The coronavirus has hit the global economy hard and that includes even the richest people in the world.
Forbes recently published its annual list of billionaires and found that the number of billionaires has dropped significantly because of the pandemic. Even among those still on the list, more than half saw their wealth decrease since the pandemic.
There were 2,095 billionaires on the list when it was finalized on March 18, according to the business website. That was 58 fewer billionaires than last year and 226 fewer than at the beginning of the month, Forbes reported. Of course, with the markets in flux because of the coronavirus, each billionaire’s net worth also fluctuates depending on the day.
Despite this, Jeff Bezos, 56, still stands to be the richest man in the world, despite transferring a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife MacKenzie last summer, according to Forbes. He was worth $113 billion on March 18. Coronavirus has led Jeff Bezos to donate $100M to feed hungry Americans. Bezos’ gift was the largest single donation Feeding America has ever received.
“Today, I want to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food with a $100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica,” Bezos wrote on Instagram.
Despite the plight of the world and the ongoing economic effect of the coronavirus crisis, billionaires in the U.S. have seen their wealth increase by over $406 billion in the past month.
Other billionaires who have seen their wealth grow amid the pandemic include Tesla CEO Elon Musk — also by nearly $10 billion since January 1. In that time, Zoom founder Eric Yuan has added $3.5 billion to his net worth at $7.4 billion, thanks to the popularity of his video conferencing software in lockdown. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has added more than $4 billion to his fortune.