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Former Mrs. Bezos becomes richest woman in the world as Wall Street highs lead to reshuffling of top billionaires

MacKenzie Scott, a novelist and philanthropist who recently divorced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is now the wealthiest woman in the world. Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk overtook Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest man in the world, after Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

Since pandemic lockdowns started in March, the combined U.S. billionaire wealth has grown by nearly $800 billion, or over 25 percent, according to an analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness, an advocacy group.

MacKenzie Scott & Jeff Bezos

As part of her divorce, Scott got a 4 percent stake in Amazon, whose stock has been on a tear as coronavirus-induced lockdowns propel online sales and home deliveries. Shares have risen from nearly $2,000 to $3,500 since the start of the year.

While it’s been a wild and crazy carousel at the top of the billionaire index, the blistering pace of wealth accumulation comes in sharp contrast to the economic devastation that millions of Americans at the other end of the spectrum are facing.