Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Has Gotten $9.5 Billion Richer This Year

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Has Gotten $9.5 Billion Richer This Year

REUTERS/The Fiscal Times
By Yuval Rosenberg

The stock market has inched its way to one record high after another this year, with the S&P 500 gaining a solid if unspectacular 3.5 percent so far. That rise has enriched investors by some $900 billion in 2015, as Matt Krantz at USA Today points out.

As Krantz also notes, though, some shareholders have done far, far better than the broader market. Jeff Bezos, for example.

The Amazon CEO has benefitted from a 40 percent rise in his company’s stock in 2015, adding a whopping $9.5 billion in paper gains to his already sizable net worth to lift it to $38.2 billion, good enough for 11th highest in the world, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

Related: 7 Quirky Economic Indicators – from Dogs to Guns​

AMZN Chart

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As well as Bezos has done, four foreign billionaires have actually made more in 2015: Pan Sutong, chairman of Hong Kong investment conglomerate Goldin Group, has made more than $20 billion; Wang Jianlin, the founder and chairman of another Chinese conglomerate, Dalian Wanda, has made $19.4 billion; Zhou Qunfei, China’s richest woman, has added nearly $11 billion; and Patrick Drahi, the French chairman and largest shareholder of Luxembourg-based telecom company Altice, has gained $9.7 billion.

Bezos may be far ahead of the U.S. pack, but the USA Today analysis of data from S&P Capital IQ shows some other CEOs of American companies have fared extremely well as a result of their stock holdings, too. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has made more than $1 billion on paper, while Google’s Larry Page has gained just under $1 billion. And as shares of drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance have surged more than 11 percent this year, acting CEO Stefano Pessina has profited to the tune of $645.6 million. The CEOs of salesforce.com, Under Armour, Starbucks, Mohawk Industries, Constellation Brands and Netflix have all seen paper gains of more than $260 million so far in 2015.

You can see USA Today’s full list here

Why Craft Brewers Are Crying in Their Beer

		<p>The $85 billion in spending cuts is just $10 million more than what Americans spent on beer in 2011.</p>
Scott Olson/Getty Images
By Michael Rainey

It may be small beer compared to the problems faced by unemployed federal workers and the growing cost for the overall economy, but the ongoing government shutdown is putting a serious crimp in the craft brewing industry. Small-batch brewers tend to produce new products on a regular basis, The Wall Street Journal’s Ruth Simon says, but each new formulation and product label needs to be approved by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which is currently closed. So it looks like you’ll have to wait a while to try the new version of Hemperor HPA from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, a hoppy brew that will include hemp seeds once the shutdown is over.

Number of the Day: $30 Billion

Benis Arapovic/GraphicStock
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The amount spent on medical marketing reached $30 billion in 2016, up from $18 billion in 1997, according to a new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and highlighted by the Associated Press. The number of advertisements for prescription drugs appearing on television, newspapers, websites and elsewhere totaled 5 million in one year, accounting for $6 billion in marketing spending. Direct-to-consumer marketing grew the fastest, rising from $2 billion, or 12 percent of total marketing, to nearly $10 billion, or a third of spending. “Marketing drives more treatments, more testing” that patients don’t always need, Dr. Steven Woloshin, a Dartmouth College health policy expert and co-author of the study, told the AP.

70% of Registered Voters Want a Compromise to End the Shutdown

National Zoo closed in due to the partial government shutdown in Washington
KEVIN LAMARQUE
By The Fiscal Times Staff

An overwhelming majority of registered voters say they want the president and Congress to “compromise to avoid prolonging the government shutdown” in a new The Hill-HarrisX poll. Seven in ten respondents said they preferred the parties reach some sort of deal to end the standoff, while 30 percent said it was more important to stick to principles, even if it means keeping parts of the government shutdown. Voters who “strongly approve” of Trump (a slim 21 percent of respondents) favored him sticking to his principles over the wall by a narrow 54 percent-46 percent margin. Voters who “somewhat approve” of the president favored a compromise solution by a 70-30 margin. Among Republicans overall, 61 percent said they wanted a compromise.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted January 5 and 6 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Share Buybacks Soar to Record $1 Trillion

istockphoto
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Although there may be plenty of things in the GOP tax bill to complain about, critics can’t say it didn’t work – at least as far as stock buybacks go. TrimTabs Investment Research said Monday that U.S. companies have now announced $1 trillion in share buybacks in 2018, surpassing the record of $781 billion set in 2015. "It's no coincidence," said TrimTabs' David Santschi. "A lot of the buybacks are because of the tax law. Companies have more cash to pump up the stock price."