The world‘s billionaires have been extremely successful during the coronavirus pandemic. The already high fortunes of the world‘s richest people have grown even more, reaching a record $ 10.2 trillion. Billionaires increased their wealth by 27.5 percent. It happened at the height of the crisis between April and July, when millions of people around the world lost their jobs or had to seek government help.
A report by the Swiss bank UBS stated that the richest people in the world benefited the most from the recovery of global stock markets. These were at a minimum during the quarantine period in March and April. The wealth of billionaires has reached a new high, surpassing the previous peak of 2017 – $ 8.9 trillion. The number of billionaires has also increased. Three years ago there were 2158 of them, now this number has risen to 2189.
“Billionaires did very well during the coronavirus crisis. Not only did they go through the storm, but they also made money, “said Josef Stadler, head of the UBS department, who deals directly with the richest people in the world.
The desire to take risks
According to him, super-rich people were able to benefit from the crisis. They had the stomach to buy more stocks as stock markets around the world collapsed. Since then, they have rebounded and made up much of the loss. For example, the share prices of some technology companies, often owned by billionaires, have risen very sharply. Stadler also thinks that the richest people often have a significant appetite for risk and were sure to gamble on their high assets.
“The wealth of billionaires equals a fortune that is almost impossible to spend in a lifetime in absolute luxury,” said Luke Hilyard, CEO of High Pay Center. According to him, the growing wealth of rich people is a sign that capitalism is not working as it should.
“Anyone who accumulates wealth on this scale or more could easily afford to contribute to taxes to support vital public services. At the same time, these people would still be very well financially rewarded for what they achieved, “he added.
The threat of social unrest
Stadler of UBS said the increase in the wealth of billionaires at a time when hundreds of millions of people around the world are in financial distress could lead to public and political anger. “Is there a risk that the company could set them aside? Yes. And they are aware of that, “says Stadler, who has previously warned that the difference between rich and poor could lead to a return.
Today’s richest people in the world have the greatest wealth since the Gilded Age in the United States, when families like Carnigie, Rockefeller and Vanderbilts held enormous wealth from the 1970s to the early 20th century.
The richest man in the world is Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon. His fortune is $ 189 billion. More people used the company’s services during the pandemic, so the company’s shares grew.
Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, also multiplied his assets. Its assets rose $ 76 billion to $ 103 billion, again due to rising shares.