By Mukwuzi Joseph
The former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Scott, has become the world’s richest woman after Amazon shares surged amid the Covid-19 worldwide lockdowns.
Scott added another US$30.3 billion ($44.8b) to her bank balance in the past year, taking her net worth to a staggering US$67.4b ($99.7b), according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Scott owns a 4 per cent stake in Amazon after last July’s divorce settlement with Bezos
But most of Scott’s wealth is likely to be given away to good causes
Shortly after finalising her divorce, the mum-of-four signed up to the Giving Pledge campaign – an initiative founded by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, which encourages the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate most of their fortunes to worthy causes.
Amazon stocks have skyrocketed since the global pandemic stuck, as stay-at-home orders and shuttered businesses sent consumers flocking to the retail giant for online orders and home deliveries.
Shares have risen from nearly US$2000 to US$3500 since the start of 2020.
Since pandemic lockdowns started in March, the combined US billionaire wealth has grown by nearly US$800 billion, or more than 25 per cent, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness, an advocacy group.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans find themselves on the breadline and bracing for job losses.
The Federal Reserve estimated that US net household worth fell by a record 5.6 per cent in the first three months of the year, the biggest single-quarter decline since the 1950s.