Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Seattle, WA, United States (4E) – How can one person spend $150 billion? He can’t and Jeff Bezos, the first modern human to hit this pinnacle to become the world’s richest person, won’t even bother to try. Chances are he’ll invest this unheard of fortune to make even more money.
Jeff Bezos is the richest person in modern history as of July 16, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The founder of Amazon.com saw his vast fortune jump after Amazon’s share price hit $1,825.73 at 11:10 a.m. in New York. This was a 56 percent rise since the start of the year and lifted Bezos’ hoard to $150.8 billion, the first time he, or anybody else, has amassed this astounding sum.
Bezos’ net worth soared by $52 billion in less than seven months on account of Amazon’s stock jumping more than 55 percent this year. It also puts Bezos’s personal fortune within $1 billion of the $151.5 billion owned by the Walton family’s, the world’s richest dynasty.
Bezos, 54, is also $55 billion richer than the erstwhile richest person, Bill Gates. Gates, however, would have had a net worth of more than $150 billion first if he’d held onto the assets he’s given away, largely to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He’s donated almost 700 million Microsoft shares and $2.9 billion of cash and other assets since 1996 to help the poor, especially in Africa.
Behind Bezos and Gates are Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett ($83 billion); Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ($83 billion) and the Spaniard Amancio Ortega ($75 billion), founder of retailing group Inditex.
A U.S. Federal Reserve report found the top one percent of U.S. families controlled 38.6 percent of wealth in the U.S. in 2016, compared with 22.8 percent held by the bottom 90 percent. Last year, Oxfam International found that more than 80 percent of earnings went to the top one percent of the world population.
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