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Post by Abacus on Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:07 pm

(December 2, 2015) Why a German billionaire says that pledges like Mark Zuckerberg’s are really bad
The private foundation is an especially American style of charitable giving.
Nonprofit groups in the United States play a disproportionately large role in public life,
in part because American tax laws make it attractive for the rich to donate.
Much of their wealth could otherwise be captured by capital gains and estate taxes.
German shipping magnate Peter Krämer is one of the most vocal detractors of the pledge, and the American tradition of government-sponsored charity.
Krämer: I find the US initiative highly problematic. You can write donations off in your taxes to a large degree in the USA.
So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes?
The donors are taking the place of the state. That's unacceptable.
SPIEGEL: But doesn't the money that is donated serve the common good?
Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires.
So it's not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide.
That's a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?
SPIEGEL: It is their money at the end of the day.
Krämer: In this case, 40 superwealthy people want to decide what their money will be used for.
That runs counter to the democratically legitimate state.
In the end the billionaires are indulging in hobbies that might be in the common good, but are very personal.

(March 6, 2018) What if billionaires could live forever?
Several billionaires, most of them Californians, have been funding firms involved in developing life-extension technologies.
What if they succeed? What if billionaires alive today live indefinitely and get ever richer?
Diamandis and Hariri's new venture is the latest example of a well-established phenomenon in Silicon Valley:
Extremely wealthy techno-optimists have for years been funding biomedical R&D companies meant to achieve immortality for their funders.
Some of the more recognizable names who have been putting money into such efforts: Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle),
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (founders of Google), Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon), and Peter Thiel, cofounder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies.
Palantir, by the way, is a "big-data" company that uses algorithms to scan huge datasets for patterns.
It does a lot of work for US government intelligence agencies. Thiel is a radical corporate libertarian, and Silicon Valley's best-known Donald Trump supporter.
In late February, Diamandis wrote to subscribers of his email bulletin: "I asked the smartest people I know for their tech predictions for the next 20 years (2018 – 2038).
What are the breakthroughs we can expect on our countdown to the Singularity?" One of the predictions he listed was that by 2030, "humanity will have achieved Longevity Escape Velocity for the wealthiest."

(July 5, 2018) Survival of the Richest
"..Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers.
After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage,
I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world.
They started out innocuously enough. Ethereum or bitcoin? Is quantum computing a real thing? Slowly but surely, however, they edged into their real topics of concern.
Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked,
“How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”
The Event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down."


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Post by Abacus on Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:10 pm

(May 22, 2020) What’s up with billionaires bunkering down in New Zealand?
The Independent recently reported that “wealthy Americans are fleeing the US
for multi-million dollar private bunkers around the world and luxury real estate in New Zealand
to wait out the COVID-19 pandemic among other ‘elites’ and billionaires.
But, why New Zealand? This is where things get very interesting
and I’d encourage you to read the full (long read) article published by Mark O’Connell for The Guardian in 2018.
O’Connell focuses on Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook,
as a symbolic figure of those who consider New Zealand to be “the Future”.
He is largely inspired by the obscure libertarian manifesto,
‘The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State’.

(June 8, 2020) Since the pandemic began, American billionaires made an extra half a trillion dollars
The richest Americans continue to get richer, while 21 million Americans are on unemployment.
As millions of unemployed Americans bear the brunt of economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic,
U.S. billionaires have seen the opposite: a massive accumulation of wealth.
The total amount of wealth controlled by U.S. billionaires’ swelled by more than $565 billion
since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
The divide becomes even more stark when looking at specific billionaire’s gains.
Jeff Bezos’s wealth is up $36.2 billion since March 18, even as Amazon faces criticism
for how the company has treated its essential workers and its hollow response to the protests against police brutality
that clearly clashes with the company’s actions.
Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth is up by $30.1 billion, at the same time that Facebook has flubbed fact-checking
and Facebook employees complain loudly about that inaction.

