While the rest of the world struggles to cope with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the wealthiest people on Earth are just getting richer.
Rabat – Jeff Bezos has seen his wealth increase by $25 billion since January 1. Bezos benefited from the economic shutdown as the world’s population shifted toward online shopping, streaming, and grocery delivery, according to a report conducted by Columbia University researchers.
Other reports suggest that the world’s top billionaire is well on track to become the first trillionaire by 2026.
The worldwide lockdown has forced people to remain indoors which led to adopting a new model of remote work. This prompted the appearance of new applications designed to facilitate teamwork, such as video conference platforms.
Zoom is one of many apps heavily downloaded during the time of crisis which enabled its CEO, Eric Yuan, to rank among the billionaires whose wealth has surged during the pandemic.
The Columbia University research team also found that the wealth of America’s billionaires increased by nearly 10% over just three weeks, after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, the researchers found that the billionaires whose wealth decreased due to the 2008 economic crisis had fully recovered their fortunes over three years. A decade later, the billionaires’ wealth has increased on average by over 80%.
According to the study, at least eight billionaires have added $1 billion to their net worth during the pandemic, and the combined wealth of US billionaires is higher than a year ago.
The researchers believe the fast wealth recovery of the richest is a pattern.
The specialists pointed out that extreme wealth inequality is a persisting issue in the US, suggesting that the pandemic is likely to widen the inequality.