Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg led American billionaires who got $434 BILLION richer during pandemic – The Sun

BILLIONAIRES have watched their wealth skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon’s Jess Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg led America’s 600-plus billionaires with staggering increases in their net worth, figures from Forbes show.

From mid-March to mid-May, Bezos’ net wealth grew 30.6% or by $34.6 billion.

Bezos is edging towards becoming the world's first trillionaire, it was revealed last week.

Zuckerberg, in the same two-month period, saw his net worth rise 46.2%, or $25.3 billion.

Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison all saw massive gains.

Overall, the net worth of the 600-plus billionaires in the US jumped by $434 billion in just two months.

During that same approximate period, more than 38 million Americans lost their jobs due to the economic fall-out from the COVID-19 shutdown.

The data was published in a report by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality.

“The surge in billionaire wealth during a global pandemic underscores the grotesque nature of unequal sacrifice,” said Chuck Collins, director of the IPS Program on Inequality and co-author of the Billionaire Bonanza 2020 report.

“While millions risk their lives and livelihoods as first responders and front line workers, these billionaires benefit from an economy and tax system that is wired to funnel wealth to the top.”

The gains made by Bezos, Zuckerberg and other billionaires may in part be due to a tax break for the wealthy included in the recent CARES Act signed by President Trump.

Dubbed the ‘millionaire’s giveaway’, the clause allows wealthy taxpayers to use losses in certain years to avoid paying taxes in other years.

It’s estimated some of the richest Americans, particularly real estate investors, could pocket approximately $1.6million from the $2trillion coronavirus stimulus bill.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D – RI) highlighted the clause when it was signed back in April.

"According to the [Joint Committee in Taxation], 43,000 individual tax filers covered by one of the provisions would see their tax liability fall by a combined $70.3 billion in 2020," Senator Whitehouse said.

"The JCT analysis shows nearly 82 per cent of those who will benefit from that provision make $1 million or more, with 95 per cent making over $200,000."

That adds up to as much as $1.6 million in tax breaks for some of those individuals in 2020 alone.

Source: Read Full Article

'Yankee Comandante' Will Reunite Adam Driver and 'Midnight Special' Director Jeff Nichols

Jeff Nichols, one of the more underrated directors working today, is reuniting with Adam Driver for Yankee Comandante. The film will tell the true story of a man from Ohio who “rose to the rank of comandante during the Cuban Revolution” alongside Che Guevara. Nichols and Driver previously worked together on the criminally underseen Midnight Special.

Variety has the news on Yankee Comandante, a new film from Jeff Nichols starring Adam Driver. It’s based on a true story, chronicled in a New Yorker article by David Grann about “two people who rose to the rank of comandante during the Cuban Revolution. One was Che Guevara. The other was a man from Ohio.” The man from Ohio – whom Driver will presumably be playing – was named William Morgan, and his story was also chronicled in Aran Shetterly’s book The Americano. Regarding the story, Grann said:

“It’s about a man who both fell in love with a cause and kind of found himself, and a man who had this great, passionate romance during the revolution and fell in love with a Cuban woman. She was still alive. She’s a wonderful lady, incredibly spirited woman; she’s in her 70s now and still as spirited as ever but it took a little while for her to feel comfortable, to want to cooperate. When she did, I knew I had a great story.”

Grann’s name might be familiar to some, as his articles and books have served as inspiration for several movies, including The Lost City of ZThe Old Man & the Gun, and Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon.

Nichols’ work includes Take ShelterMudMidnight Special, and Loving, all of which were either good or great, while also being mostly ignored by wide audiences. Which is a shame, because he’s got the goods, and this sounds like great material for him to work with. Throwing Driver, who has fast become one of the best actors working right now, into the mix is a bonus as well.

There’s no official word on when the production of Yankee Comandante might commence, what with the coronavirus halting pretty much everything, but Variety says the hope is to start shooting in 2021.

Source: Read Full Article

'Tiger King': Jeff Lowe Gives More Details About His Fight With Joe Exotic Over Checks

The Netflix series, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness focused on Joseph Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, and his feud with Carole Baskin.

He also had a falling out with Jeff Lowe, who accused him of forging his name on checks. Lowe went into more detail about his fight with Maldonado-Passage.

Joe Exotic of ‘Tiger King’ is currently in prison

Maldonado-Passage went from Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park or G.W. Zoo owner to going to prison. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison for multiple crimes.

He was found guilty for two counts of hiring someone to murder, eight counts of violating the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act, according to the Department of Justice’s release.

His former business partner, Lowe accused Maldonado-Passage of embezzling money by forging his name on checks before he went to prison. He was filmed confronting Maldonado-Passage about it in the series.

He denied setting up Maldonado-Passage

Maldonado-Passage accused Lowe of setting him up in the series. Allen Glover claimed Maldonado-Passage tried to hire him to kill Baskin. The zoo owner had something to say about that.

“Allen is Jeff’s right-hand man. That’s what makes no sense to all this,” Maldonado-Passage said. He later added, “But I knew something was going to come down sooner or later because Jeff and James was con-artist buddies. They record everything. Because that’s how they blackmail you.”

Lowe and his wife, Lauren Dropla talked to Entertainment Tonight about confronting Maldonado-Passage. He claimed didn’t set up Maldonado-Passage.

“It’s sad that people think that we set him up, but what we did was we protected ourselves,” he said. “Lauren and I didn’t do anything wrong, so I’m not about to take the fall for Joe’s crimes.”

Lowe talked about confronting him

Dropla claimed the zoo owner had a big reaction to being confronted.”We were already planning to confront Joe that day… As soon as I opened the door, Joe came busting in and he actually pushed me up against the wall with the door and it just went off from there,” Dropla said. “So I just automatically started recording. I said, ‘We need to cover our a**.’”

Lowe thinks that recording is what helped him and his wife legally. “That is I think effectively what saved us from the scrutiny of the federal investigators. Because, initially, I would have been a suspect in cub trafficking because my name was on the park and Joe was breeding all these cats here and selling them,” Lowe said.

He still claims they were only trying to help Maldonado-Passage. “You see all these beautiful animals, knowing that someone like Carole Baskin was going to possibly get all of them,” Lowe said. “I didn’t want that to happen… We did not want her getting a hold of these tigers because she would have either made money or figured out a way to put them down.”

Lowe now owns the G.W. Zoo. He revealed that a new episode of Tiger King will be released on Netflix. It will act as a reunion for many people in the series.

Source: Read Full Article