We will soon be a year into the Covid-19 pandemic. Are you rolling in new wealth? No? Too bad you are not a billionaire.
With millions of deaths, unemployment soaring, millions threatened with losing their homes and economies struggling around the world, the world’s billionaires are doing fine. More than fine. So fine that they have added trillions of dollars to their composite wealth.
In other words, capitalism as usual. Or even better than usual, depending on your point of view and bank account.
Before we throw around some numbers, here’s one way of putting the pandemic into perspective: The world’s 10 richest people have seen an increase in their wealth that is larger than the cost would be of vaccinating every person on Earth. That calculation comes courtesy of Oxfam, which reports those 10 people increased their net worth by about US$500 billion since March 2020. They could finance a comprehensive global response to the pandemic and still have all the obscene wealth they possessed a year ago.