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Photo: Ed Freeman/Getty Images

American billionaires are buying large ranches across Wyoming, Montana and Texas, creating a new class of luxury assets, writes Bloomberg.

Why it matters: The wealthy are often buying the land from "asset-rich, cash poor" small farmers whose families have owned the land for decades. The purchases put money in the farmers' pockets as many struggle with tough times, but are shifting the structure of land ownership in the American West.

The big picture: Compared to other luxury assets, land can be enjoyed without losing its value.

  • 100 families own about 42 million acres across the country. The amount of land owned by these families has jumped 50% since 2007, reports the New York Times.

The buyers: Amazon's Jeff Bezos owns 420,000 acres in Texas. He uses it for his space exploration ventures, per Bloomberg. He spent his childhood summers at his grandparents' Texas ranch.

  • Businessman John Malone owns the most land in the U.S. with 2.20 million acres —  most of it is ranch land.
  • Media giant Ted Turner owns 2 million acres spread across Montana, Nebraska and other states.

Yes, but: Some locals view the wealthy buyers as a "threat to a way of life beloved for its easy access to the outdoors," per the Times. However, some rich land owners have made a point to invest in conservation efforts in their communities.

Go deeper: The upward march of the billionaires

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 min ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 49 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.