Despite the pandemic striking a major blow on the world's economy, nearly 75 percent of American billionaires have amassed large fortunes.

The coronavirus pandemic has left economies all over the world in tatters, but the downfall didn't affect the richest of the rich. 

Although the pandemic triggered large-scale unemployment in the world, the billionaire class continued to harness the economic dividends from the shaky markets. Roughly three out of four American billionaires have increased their net capital since the outbreak of the pandemic in March this year. 

At least 16 American billionaires doubled their net fortunes since the beginning of the pandemic that spread around the world in March.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the multinational technology company Amazon, is expected to become $73 billion richer - he was already reputedly worth $113 billion at the beginning of the year.

During the pandemic, Mark Zuckerberg, chairman of Facebook, added another $46 billion to his $54 billion wealth.

The net capital of SpaceX and Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, rocketed from $25 billion to $92 billion despite the gloomy international backdrop.

Jeff Bezos appears to have made windwall profits as Amazon posted huge gains as the virus drove people online for both shopping and food-delivery services.

According to Edison Trends, a digital commerce research company, online grocery sales increased nearly 90 percent while food-delivery sales surged to more than 50 percent in a short period from early March to mid-April. 

Billionaires also gained by investing in places such as the stock market. For example, despite falling 35 percent in February,  the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 returned their pre-pandemic levels in just four months - it is possibly the quickest recovery ever recorded.

On the other hand, many large companies took the lion’s share of the economic stimulus package which unveiled to ease or minimise the negative effects of pandemics.

In the US, the taxes received from billionaires have decreased by 79 percent since 1980. Moreover, worker unions were representing 25 percent of the total workforce in the country in 1979. However, the representation by a union has fallen to 10 percent now.  

150 Million Extreme Poor by 2021

According to a recent report of the World Bank, global extreme poverty is expected to increase for the first time in this century because of the “Covid-19 pandemic compounds the forces of conflict and climate change.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to push an additional 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty this year, with the total rising to as many as 150 million by 2021, depending on the severity of the economic contraction,” the report wrote.

Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.90 per day.

“The pandemic and global recession may cause over 1.4% of the world’s population to fall into extreme poverty,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. 

“In order to reverse this serious setback to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different economy post-Covid, by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors,” he added.

Source: TRT World