2020 made the world’s richest people £1.3 trillion richer
The world’s 500 richest billionaires collectively added an eye-watering £1.3 trillion to their wealth in 2020, in direct contrast to the many small and mid-size businesses worldwide forced to close due to government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index which was released on January 4, the world’s richest billionaires' growth in 2020 is the biggest gain in the eight-year history of their index report.
At the top of the richest list is Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose estimated net worth is £137 billion.
He is followed by the founder of Tesla Elon Musk, who increased his wealth to £129 billion. At the start of 2020, Musk was estimated to be worth around £19.5 billion.
According to a Bloomberg report, Musk’s wealth increase is “possibly the fastest bout of wealth creation in history.”
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, for the first time in the history of the Bloomberg Index, did not make it into the top two richest people. His wealth stands at £96 billion.
billion, which places him in third place behind Musk.
Facebook’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg stands is the world’s fifth-richest person with a total net worth estimated to be around £76 billion.
According to a survey done by the International Trade Centre in 2020, it is mainly small and mid-sized businesses globally who have endured the burden of government-imposed COVID-19 lockdowns, not big corporations with billionaires at the helm.
Chuck Collins, who serves as the director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the U.S.-based Institute for Policy Studies, said that the massive surge in wealth by billionaires undermines the common COVID catchphrase that we are all “in this together.”
“Surging billionaire wealth hits a painful nerve for the millions of people who have lost loved ones and experienced declines in their health, wealth, and livelihoods,” Collins was quoted as saying in the Bloomberg report.
“Worse, it undermines any sense that we are `in this together’ — the solidarity required to weather the difficult months ahead.”
Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, with the backing of the United Nations, has called for a “Great Reset” of the world’s economic systems, which has the backing of many major world leaders and billionaires such as George Soros.