Tampa Bay Times
HOW TO SPEND $7B
Jeff Bezos’ net worth surged overnight, thanks to Amazon.
Jeff Bezos is once more the richest man in the world, adding some $7 billion to his net wealth overnight thanks to a surge in Amazon stock.
Amazon posted third-quarter earnings on Thursday that far surpassed Wall Street expectations, helped by the acquisition of organic grocer Whole Foods and an increase in sales during its summer “Prime Day” promotions. The company also said it expects sales to rise during the busy holiday-shopping season.
As a result, Bezos’ net worth jumped to $90 billion overnight, according to data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Amazon’s share price continued rising on Friday, closing the week at $1,100.95 a share, up 13 percent. That meant his net worth had climbed even higher — to $93 billion.
Bezos had already surpassed fellow billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates by $500 million as of early Friday; by day’s end, he was $3 billion ahead. It was the second time that Bezos topped Gates, but the first time only lasted a day in July.
The overnight gain of $7 billion would have been enough for Bezos to buy the Washington Post nearly 30 times over. He paid $250 million for the newspaper — with his own money, not Amazon’s — in 2013.
But if he wanted to cash out that gain to go toward Tampa Bay causes or entities, here are a few suggestions.
It was enough of an overnight profit for Bezos:
personally fund the massive $3 billion Water Street Tampa project in downtown Tampa plus Tampa International Airport’s $2 billion makeover with enough chump change left to pay for a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays (estimated at up to $650 million).
cover USF’s entire annual operating budget nearly four times over ($1.79 billion).