US billionaires’ wealth grew by $845 billion during the first six months of the pandemic

  • The wealth of 643 of US’ richest billionaires rose from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion between March 18 and September 15, a report by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness said. 
  • This marks a 29% increase over those six months. 
  • Tesla founder Elon Musk’s wealth increased by 273% in the period to $92 billion. 

The richest people in the United States have become $845 billion wealthier during the first six months of the pandemic, with likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett all registering big increases, a report said Thursday.

The Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning think-tank, and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) said the total net worth of 643 of the nation’s richest people rose from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion between March 18 and September 15. The calculations are based on data using Forbes’ annual billionaires report and real-time Forbes data.

That marks a 29% increase from the rough date at which coronavirus lockdowns started and financial markets went into free-fall. The stock market has since recovered, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hitting record highs, but Covid-19 has killed nearly 200,000 Americans and the economy is still mired in recession.

Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program on Inequality, said: “The difference is stark between profits for billionaires and the widespread economic misery in our nation. Clearly, the priorities of our elected officials in Washington, DC are completely upside down.”

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