Jeff Bezos' Fortune Takes Big Jump Thanks to COVID-19

Crisis has given Amazon shares a big boost
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2020 12:06 PM CDT
Jeff Bezos' Fortune Takes Big Jump Thanks to COVID-19
In this June 6, 2019 photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at the the Amazon re:MARS convention in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

The world's richest man is having a good 2020. Amazon's share price surged 5.3% to a new high on Tuesday, getting a boost from increased demand for online shopping amid the coronavirus crisis. Where that leaves Jeff Bezos' fortune: up $24 billion in 2020, the BBC reports. The Amazon founder, who has an 11% stake in the company, now has a net worth of $138 billion. Ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos, who was left with a 4% stake in Amazon after their divorce, now has a net worth of $45.3 billion; that puts her at No. 18 on the Bloomberg wealth ranking. Bloomberg notes that the net worth of the world's 500 richest people has dropped a combined $553 billion this year, with oil billionaires hit especially hard, but their combined wealth is up around 20% from a March 23 low.

Analysts tell Bloomberg that the ultra-wealthy and corporate insiders have been on a buying spree, snapping up shares in hard-hit industries while prices are low. Nick Paumgarten at the New Yorker looks at some people poised to make fortunes from the pandemic—if economies bounce back as quickly as they are predicting. He notes that many investors saw others make huge profits after the 2008 financial crisis and do not want to miss out this time, but the financial crisis COVID-19 leaves in its wake may be a very different creature. "Nobody knows anything," he writes. "The only thing we can say with certainty is that the pain will be unfairly distributed. People are betting on it." (Read more Jeff Bezos stories.)

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