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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

25 mins ago - Health

Biden gets COVID-19 booster shot on live television

President Biden received a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine booster shot on live television on Monday, while also urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Driving the news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week recommended Pfizer booster shots for millions of people, including those 65 years and older and individuals at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

John Hinckley, who shot Reagan, wins unconditional release

John Hinckley Jr. sitting on the back seat of a car in 1981. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate former President Reagan in 1981.

State of play: U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington ruled that Hinckley can be freed from all court supervision in 2022 if he remains mentally stable and continues to follow rules that were imposed on him after he was released from a Washington mental health facility in 2016 to live in Virginia, AP reports.

Rep. Karen Bass launches run for Los Angeles mayor

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) on Monday launched her bid for mayor of Los Angeles.

Why it matters: Bass is a high-profile member of Congress. The former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, she was considered as a potential running mate to President Joe Biden and was a lead negotiator in the recently-ended talks on police reform. Should Bass win the mayoral election, she would become the first female mayor in L.A. history.