The Covid-19 virus truly does not discriminate as it sweeps through the United States. With the world economy on its knees, the ultra rich are also suffering in their own way. Since the outbreak, the number of millionaires in the US has nose dived from a record high as the financial impact of the pandemic takes its toll on the fortunes of the richest Americans.
Here’s some context for you: By the end of 2019, there were 11 million American millionaires in the world. As of Friday, that number has dropped by a whopping 500,000. Imagine waking up one day and no longer being a millionaire. No wait, you have to imagine being a millionaire in the first place. Life is a cruel mistress and the irony behind all of this is almost poetic.
It turns out that wealthy Americans are more susceptible to the effects of a stock market free fall for the simple reason that they own more equity than the overall population. Federal Reserve data actually shows that the top 1 percent of households in the country owned more than 53.5 percent of equities and mutual fund shares. If you ever needed a clearer picture of the vast gap between the rich and the poor, it’s this.
As the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, it’s the wealthy that are suffering the most dramatic losses in all of this. In fact, the Bloomberg Billionaire index shows that the world’s 500 richest people have lost almost $1.3 trillion since the start of the year. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty insane.
All that being said though, at the end of the day, it’s the working class who will suffer the brunt of it all. The impending economic slowdown is all set to rival the 2008 financial crisis and in the past week alone, a record 2.25 million Americans lost their jobs with experts expecting more on the way.
As it stands, the US is fast catching up with Italy in the number of positive cases, having recorded 80,138 cases and 1151 deaths. With the senate finally passing a historic 2 trillion USD stimulus package just yesterday, hopefully the economic impact on Americans won’t be as bad as predicted.