Mother Jones illustration; Getty

The Pandemic Has Made US Billionaires $1.1 Trillion Richer

January 26, 2021 — Not long ago, I wrote about how America’s ultrawealthy—folks with assets of $30 million and up—had enjoyed a full V-shaped recovery by the end of August, even as small businesses and poor and middle class families were still reeling from pandemic shutdowns and job losses. The moderately wealthy have also been doing just fine. But America’s billionaires are doing better than fine. Over the past 10 months, according to a new analysis of Forbes data by the Institute for Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness, billionaires’ wealth in the United States has grown by almost 40 percent.

The numbers are astounding. From March 2020 to January 2021:

  • The total wealth of US billionaires increased by $1.1 trillion, from $3 trillion to $4.1 trillion
  • 46 new billionaires have been minted.
  • A few—hello, Elon!—have seen asset gains of more than 500 percent
  • On average, the 15 wealthiest billionaires saw their assets increase by 59 percent
  • The combined fortunes of America’s 660 billionaires is now almost 71 percent higher than the combined wealth of the entire bottom half of the population—165 million people

[Read more.]

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