(June 12, 2020) Over the past 3 months, 44 million US workers filed for unemployment while billionaires got $637 billion richer
Between March 18 and June 11, total US billionaire wealth grew by $637 billion, from $2.95 trillion to $3.58 trillion — a 21.5% increase.
Their overall wealth skyrocketed by at least $72 billion this week alone.
In that same 12-week period, more than 44 million US workers filed for unemployment,
with 1.5 million claims filed in the last week alone. Forbes reported in its annual survey,
published April 7, that total US billionaire wealth had declined from its 2019 levels.
However, IPS said those losses were recovered within weeks.
According to Forbes, the US is home to 623 billionaires, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos,
Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

(September 18, 2020) Billionaire wealth grew by $845 billion, or 29%, as America struggled through first six months of pandemic
Between March 18—the rough start date of the pandemic shutdown,
when most federal and state economic restrictions were in place—and Sept. 15,
the total net worth of the nation’s billionaires rose from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion.
In fact, this billionaires’ bonanza occurred against a general backdrop of working-class pain:

- 6.6 million Americans got coronavirus, and almost 200,000 died from it.
- Over 50 million Americans lost jobs, with nearly 14 million still unemployed.
- 30 million are collecting unemployment benefits (counting contract workers), up from 1.6 million a year earlier.
- Nearly 30 million Americans have gone hungry.
- 12 million Americans have lost employee-sponsored health insurance.
- Big swathes of business have shut down, including 100,000 restaurants.

(October 20, 2020) U.S. Billionaires Wealth Surges $931 Billion since Beginning of Pandemic
Between March 18 – the rough start of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic — and October 13, the total wealth of 644 U.S. billionaires
increased from $2.95 trillion to $3.88 trillion, a rise of 31.6 percent.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 220,000 Americans
and destroyed the health, wealth and livelihood of millions of households.

- Jeff Bezos’s wealth grew from $113 billion on March 18 to $203 billion on Oct. 13, an increase of 80 percent.
- Elon Musk’s wealth has more than tripled since the beginning of the pandemic, from $24.6 billion on March 18 to $92.8 billion on Oct. 13, an increase of 277 percent.
- Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth grew from $54.7 billion on March 18 to $101 billion on Oct. 13, an increase of 85 percent.
- Zoom’s Eric Yaun wasn’t even a billionaire in 2019. Now is wealth is over $22 billion, an increase of over 300 percent since March 18th.
- Steve Ballmer, a major owner of Microsoft and its TEAMS video conferencing, has seen his wealth increase by $22 billion since March 18, an increase of 43.4 percent.
- Dan Gilbert, chairman of Quicken Loans, saw his wealth rocket by 656 percent, to $49.2 billion from $6.5 billion 7 months earlier.

(October 20, 2020) China's super rich got $1.5 trillion richer during pandemic: Report
- Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce titan Alibaba, once again topped the list
after his wealth surged a whopping 45 per cent to $58.8 billion
as online shopping firms saw a surge in business owing to people being shut indoors
for months during strict lockdowns to contain the virus.
An extra 257 people also joined the billionaires club in the world's number-two economy by August,
following two years of shrinking membership, according to the closely watched Hurun Report.
The country now has a total of 878 billionaires.

(November 20, 2020) Billionaires' net worths climbed by almost $1 trillion during the pandemic while their workers were put at risk
A report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) focuses on 12 billionaires who saw their fortunes skyrocket
during the pandemic, while thousands of workers from their companies fell ill or did not receive hazard pay.
From March 2020 to November 2020, billionaires gained almost $1 trillion in wealth.
But, as the report outlines, those profits may come at the expense of the essential workers they employ.
For instance, John H. Tyson, the owner of Tyson Foods, has made over $600 million during this timeframe.
The family member of a Tyson employee who died of COVID-19 is suing the company for wrongful death
and claiming that a plant manager organized an office pool in April on how many workers would get infected.
Iowa's News Now reported that Tyson suspended the employees
named in the lawsuit and began an internal investigation,
led by former Attorney General Eric Holder.

(December 28, 2020) Top 10 richest people in world in 2020
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and widespread layoffs across sectors,
the world's richest people have collectively gained 23 per cent or $1.3 trillion
since the year began, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed.

