The richest 400 Americans added $ 4.5 billion to their wealth last year, a 40% increase, even as the pandemic has shut down large parts of the United States, according to the magazine’s latest tally Forbes of the richest people in the country.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos retained the top spot for a fourth consecutive year with a net worth of $ 201 billion, followed by Tesla’s Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, with net worth of $ 190.5 billion of dollars and 134.5 billion dollars respectively.
The ranks of the super rich were swelled by 44 newcomers, the highest number since 2007, including Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bitcoin billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Noubar Afeyan, co-founder from the Covid-19 vaccine maker Moderna.
Miriam Adelson, wife of the late casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, was the richest newcomer, with $ 30.4 billion. The youngest newcomer was 29-year-old cryptocurrency billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, the second richest new entrant, with an estimated $ 22.5 billion.
To make the list, people must now have a minimum net worth of $ 2.9 billion, up $ 800 million from a year ago.
The pandemic initially sparked a record wave of layoffs. The labor market has recovered considerably, but the economic impact of the coronavirus is still shaking much of the US economy. States are bracing for an avalanche of evictions after federal protections expire.
Stock markets and real estate prices continued to soar, trends that disproportionately inflated the wealth of the wealthy.
“Despite the uncertainty and the ever-changing market economy, the 2021 Forbes 400 shows that America’s richest have grown a lot richer,” said Kerry Dolan, associate editor, Wealth at Forbes.
But not all the rich have had a good pandemic. Former President Donald Trump tabled the Forbes 400 for the first time. Trump’s estimated $ 2.5 billion fortune is $ 400 million below this year’s threshold, according to Forbes.
The magazine calculates that the pandemic that hit Trump’s portfolio of properties in major cities reduced his fortune by $ 600 million. Trump had the opportunity to offload these assets early in his presidency.
“If Trump is looking for someone to blame, he can start with himself,” Forbes said.