For Gates, Musk and Bezos the tills are ringing louder than ever
By Arnold. In a crisis (and a war) there are plenty of losers. But there are always a few winners who benefit. This time around they are called Bezos, Gates, Musk and Zuckerberg. Their wealth has grown by almost 30 percent in the past six months. “Canadian” Jospeh Tsai, vice-chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has benefited from the increase in online sales during the Corona pandemic, while Canadian David Thompson, chairman of Thompson Reuters has, according to my lawyer, definitely not profiteered from the ongoing plague, and this same lawyer has advised me that he has not, despite the decline in traditional media, gotten even richer off taxpayer subsidies to the media.
The corona virus has been wandering around the globe for about half a year. Since then, a kind of pandemic hysteria has been fueled in some countries, which is causing massive uncertainty among people. The economy collapses, people lose their jobs; social life is reduced to a minimum by the coercive measures adopted by politicians, families are torn apart. There are (almost) only losers. But only almost. Because, as in every crisis and in every war, there are winners. Profiteers who draw on the suffering and insecurity of others and make a profit from it.
We all know individuals who have come out ahead during the pandemic, even after they have been laid off from their jobs. But are these grifters any different for the super-rich elite? In the US, wealth in the Billionaires Club, which includes Jeff Bezos (head of Amazon), Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg, has grown by a whopping 29 percent in the past six months. Together they have amassed $845 billion since March. Amazon boss Bezos’ fortune increased by $55.2 billion, the descendants of Sam Walton (founder of Walmart) increased their fortune by $60 billion and the wallet of Tesla boss Musk got $70 billion thicker in the past six months.
In the illustrious second circle of multibillionaires is the bustling Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who belong to the “oligarchical dozen”, as explained by Chuck Collins, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, in his study of economic development in the US during the time of the coronavirus. These oligarchs do not increase their wealth through their own performance or even extra work. They benefit from the fact that the central banks of the world provide cheap money with which securities are bought up on stock markets and prices go through the roof.
In the fall of 1929, share prices also shot through the roof, until they were radically thwarted on October 24, 1929. Everyone invested in stocks, even took out loans to buy stocks. And then came the crash of the century …