It's doubtful anyone had the illusion that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was anything but really, really, really, really wealthy. Till now the big question has been about the exact size of his mountain of money. Well, his fortune is now $91 billion and that makes him the richest man on Earth.
He's richer than Bill Gates, but not by much, reports Bloomberg, and it's thanks to a bump in shares of Amazon.com Inc.:
Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3 percent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 a.m. in New York, giving Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion, versus $90.7 billion for Gates.
If that holds through the 4 p.m. close, Bezos, 53, will leapfrog Gates, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, 61, has held the top spot since May 2013.
In recent years, Bezos's billions has ripped past that of legendary investor Warren Buffett, Spanish retail mogul Amancio Ortega and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. Bezos racked up more than $24 billion in net worth since January 2017 alone, according to Bloomberg.
Physical retail stores have reason to be unhappy with this news. Bezos's wealth is in great part based on the very thing putting them out of business. Securities analyst Michael Pachter told Bloomberg that "Amazon Prime is why so much physical retail is going away."
"Anyone who joins Prime shops in retail stores 10 percent less," Pachter said, "and that number will keep accelerating as Amazon adds more inventory."
Web hosting services have a similar problem, as Bloomberg reports that Amazon Web Services—the company's cloud computing wing—is the top such service in the cloud-computing industry.