Jeff Bezos becomes richest man in modern history, topping $150 billion

Jeff Bezos becomes richest man in modern history, topping $150 billion
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New Delhi, Jul 17: Jeff Bezos is the richest person in modern history.
The founder’s net worth cracked $150 billion in New York, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s about $55 billion more than Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s second-richest person.
Bezos, 54, also has topped Gates in inflation-adjusted terms. The $100 billion mark that Gates hit briefly in 1999 at the height of the dot-com boom would be worth about $149 billion in today’s dollars. That makes the Amazon chief executive officer richer than anyone else on earth since at least 1982, when Forbes published its inaugural wealth ranking.
Bezos crossed the threshold as Amazon was preparing to kick off its 36-hour summer sales event, Prime Day, which got off to a rocky start as glitches struck the firm’s website and mobile app.
Shares of the company, which had climbed to a record $1,841.95 pared gains on the news, closing up 0.5 per cent at $1,822.49. Bezos’s stay above $150 billion may be short-lived. The stock slipped below $1,800 in extended trading after Netflix Inc. posted disappointing results, rattling tech investors.
His net worth has soared by $52 billion this year, which is more than the entire fortune of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma, Asia’s wealthiest person. It also puts Bezos’s personal fortune within spitting distance of the $151.5 billion controlled by the Walton family, the world’s richest dynasty.
“It’s hard to even put it in perspective,” said Michael Cole, CEO of Cresset Family Office. “It’s such a staggering number.”
A Federal Reserve report found the top 1 per cent of US families controlled 38.6 per cent of wealth in the US in 2016, compared with 22.8 per cent held by the bottom 90 per cent. Last year, Oxfam International found that more than 80 per cent of earnings went to the top 1 per cent of the world population.
Behind Bezos on the Bloomberg index is Gates, with a $95.3 billion fortune. Gates would have had a net worth of more than $150 billion if he’d held onto assets that he’s given away, largely to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.