USAJeff Bezos, Elon Musk among US billionaires getting richer during coronavirus pandemic

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2020-12-23 14:12

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an economic crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression. In the early months of the pandemic, as local businesses across the country closed, tens of millions of Americans lost their job. Now, more than half a year later, more than 11 million Americans remain unemployed and many shops and restaurants will never reopen. Here is a look at American businesses that might not survive coronavirus.

The recession ushered in by the novel coronavirus has not meant economic catastrophe for everyone, however. In fact, in the months since the virus reached the United States, many of the nation’s wealthiest citizens have actually profited handsomely. Over a roughly seven-month period starting in mid-March – a week after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency – America’s 614 billionaires grew their net worth by a collective $931 billion.

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Using data from Forbes, 24/7 Wall St. identified the American billionaires who got richer during COVID-19. We ranked the 30 billionaires whose monetary wealth grew the most from March 18, 2020 to Oct. 13, 2020. We only reviewed changes in net worth for American citizens who were considered billionaires as of April 7, 2020.

The vast majority of people on this list are high-profile executives or founders and investors at publicly traded companies – and much of their wealth is invested in the company with which they are associated. And though the U.S. economy is facing its worst economic and health crises in over half a century, the stock market has fared relatively well. Since the market crash in mid-March, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged, appreciating in value by over 50% as of mid-October, even reaching new record highs. Here is a look at how the COVID stock market crash compares to others in history.

Notably, many of the billionaires on this list are associated with technology companies – and many of those companies have done especially well during the pandemic. The tech-heavy NASDAQ composite index reported even stronger growth than the Dow in recent months, surging by about 66% from mid-March to mid-October – and generating billions of dollars for major shareholders in the process.

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