03 February 2020

"So, how did the 1% do today?"

From Bloomberg (January 31, 2020):
On a day when the S&P 500 fell the most since October, the world’s richest person got $7.9 billion richer.  Jeff Bezos’s fortune swelled to $124.2 billion Friday as shares of his Amazon.com Inc. surged 7.4%, a day after the largest U.S. e-commerce company stunned investors with a fourth-quarter profit that far exceeded Wall Street estimates. His net worth climbed $9.3 billion through the first month of the year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index...

Bezos wasn’t the only tech titan whose net worth changed dramatically this week. Elon Musk’s swelled by $2.7 billion since Wednesday, after shares of his Tesla Inc. surged...

Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune tumbled $5.9 billion on the week after Facebook Inc. posted its slowest-ever quarterly sales growth.


  1. Well, some of the 99% did OK as well. My brother and I invested in Amazon in 1997, not heavily but enough that we felt it at the time. We have done OK, and did a little better last week. A rising tide raises kayaks, as well as ocean liners and oil tankers.

  2. Jeff Bezo did not get $7.9 billion richer. Theoretically the value of his holdings went up by that amount but he didn't actually net anything. Also if he was to liquidate his stock the price would drop reducing the fictitious gain.

    Don't get me wrong, he is very wealthy. But to say he got $7.9 billion richer or that Zuckerberg’s lost $5.9 billion is not accurate.

    1. Yes, he did get $7.9 richer that day. His holdings did not go up theoretically. The fact that he hasn't netted out doesn't negate the numbers. The fact that it's not guaranteed to be permanent doesn't make it a "fictitious" gain.

      I'm familiar with the arguments you are raising. I don't want to argue with you.

    2. Then what are you arguing? It’d be one thing if he were like Ginni Rometty and netted $100m+ in compensation while IBM went down the tubes. That’s a good example of CEOs being paid far outside their value to the company.

      But stock gains? It’s purely created value that takes nothing away from anything else. Would it be better if he lost that much value? That means lost jobs and would be disastrous for many more people than Jeff Bezos

    3. I think you would enjoy a book I just read: Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling. I guess I'd call it a satire about what our consumer-based, internet-addicted society may look like in the near future.


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