Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Institute for Policy Studies has tracked the explosive growth of U.S. billionaire wealth — one of the most disturbing signs of inequality during a crisis that has devastated ordinary families.
November 21, 2022 update:
Billionaire Wealth Slips, But Still 50 Percent Gain Since Pandemic Start
US billionaires have seen their wealth gains roll up and down over the last year.
Here at Inequality.org we occasionally take a snapshot to see how the U.S. billionaire class is faring. While some billionaires have seen wealth evaporate, their combined assets are still 50 percent higher than March 18, 2020.
As of Monday, November 21, there are 728 billionaires with combined wealth of $4.48 trillion, an increase of $1.5 trillion compared to mid-March 2020, drawing on Forbes’ billionaire database. Combined U.S. billionaire wealth prior to the pandemic was just under $3 trillion.
A year ago, at the end of October 2021, U.S. billionaire wealth hit a high-water mark. The 745 billionaires had a combined $5.1 trillion, a gain of $2.1 trillion, more than 70 percent over pre-pandemic assets. Last May, that gain had declined to $1.7 trillion.
Tracking the fortunes of some of the wealthiest billionaires:
On March 18, 2020, Elon Musk had wealth valued just under $25 billion. By May 2022, his net worth had surged to $255 billion. As of Monday, November 21, 2022, Musk is at $183. billion.
Jeff Bezos saw his wealth rise from $113 billion to $150 billion between March 18, 2020 and May 4, 2022. As of Monday, November 21, 2022, Bezos is at $114 billion, pretty much where he started before the pandemic.
Three Walton family members – Jim, Alice and Rob – saw their combined asset rise from $161.1 billion to $207.7 billion between March 18, 2020 and May 4, 2022. As of Monday, November 21, 2022, their combined wealth is at $188 billion.
-This update appeared at Inequality.org