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This article was published on March 25, 2020

Bezos dumped $3.4B in Amazon shares just before coronavirus tanked the stock market

Great timing

Bezos dumped $3.4B in Amazon shares just before coronavirus tanked the stock market

In news that should hardly surprise anyone: those in charge of the US’ biggest companies dumped billions of dollars worth of shares on the stock market just before it crashed.

Top execs of public US companies sold roughly $9.2 billion worth of shares in their own companies between the start of February and the end of last week, Wall Street Journal reports.

[Read: Online marketplaces are tanking worldwide – except for Amazon]

Thousands of insiders reportedly made similar moves. More than 150 executives and officers each sold at least $1 million in company stock during February and March, after selling no stock at all in the previous year.

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These numbers come with no accusations of insider trading (aside from those levied against Republican senator Richard Barr et al.)

None made more than Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. He unloaded $3.4 billion in Amazon shares just before the stock market peaked in mid-February, found the Wall Street Journal, accounting for more than a third of all shares sold by top execs.

Bezos reportedly sold more shares in the first week of February than in the entire previous 12 months, and that’s only 3% of his total Amazon holdings.

If Bezos, whose net worth is estimated at around $110 billion, had’ve held onto those Amazon shares until Monday, he reportedly would’ve been facing losses of $317 million, at least on paper.

In other words, Bezos sold the top  in a big way. Shortly after its February 19th peak, the S&P 500 index suffered its fastest 30% sell-off in history, reportedly exceeding declines felt during the Great Depression.

Go him.

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