Since the beginning of the pandemic, the total wealth held by billionaires around the world has increased by a quarter to more than $ 10,000 billion. Another noteworthy milestone is the arrival of the world’s first $ 200 billion billionaire.
Jeff Bezos’ total net worth hit $ 200 billion in August, just as UBS bank and auditing firm PwC summed up its annual report data on billionaires.
This report, released on October 7, shows that the billionaire wealth has grown at the fastest rate in the past decade.
From 8,000 billion USD in early April increased by 27% after only 3 months. This is largely due to the government’s stimulus packages.
“Billionaire wealth is strongly correlated with capital markets,” cites UBS and PwC’s “Riding the Storm” report. “Since the end of March, huge fiscal and quantitative easing packages by governments has fueled a recovery in the financial market.”
Jeff Bezos became the world’s first $ 200 billion billionaire, and he was certainly not the last. Photo: Getty Images
The CARES Act’s Covid-19 bailout package is also only helping to increase these benefits. A legal loophole in March allowed billionaires to benefit from the US government’s $ 1.7 billion grant. Since then, more than 133 large companies have received $ 5 billion from the Treasury Department. According to a Goldman Sachs study in February, more than half of the stock held by American households belongs to the company of 1% the richest people. So when the market goes up, like in March, the richest people will benefit most.
In the UK, UK stimulus packages worth £ 16 billion ($ 20.6 billion) flowed directly into billionaire-owned companies, according to the June data report.
Billionaires have also donated a record amount
In addition to boosting the wealth of billionaires, the corona virus also increased their donations. Research by UBS and PwC shows that billionaires are giving away more than ever. The two organizations also noted that “it can be only a fraction of the total, because they tend to be discreet”.
According to a separate study published on October 6, more than three-quarters of wealthy families tend to donate privately.
“A preference for privacy also means that their social contributions are not always recognized,” says Guy Hudson, partner and head of marketing at Stonehage Fleming, a home-based office. the report “Four Pillars of Capital”, said.
But when asked “Are you planning to give more this year, because of Covid-19, compared to previous years?” More than half of Stonehege Fleming participants answered “No”.
UBS and PwC also recognize that philanthropy may be temporary. When asked about their plans for the next 12 months, only a few billionaires put philanthropy at the top of their agenda.
Instead, “succession planning” is one of the most common answers when billionaires consider their future. Charity is No. 6, with just a quarter of billionaires saying they plan to “give more” within the next 12 months.
Even the $ 7.2 billion Covid-19 donation of 209 billionaires accounted for only 0.3% of the total wealth earned by the billionaire during the same period.
These statistics only increase calls for billionaires to use money for more purposes, or put pressure on the government to consider taxing property.