Jeff Bezos, coronavirus and good fortune

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Jeff Bezos, coronavirus and good fortune





© JIM WATSON
Jeff Bezos in September 2019.

The richest man in the world is more and more thanks to the rise in the stock market price of Amazon, which continues to run at full speed despite the health crisis.

There are all the bosses of the world, big and small, worried about the cash flow and the sustainability of the company in the face of the recession. And then there is Jeff Bezos. The founder of Amazon has seen his personal fortune skyrocket over the past month. Estimated by Bloomberg at 105 billion dollars on March 16, it rose to 140 billion dollars Wednesday, according to the American media, which follows daily the evolution of the greatest heritages of the planet. A fantastic leap of 33%, just as the economy crashes everywhere. Except for the richest man in the world, the owner of a company with a turnover of 280 billion dollars in 2019, apparently capable of going through the most serious crisis since the 1930s.

How is it possible ? Amazon’s stock market price, in which Bezos owns around 11%, has never been higher since the creation of the online retail giant. On Wednesday, it closed at a delusional level of 2,307 euros. An Amazon share has become a real treasure: whoever holds 500 today is a millionaire … In mid-February, before the coronavirus destabilized world activity and the financial markets, a title of the American company was exchanged around 2,100 euros. It dropped to 1,676 euros on March 14. Since then, he has made an extraordinary comeback. For years, investors around the world have doubted the validity of the business model, the price of which only really took off in 2013. But, in light of the coronavirus, the financial markets have decided on one point : Amazon, which continues to deliver despite the sanitary situation and the alerts issued by its employees and union representatives, is the big winner in the world according to.

Truth be told, Bezos’ personal fortune has not beaten its historic peak. In September 2018, it peaked at $ 165 billion according to Bloomberg. At the time, Amazon’s leading shareholder owned 16% of the capital. He then relieved himself of part of these actions for the benefit of his ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, in connection with their divorce.

Long stingy, freshly patron

The current upsurge in fortune is not a hard and tumultuous increase for Bezos. It is immaterial as long as he does not sell the shares he owns. What he did massively at the start of the year, when the price was at its highest, pocketing real $ 4 billion. The complainant did not explain this decision. The funds raised could be used to finance other activities of the businessman. His space launch company, Blue Origin, demands colossal means. His diary, the Washington Post, is the subject of significant technological and human investments. In addition, Bezos, long criticized in the United States for its stingy and lack of philanthropy, has woken up a bit over the past two years on the subject.

In February, he pledged to spend $ 10 billion on climate change, prompted by a group of Amazon workers to get involved. In 2018, he donated $ 2 billion to charities working for the homeless and education. A few days ago, when the stock market price had started its furious cavalcade, Jeff Bezos further honed his image as a benefactor. He announced a donation of $ 100 million to Feeding America, a large network of food banks in the United States. “Even in normal times, food insecurity is a significant problem in American homes. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 amplifies this pressure today, “ he justified on his Instagram account. Too bad for him, another piece of information fell the same day: it revealed that Bezos had participated in a meeting of the Amazon staff aimed at organizing the media response to a dismissed American employee who had complained about the sanitary conditions in which the company continued its activity…

Staging

Would the richest man in the world have a bad conscience about accumulating billions during times of recession and pandemic? His public figure has in any case activated the “communication” mode. At the end of last week, he published on Instagram a video transpiring the staging. She shows Bezos, a white shirt tucked into jeans and a mask over his mouth, visiting an Amazon warehouse and a Whole Foods supermarket (owned by the group). Conveniently filmed by his public relations team, the billionaire is having the temperature controlled at the entrance, address of “Thank you”, thumbs up, to employees who are necessarily too happy to see the big boss cheering them on and worried about the quality of the ice creams installed at the checkouts. At one point, we see the billionaire observing his warehouse from a platform, Lex Luthor way. Striking image. Jeff Bezos looks after our interests. And hers.

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