As the world is undergoing one of the most serious economic crises in its contemporary history, billionaires have never made so much money. The reasons? They are shareholders in new technologies and pharmaceutical industry.
By Ian Hamel, in Geneva
In 2020, we’ve never talked so much about ecology, but if you’ve invested in the environmental sector, you certainly haven’t made a fortune. Billionaires, on the other hand, after losing 6.6% over the two months of stock market turbulence, in January and February 2020, regained 27.5% between April and July, by betting on the shares of technology and health giants.
According to a study by the Swiss bank UBS and the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the combined assets of the world’s 2,189 billionaires would amount to 10,200 billion dollars. One example: China’s Zhong Huijuan, who floated her company Hansoh Pharmaceutical on the stock exchange in 2019, now has a fortune of around 20 billion dollars.
In short, for the richest, 2020 has not been a black year, while at the same time millions of people have slipped into poverty. But can we blame billionaires for investing in the pharmaceutical industry or in healthcare, medical equipment and biotechnology? It is in part thanks to them that we have succeeded in bringing effective vaccines against Covid-19 to the market so quickly.
And since the well-to-do have never made so much money in such a short time, they can afford to be particularly generous. UBS and PwC survey reveals that 209 of them (nearly half of whom live in the United States) made a $ 7.2 billion ‘donation’ to charity between March and June 2020 .
That is a long way from shouting: “Long live the rich!”.