Analysis | Businesses with ‘windfall’ pandemic profits are showering them on investors, study finds

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From a purely practical standpoint it would have been challenging for Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, to give out bonuses of that magnitude. Most of his wealth is tied up in Amazon stock, rather than liquid cash. (Representatives from Amazon did not respond to a request for comment). But the factoid about the world’s richest man — he was briefly worth more than $200 billion in August — is a useful illustration of what Oxfam calls the “windfall” profits flowing to a small number of very large businesses whose products and services are in high demand in the pandemic era.“The worsening inequality crisis triggered by COVID-19 is fueled by an economic model that has allowed some of the world’s largest corporations to funnel billions of dollars in profits to shareholders,” Oxfam wrote. “At the same time, it has left low-wage workers and women to pay the price of the pandemic without social or financial protection.” From 2010 to 2019, companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index spent $9.1 trillion on payouts to their wealthiest shareholders — equaling more than 90 percent of their profits over the same period, the report said. “Several companies not only paid out all of their profits to …

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