1. Jeff Bezos
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is the richest man on the planet with a total net worth of $187 billion.
Bezos' net worth climbed $72.4 billion during the year, helped by the boost
given to markets by unprecedented stimulus efforts by governments and central bankers.
Amazon is one of the four companies whose valuations have crossed $1 trillion.
The others include Microsoft, Apple and Google.

2. Elon Musk
Tesla Inc co-founder Elon Musk surpassed Bill Gates to become the world's second richest person.
The 49-year-old entrepreneur's net worth soared to $167 billion.
Musk has added $167 billion to his net worth this year, the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Musk's ranking improved from 35 in the beginning of the year to 2nd in 10 months.

3. Bill Gates
Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates slipped to the third position in the current year.
This is the second time in the history of the index that Gates is ranked lower than No. 2.
Bill Gates held the top spot for years before being bumped by Jeff Bezos in 2017.
At present, his total net worth is $131 billion.

4. Bernard Arnault
The French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault's wealth plummeted during the initial pandemic days.
However, demand for some luxury goods has seen a rebound in recent months.
Consequently, Bernard holds the fourth spot in the list with a net worth of $110 billion.

5. Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest centibillionaire (people whose wealth exceeds $100 billion)
in Bloomberg billionaires list. With a total net worth of $105 billion, he holds the fifth position.
Two years ago, Jeff Bezos was the only centibillionaire in the world but today there are five.

6. Warren Buffett
Buffett's net worth dropped by about $4.09 billion.
However, he still remains the sixth richest person in the world with a total net worth of $85.2 billion.
The economic impact of the pandemic hit Berkshire's wide range of investments
and the company had to sell its entire stake in four major US airlines.

7. Larry Page
With a total net worth of $81.4 billion, Google co-founder Larry Page secured the seventh position
in Bloomberg Billionaires index. Page is a co-founder of Alphabet,
the holding company for Google, the world's largest search-engine operator.

8. Larry Ellison
The chairman and co-founder of software giant Oracle, Larry Ellison is the eighth richest man in the world with a net worth of $79.7 billion.
He owns about a third of the Redwood City, California-based company as well as a stake in Tesla,
a sailing team, the Indian Wells tennis event and real estate, including Hawaii's Lanai island.

9. Steve Ballmer
Former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer is the ninth richest man globally with a wealth of $79.1 billion.
Ballmer was hired by Bill Gates as an employee at Microsoft in the year 1980.
He eventually became the company's president in 1998 and replaced Gates as CEO in 2000.

10. Sergey Brin
With a net worth of $78.8 billion, Sergey Brin is the tenth richest man of 2020. He co-founded Alphabet,
the holding company that owns Google, with Larry page in 1998.
Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet in December 2019
but continues to be a controller shareholder and board member.

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Post by Abacus on Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:46 pm

(January 6, 2021) Elon Musk Surpasses Jeff Bezos to Become World’s Richest Person
Elon Musk, the outspoken entrepreneur behind Tesla Inc. and SpaceX, is now the richest person on the planet.
The South Africa-born engineer’s net worth was $188.5 billion at 10:15 a.m. in New York, $1.5 billion more than Bezos,
who has held the top spot since October 2017. As chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp.,
or SpaceX, Musk is also a rival to Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, in the private space race.
Over the past year his net worth soared by more than $150 billion in possibly the fastest bout of wealth creation in history.

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Post by Abacus on Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:03 pm

(January 11, 2021) The Pandemic Produced 56 New American Billionaires
56: That’s how many newly minted billionaires the United States gained between mid-March and December 2020, bringing the total number to 659,
according to a report by the Institute of Policy Studies and Americans for Tax Fairness, per NBC News.
These individuals have seen their collective net worth increase by more than a trillion dollars during the pandemic so far.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country continues to grapple with high unemployment and small business closures,
amid soaring Covid infections. Last year saw the biggest single-year increase in the U.S. poverty rate of any year since records began in 1960,
with the poverty rate for individuals without a college degree climbing to 22.1% in November.

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