Jeff Bezos and other top executives offloaded shares just in time before the pandemic slashed company values, saving them billions
- Executives at top US traded companies sold around $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies between the start of February and the end of last week
- This saved the executives around $1.9 billion, as the S&P 500 stock index plunged about 30% between February 19 and March 20
- Amazon boss Jeff Bezos was by far the biggest seller, offloading $3.4 billion in shares in the first week of February, saving a staggering $317 million
- More than 150 top bosses who sold at least $1 million worth of stock in February and March had not sold any stock in the last 12 months
- There is no suggestion that the sales was done due to information about coronavirus but the sales dwarfed those in the same period in 2019
- A number of US senators were exposed last week after they appeared to offload stock while reassuring the public everything was under control
- Ordinary workers have been less lucky, with many losing their jobs overnight and more than 37 million jobs at risk
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Rachel Sharp – Daily Mail March 24, 2020
Jeff Bezos and other top executives offloaded shares just in time before the coronavirus pandemic slashed their company values, saving themselves billions.
Executives at top US traded companies sold around $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies between the start of February and the end of last week, analysis from the Wall Street Journal has revealed.
The quick move to offload shares looks to have saved the executives – who are already among the richest people in the country – billions, as they ditched them just in the nick of time before the markets plummeted.
The analysis estimates that the sales prevented the top bosses losing around $1.9 billion between them, as the S&P 500 stock index plunged about 30% between February 19 and March 20.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos was by far the biggest seller, offloading $3.4 billion in shares in the first week of February, saving him a staggering $317 million than if he had kept the stock through to March 20.
It also saw the billionaire sell as much stock in that one week as he has in the last year, the Journal reported.
The sale accounted for around 3% of Bezos’s total Amazon shares, and made up over a third of all stock exchange sales during this timeframe.
Laurence Fink, CEO of BlackRock, also acted to offload stock as the US geared up for the coronavirus to reach new heights, selling $25 million of his company shares on February 14, saving himself potential losses of more than $9.3 million.
A spokesperson for BlackRock told the Journal his sales were a small percentage of his holdings and that he had sold a similar amount of stock the same time in 2019.
The boss of IHS Markit, Lance Uggla, also sold $47 million of his shares around February 19, which would by now have plummeted by $19.2 million.