- Bloomberg: Biden’s Presidency Made the Wealthiest Americans Even Richer
- German Economy Shrinks by 1.7% Due to the Third Wave
- EU Ready for Talks on €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve
Bloomberg: Biden’s Presidency Made the Wealthiest American Even Richer
The wealth of the richest citizens of the United States in the first 100 days of Joe Biden’s presidency grew by $195 billion, Bloomberg reports.
Joseph Biden officially took up residency on January 20. One of the first achievements of the new president was the agreement and the allocation of record funds to stimulate the American economy in the amount of $1.9 trillion. These funds also included payments to some citizens, but the primary beneficiaries of the support measures were wealthy players in the stock market: the S&P 500 and Dow Jones rose more than 10%.
Attempts such as Biden’s to refloat the economy can boost incomes and wealth at the very top, said Mike Savage, a sociology professor at the London School of Economics.
“We’ve seen that paradox since the 2008 financial crash with quantitative easing, which has mostly benefited people with assets, inflating their value significantly,” Savage said.
In addition, online activity has increased amid the coronavirus pandemic, fueling the rise of tech companies such as Amazon and Facebook. It also became a growth driver for the entire stock market.
Now the combined wealth of the 100 wealthiest Americans has reached $2.9 trillion, more than the combined wealth of 50% of the US population, estimated at $2.5 trillion.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, has gotten $11.7 billion richer this year. Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth rose by $8.1 billion, while Google’s Larry Page has added $26.6 billion this year after the California-based company posted a record profit last year. The wealth of Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk has grown $5.1 billion since January. Finance billionaires such as Warren Buffett and Blackstone Group Inc.’s Stephen Schwarzman have also been significant beneficiaries of stock market rises.
German Economy Shrinks by 1.7% Due to the Third Wave
An extension to restrictions during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic has hampered Germany’s economic recovery at the start of 2021. According to Deutsche Welle, in the first quarter of 2021, the collapse of Germany’s GDP was 1.7%.
Germany’s performance was also worse than the first-quarter data coming out of other large European economies earlier this week.
France announced a return to growth over the January to March period at 0.4%. Italy suffered a contraction of 0.4% and Spain by 0.5%.
Experts believe the main reason for the decline is the introduction of a new lockdown in Germany. It paralyzed consumer demand in the country and, as a result, slowed down the processes associated with it.
Experts call the reasons for such a sharp jump in the incidence: new mutations of the virus and insufficiently active vaccination campaign.
According to the statistics department, the new round of coronavirus restrictions imposed in Germany has had the most significant impact on household consumption.
Furthermore, bad weather played a part, with subzero temperatures hampered Germany’s booming construction sector over the winter.
If more citizens are vaccinated, and regulations are relaxed, experts expect the economy to improve in the second half of the year. However, most analysts believe the country will not return to everyday economic life until next year.
Besides, a German military aircraft with 120 ventilators reached India on Saturday as the countries worldwide started to help India cope with the catastrophic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said a “deep friendship” connects India and Germany and that “Germany will send urgently needed goods to provide care to the patients.”
EU Ready for Talks on €5 Billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve
The Council of EU countries is ready to begin negotiations with the European Parliament on creating a fund of five billion euros to mitigate the economic problems of the European Union caused by Brexit, the Council said.
In July 2020, the head of the Council of Europe, Charles Michel, proposed creating a reserve of five billion euros in case of the need to confront the unforeseen economic consequences of Brexit at the end of the transition period, after December 31, 2020. This fund should become part of the EU budgets for 2021-2027.
“EU member states today endorsed the Council’s position on a €5 billion fund designed to mitigate the immediate impact of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union,” the release said.
The fund, known as the Brexit adjustment reserve, will focus on the most affected regions, areas, and sectors in the EU and will be used to pay for a variety of measures such as compensating businesses for lost trade, keeping people in employment, and setting up customs checks at ports.
Augusto Santos Silva, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Council presidency, stated that: ”The reserve aims to support all member states to counter the negative consequences of the UK’s withdrawal. In a spirit of solidarity, we are committed to helping European regions, companies, and citizens, and especially the hardest-hit communities, to tackle the unprecedented challenges of Brexit.”
Trade between the EU and Britain has already been hit hard. According to Eurostat, in January-February this year, EU exports to Britain fell by about 20% annually, and imports – by 47%.
Now the European Parliament must approve its position on this fund, and then the Council and the EP will begin negotiations on its creation. The goal is to reach an agreement by the end of the summer so that the first money will go before the end of the year.