The Rich Keep Getting Richer—Especially the Technogurus

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Elon Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg

Even with the inflation going up the roof and a debt of more than $20 trillion, billionaires in the United States keep getting richer. According to the 40th annual Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, “the members’ collective fortune rose a massive 40% over the last year to $4.5 trillion, up from $3.2 trillion. Nearly all are richer than they were a year ago. The top 20 on the list are together worth a stunning $1.8 trillion”.

Many of these new billionaires are from the tech industry. To be exact, 147 of the Forbes 400 list became billionaires thanks to technology. Since 2008 their net worth has skyrocketed 546%. Put together, they are worth $1.75 trillion, while in 2008, their net worth was just $272 billion. But even more incredible is that out of the ten wealthiest people in America, eight come from the tech industry— Warren Buffet and Michael Bloomberg are the exceptions.

RANK NAME AGE WORTH SOURCE
1 Jeff Bezos 57 $201 billion Amazon
2 Elon Musk 50 $190.5 billion Tesla, SpaceX
3 Mark Zuckerberg 37 $134.5 billion Facebook
4 Bill Gates 65 $134 billion Microsoft
5 Larry Page 48 $123 billion Google
6 Sergey Brin 48 $118.5 billion Google
7 Larry Ellison 77 $117.3 billion Oracle
8 Warren Buffet 91 $102 billion Berkshire Hathaway
9 Steve Ballmer 65 $96.5 billion Microsoft
10 Michael Bloomberg 79 $70 billion Bloomberg LP
Ranking provided by Forbes

Jeff Bezos, who currently holds the gold medal, founded Amazon in 1994. The online bookstore that he set up in his garage ended up becoming the number one e-commerce store in the world. Since 2008 the company has grown 38%, making Jeff Bezos’ net worth rise 2,210%. He is $22 billion richer than last year—all thanks to the pandemic.

Close behind at number two is Elon Musk, worth $190.5 billion, three times more than he was worth in 2020. The founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink, recently sent 53 Starlink satellites into space. And just a few days ago, Musk sold $6 billion worth of stock from his stocks in Tesla.

The bronze medal goes to the 37-year-old Zuckerberg, who—even with backlash from lawmakers and critics—had an astounding 7,500% increase, reaching a net worth of $134.5 billion. The young billionaire has recently announced the creation of his new enterprise, Meta.

Bill Gates, dethroned by three ‘young men’ is currently in the fourth position. This is probably due, at least in part, to his divorce with Melinda French Gates, who announced their separation after 27 years of marriage. Bill Gates gave Melinda $5.6 billion worth of stock in companies. Now, Melinda is worth $6.3 billion and holds the 158th position in Forbes 400.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (9th) and Google co-founders Larry Page (5th) and Sergey Brin (6th), have gone up 600%. Steve Ballmer is worth $96.5 billion, while Larry Page and Sergey Brin are worth $123 and $118 billion, respectively.

Larry Ellison, the eldest of the tech billiogurus, is the co-founder of Oracle Corporation. He was estimated to be worth $28 billion in 2010, making him the third-richest in America. In December 2020 (the same year the pandemic started), Oracle’s stock went up by 4%. Ellison’s net worth jumped by $2.5 billion in a single week.

Today, Ellison is worth $117.3 billion and holds the seventh position—ah, yes, and he owns the Hawaiian island of Lanai and the 3000 souls living in it.


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