Tech billionaires in the United States added significantly to their combined net worth over the past few months. As economies around the world suffer amid global lockdown rulings, the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have actually added to their wealth.
The news comes from a study by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality, reported by CNBC. It found that America’s billionaires added around $434 billion to their combined wealth between mid-March and mid-May.
However, the period studied began on March 18, after the stock market crash earlier the same month. While the likes of Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and others did see their wealth rise by a staggering amount over the past two months, they’re actually down $20 billion and $4.3 billion respectively since the start of the year. The partial rebound in markets accounts for the gains observed by the study.
Understandably, the US billionaires doing best throughout these two months of lockdown are heads of strictly-internet businesses. Jeff Bezos’s Amazon has done particularly well since people have taken their high street spending habits online like never before. His net worth since the start of the year has increased by $35.5 billion.
Similarly, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has seen his own net worth increase by $9 billion. With millions out of work or working from home and several high-profile online live events being hosted on the platform, the social network has also seen unprecedented use during the period of lockdown.
Although almost all U.S. billionaires fared particularly well over the narrow window observed in the Americans for Tax Fairness study, there were some losers too. Those in hospitality and retail have been hit hardest. Ralph Lauren and hotelier John Pritzker lost $100 million and $34 million respectively from their net worth since mid-March.