News Release

Twelve U.S. Billionaires Have a Combined $1 Trillion

12 Top Billionaires imageOMAR OCAMPO, via Olivia Alperstein, olivia at ips-dc.org, or Bob Keener, bobk at ips-dc.org, @IPS_DC
Ocampo, a researcher for the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies, just co-wrote the report “Twelve U.S. Billionaires Have a Combined $1 Trillion,” which states: “For the first time in U.S. history, the top twelve U.S. billionaires surpassed a combined wealth of $1 trillion. On Thursday August 13, these 12 held a combined $1.015 trillion.

“This is a disturbing milestone in the U.S. history of concentrated wealth and power. This is simply too much economic and political power in the hands of twelve people. From the point of view of a democratic self-governing society, this represents an Oligarchic Twelve or a Despotic Dozen.

“The Oligarchic Dozen are Jeff Bezos ($189.4b), Bill Gates ($114b), Mark Zuckerberg ($95.5b), Warren Buffett ($80b), Elon Musk ($73b), Steve Ballmer ($71b), Larry Ellison ($70.9b), Larry Page ($67.4b), Sergey Brin ($65.6b), Alice Walton ($62.5b), Jim Walton ($62.3b), and Rob Walton ($62b).

“Since March 18, the beginning of the pandemic, this Oligarchic Dozen have seen their combined wealth increase $283 billion, an increase of almost 40 percent.

“Elon Musk has been the biggest pandemic profiteer, seeing his wealth triple from $24.6 billion on March 18th to $73 billion on August 13, an increase of $48.5 billion or 197 percent.

“Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos was worth $189.4 billion on August 13, up $76 billion or 68 percent since March 18.

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was worth $95.5 billion on August 13, up $40.8 billion or 75 percent since March 18.”