That the global economy is nose-diving is now not news anymore. In a report titled, Global Economic Prospects, the World Bank has warned that the Coronavirus pandemic has caused a deep recession – probably one of the worst we have ever seen.
The repercussions are all too clear – world over, millions are losing jobs and businesses are shutting down. In America alone, between March and May of 2020, 22 million people filed for unemployment benefits. When it comes to businesses, the smaller ones face the worst future – since they have little holding power. In the UK, for instance, a research by McKinsey & Company found that small and medium-size businesses are badly affected, and that one in five may not survive past August 2020.
However, while smaller companies suffer, some of the bigger ones (read biggest) have further consolidated their wealth and have seen their incomes and profits expand exponentially during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, those at the forefront of these gains include those in industries producing healthcare-related goods – producing masks, gloves, sanitisers, disinfectants and ventilators (amongst other things). The shares of companies working on producing forms of treatments or vaccines for the Coronavirus have seen spikes. For instance, Stephane Bancel, the CEO of Moderna, saw a 103% raise in stocks once vaccine testing began. Similarly, Gustavo Denegri, the CEO of DiaSorin, saw a 32% increase in wealth due to the production of swab-based testing kits.
But the gains, of course, are not limited to those specialising in healthcare. The wealth of the world’s billionaires has soared during the pandemic – with a combined $434 billion rise in their incomes from mid-March to mid-May alone. Needless to add, most of these billionaires are founders of Big Tech companies – Jeff Bezos saw an overall rise of $34.6 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg amassed $25 billion over the last two months. The five richest billionaires alone saw a combined $76 billion rise in wealth. Other tech companies like Alphabet (Google) and Zoom have also seen significant increases in their income during the pandemic.