56 New U.S. Billionaires Created in 2020 Despite Pandemic

Kreg Bale
Kreg Bale January 5, 2021
Updated 2021/01/05 at 2:45 PM
U.S billionaires

Despite the economic challenges of the year 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic, some people still saw an increase in their wealth or net worth.

Hundreds of thousands of American struggled through the slow economic recovery, however fifty-six people joined the billionaire club during the year, bringing the total number of billionaires in the United States to 659. The report have been provided by the Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute For Policy Studies, which collected the data from Forbes.

These select club of wealthy people (Billionaires) saw their wealth increase by more than $1.3 trillion to $4.08 trillion between March 18 and Dec 22, according to the research.

The new billionaires include Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky ($12.5 billion), DoorDash CEO Tony Xu ($3 billion) and Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman ($2.2 billion).

Lots of individuals in the exclusive billionaire club also enjoyed increased fortune in 2020 . The likes of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (from $113 billion to $186.96 billion ), Tesla CEO Elon Musk (from $24.6 billion to $144.68 billion) and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (from $98 billion to $119.9 billion). According to Bloomberg Billionaires index, the world’s 500 richest people now have a net worth of $7.6 trillion.
The monetary policy response of the Federal Reserve in the early days of the pandemic was a key driver of wealth. The Federal Reserve promised low rates and open-ended liquidity which led to a rise in the stock market. The work from home policy in a move to contain the virus also led to a shift in economic activity which mostly favored technology firms.

However, the global pandemic also drove an estimated 115 million people into poverty according to a report by the World Bank. About 3.4 million people in the United States filed for unemployment during November 2020, a figure which more than triples that of November 2019. In the U.S. an estimated 25.7 million workers remained out of work or had their work hours or pay reduced as a result of the pandemic.

Philanthropy also won big during the year as it increased by 7.5 % during the first half of 2020, according to a report by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project.
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