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2016 Was Totally Awesome! (For Billionaires)

The world's wealthiest can celebrate 2016 as a banner year.

That's according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bloomberg writes:

The biggest fortunes on the planet whipsawed through $4.8 trillion of daily net worth gains and losses during the year, rising 5.7 percent to $4.4 trillion by the close of trading Dec. 27.

That translates to $237 billion more for the uber-wealthy than they started the year with.

Notching the biggest gain was American investor Warren Buffett, who boosted his wealth $11.8 billion over the year. A vocal backer of Hilary Clinton during the presidential campaign, the Berkshire Hathaway head "has done just fine so far with a Donald Trump victory," as CNBC has noted.

Bloomberg observes that Buffett "reclaimed his spot as the world's second-richest person two days after Trump's victory ignited a year-end rally that pushed Buffett's wealth up 19 percent for the year to $74.1 billion." In fact, Bloomberg adds:

U.S. billionaires - including Buffett - favored Trump's rival Hillary Clinton. Still, they profited from his victory when they added $77 billion to their fortunes in the post-election rally fueled by expectations that regulations would ease and American industry would benefit.

Also claiming one of the top five biggest gains of the year is fracking tycoon and Trump energy advisor Harold Hamm. Billionaires in his sector of energy, mining, and metals that are "best-performing category on the ranking," Bloomberg says.

Hamm's fortune was propelled by a strengthening oil price and expectations a Trump administration will slash fossil-fuel regulations. Hamm added $8.4 billion to more than double his fortune to $15.3 billion.

The new rankings come as reports show inequality in the U.S. and across the globe widening.

Meanwhile, Trump, who will preside over the richest cabinet ever, has proposed a tax plan that would benefit the wealthiest households.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Posted on December 30, 2016


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