World's richest man makes $18 billion in a day

 

 

The masses of consumers forced to retreat indoors during the coronavirus pandemic has reaped huge rewards for the world's richest man.

As small businesses collapse across Australia, Jeff Bezos' fortune has soared in recent months with shoppers increasingly leaning on purchasing goods online.

The company's rocketing share price has led to the Amazon founder adding a staggering $US13 billion ($A18 billion) to his wealth in a single day on Monday.

The 56-year-old is now worth $US189 billion ($A265 billion), with his personal fortune eclipsing major global companies including McDonald's, Nike and oil giant Exxon.

The virus crisis has caused global economies and institutions to plummet as airlines are grounded and businesses are abandoned.

Australia has succumbed to its first recession in nearly 30 years and today Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed its heaviest deficit since World War II.

But the e-commerce giant has not only escaped the cascading fiscal patterns, it has surged in value. Amazon's share price has increased by a whopping 70 per cent since January, and rose 8 per cent on Monday alone to a record high $US3197 ($A4479).

Bezos, who still owns 11 per cent of the company he started in his Seattle garage in 1996, has seen his personal fortune grow by $US74 billion ($A104 billion) since January.

The e-commerce mogul and The Washington Post owner has been widely criticised for his perceived indifference to fund philanthropic endeavours but earlier this year Bezos announced a campaign to help fight climate change through a $A14.9 billion personal commitment.

The project, dubbed the Bezos Earth Fund, consists of a raft of grants to scientists, activists and non-profit organisations.

"Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet," Mr Bezos said in a post on the social media platform.

"I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.

"We can save Earth. It's going to take collective action from big companies, small companies, nation states, global organisations, and individuals."

The donation equated to about 7.7 per cent of his net worth at the time.

Despite being the richest person in the world, Bezos only recently became active in donating money to causes as other billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have done.

In 2018, Bezos started another fund, committing $US2 billion ($A3 billion) of his own money to open preschools in low-income neighbourhoods and gave money to non-profits that help homeless families.

The recent donations have done little to dent his vast fortune though, as Bezos heads towards becoming the world's first trillionaire by 2026.

Comparisun, a small-business advice platform, said it analysed market capitalisation of the 25 highest valued companies on the New York Stock Exchange according to Macrotrends, and the net worth of the world's 25 richest people according to Forbes.

It then calculated the average yearly percentage growth over the last five years and applied that growth rate to come up with an idea of how that value would change in the future.

If his net worth does reach $US1 trillion ($A1.55 trillion), he'd be worth more than the individual GDPs of 179 countries with a combined population of 3.4 billion - 43.7 per cent of all humans alive.

Originally published as Richest man makes $18 billion in a day


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