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Saturday, January 02, 2021

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These are "Disgusting".

As usual, click on the headline to read the article if you have the stomach for it.

The stock market is ending 2020 at record highs, even as the virus surges and millions go hungry

The S&P 500 gained more than 16 percent in 2020, a strong return in a year of steep job losses and widespread pain.

The U.S. stock market ended 2020 at all-time highs, enriching the wealthy and capping off a soaring comeback despite a deadly pandemic that has killed more than 340,000 Americans and left millions jobless and hungry.

The S&P 500-stock index, the most widely watched gauge, is finishing the year up more than 16 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 7.25 percent and 43.6 percent, respectively. The Dow and S&P 500 finished at record levels despite the public health and economic crises.

Wall Street’s resurgence has been fueled by the largest federal government stimulus ever, historic support from the Federal Reserve and optimism about how quickly the economy is likely to bounce back next year as coronavirus vaccines become widely distributed. Investors have largely ignored the pain on Main Street, including pronounced unemployment, overrun hospitals and battered small businesses. On the eve of the new year, nearly 20 million people remained on unemployment, a jobs crisis worse than during the Great Recession.

“That a pandemic-induced economic shutdown of epic proportion has been digested with stocks ending the year 15 percent higher is mind-blowing," said Michael Farr, president of Farr, Miller & Washington, a D.C.-based money management firm, adding: “2020 has been stunning."

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World’s richest men added billions to their fortunes last year as others struggled

Billionaires have added about $1 trillion to their total net worth since the pandemic began.

The pandemic has forced untold hardships onto many Americans, with tens of millions of families now reporting that they don’t have enough to eat and millions more out of work on account of layoffs and lockdowns.

America’s wealthiest, on the other hand, had a very different kind of year: Billionaires as a class have added about $1 trillion to their total net worth since the pandemic began. And roughly one-fifth of that haul flowed into the pockets of just two men: Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon (and owner of The Washington Post), and Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame.

Musk has quintupled his net worth since January, according to estimates put together by Bloomberg, adding $132 billion to his wealth and vaulting him to the No. 2 spot among the world’s richest with a fortune of about $159 billion. Bezos’s wealth has grown by roughly $70 billion over the same period, putting his net worth estimate at roughly $186 billion as the year came to an end.

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I want the man in the blue shorts!
(Actually, I want him OUT of those shorts!)

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Mike Henry



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