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Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

The world's 500 richest people added $1.2 trillion to their collective net worth in 2019, boosting their holdings by 25% to $5.9 trillion, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Income inequality has become a key issue for politicians around the globe, highlighted by the fact that the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans now hold a larger share of wealth at any point since 1929 — the start of the Great Depression.

Winners:

  • New billionaires in 2019 include White Claw creator Anthony von Mandl, cosmetics maven Kylie Jenner and Takeaway.com founder Jitse Grown.
  • The 172 American billionaires on Bloomberg's list added a collective $500 billion to their net worth. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was up $27.3 billion and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates increased his wealth by $22.7 billion.
  • China now has 54 billionaires, second only to the U.S.

Losers:

  • WeWork’s Adam Neumann is still a billionaire, but the company's valuation imploded from $47 billion to $8 billion during the year.
  • Rupert Murdoch's fortune dropped by about $10 billion after proceeds from Fox's sale of assets to Disney were distributed among his children.

Go deeper: Billionaire philanthropists turn money into influence

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals early Wednesday, 11 hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."

51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.