In an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal, Fed Chair Jerome Powell rationalized and defended the Fed’s ultra-radical, previously unthinkably monstrous, and super-fast bailout of asset holders starting a year ago, when within three months the Fed created $3 trillion and purchased assets with them, and created the biggest media hoopla about those purchases and many more trillions in future purchases, in order to inflate asset prices further, and make asset holders immensely rich.
It was a huge success. Asset prices nearly across the board surged way past the levels before the crisis, and those holding them got a lot richer, very fast.
The reports and data are coming out of the woodwork from all directions. Oxfam said that the combined wealth of the world’s top 10 billionaires has skyrocketed by $540 billion since the crisis began. GOBankingRates came up with a list of the biggest gainers in net worth between March 18, 2020, and October 7. The Americans on this list:
- Jeff Bezos (+$72.6 billion);
- Elon Musk (+$63.3 billion);
- Mark Zuckerberg (+$42.1 billion);
- MacKenzie Scott (+$23.6 billion);
- Steve Ballmer (+$18.5 billion);
- Larry Ellison (+$19.9 billion);
- Nike founder Phil Knight & Family (+$19.8 billion);
- Bill Gates ($17.8 billion); Michael Dell (+$15.6 billion)
The top 10% in Q4 2020 were $8.01 trillion richer than before the crisis; half of those gains ($4 trillion) were pocketed by the top 1%.