EDITOR NOTE: Millions of people across the globe have lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Trillions of dollars have been wiped out of the stock market. And although the broader market has rallied, some indexes exceeding their pre-pandemic heights, the extreme volatility has struck fear into the hearts of investors, many of whom sold some positions at steep losses. However, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, along with others among the wealthy elite, have profited immensely from the market action. Bezos began selling company shares before the Coronavirus Crash, perhaps even contributing to it. He sold again during the recent market pullback. When you combine “smarts” with massive capital resources--two attributes that separate the elite class from average citizens--the stock market becomes a rigged game; one in which the average person almost always ends up on the losing side.
Bezos has accelerated his stock sales in the last year. In August, Bezos offloaded more than $3.1 billion of Amazon shares, after selling more than $4.1 billion worth of shares in February. The sales this week bring his total cash out in 2020 to more than $10.2 billion so far, which is a notable jump from 2019, when Bezos sold $2.8 billion worth of shares.
Even with the latest stock sale, Bezos still owns more than 53 million shares worth nearly $170 billion, making him the richest person in the world.
The transactions were made as part of a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan, according to the filings. Amazon declined to comment on the latest sale.
Bezos has previously said he sells about $1 billion of Amazon stock each year to fund his rocket start-up, Blue Origin. Additionally, the Amazon CEO in February launched a $10 billion Earth Fund to combat the effects of climate change, which will issue grants to scientists, activists and other organizations.
While Bezos hasn’t yet announced the recipients of the fund, The Atlantic reported Tuesday that Bezos is expected to give $100 million each to the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Wildlife Fund.
Originally posted on CNBC