enables online TV video streaming. *California *resident.
*10. Jeff Green (300 percent/$3 billion):* *Californian* founder and
chairman of The Trade Desk, a digital advertising firm.
*Other notable billionaire wealth gains during the pandemic*
*Eric Yuan*, co-founder of video-conferencing technology *Zoom*, saw
his wealth rise by $8.4 billion during the pandemic year, a gain of
153 percent. A year ago, Yuan had $5.5 billion which increased to
$13.9 billion. Last year Zoom paid no federal income taxes
on its $660 million in profits, which increased by more than 4,000
The three owners of *Airbnb* saw their wealth accelerate thanks to
their pandemic year IPO. *Brian Chesky’s* wealth increased from
$4.1 billion to $14.6 billion, a gain of $10.5 billion, an increase
of 256 percent. *Nathan Blecharazyk* and *Joe Gebbia*, with equal
ownership stakes valued at $4.1 billion a year ago, each saw their
wealth increase to $13.2 billion, for gains of $9.1 billion each, or
*Jim Koch*, owner of Boston Beer Company and brewer of the *Sam
Adams brand*, saw his wealth increase from $1.3 billion to $3.2
billion, a gain of $1.9 billion over the pandemic year, or 146 percent.
*Dan and Bubba Cathy*, the owners of drive-through sensation
Chick-Fil-A, saw their combined wealth of $6.8 billion rise to $16.6
billion, a gain of $9.8 billion over the pandemic year, or 144 percent.
*Harold Hamm*, the politically connected oil and gas fracker, saw
his wealth increase from $2.4 billion to $7.5 billion during the
pandemic year, an increase of 5.1 billion, or 212.5 percent.
Of *17 industry categories*, billionaires in the technology industry had
the greatest collective wealth growth—$564 billion, or nearly 68
percent. *[See Table 3]*
They were worth $1.4 trillion on March 18, 2021, or one-third of the
billionaires’ total. The titans of Wall Street—the Finance &
Investment industries—saw their wealth grow by $226 billion—a nearly
37 percent increase. Automotive industry billionaires had the biggest
percentage point increase in wealth—317 percent based on an increase
in wealth of $172 billion. That was largely driven by the extraordinary
rise in Elon Musk’s wealth—$137.5 billion or 559 percent.
All but*three states *saw the wealth of their billionaire residents
increase*. [See Table 4]*
Topping the list in total wealth growth are *California* at $551
billion, *Washington*at $134.6 billion, and *New York* at $116.4
billion. The top three states with the greatest percentage increase in
wealth are *Michigan *at 164 percent, *Arizona* at 110 percent, and
*Hawaii *at 107 percent.
Billionaire wealth growth is calculated between March 18, 2020 and March
18, 2021, based on /Forbes/ data compiled in this report
by ATF and IPS. March 18 is used as the unofficial beginning of the
crisis because by then most federal
economic restrictions responding to the virus were in place. March 18
was also the date that Forbes picked to measure billionaire wealth for
the 2020 edition of its annual billionaires’ report, which provided a
baseline that ATF and IPS compare periodically with real-time data from
the Forbes website. PolitiFact has favorably reviewed
Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at
the Institute for Policy Studies, where he also co-edits Inequality.org.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863-9977
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the News