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

2 hours ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.