As 26 million Americans lose their jobs, the billionaire class has added $308bn to its wealthSo when the pandemic struck, those at the apex of the wealth pyramid were better positioned than ever to take advantage of the chaos. The rest, not so much. Collins has been studying income inequality for 25 years and has seen the really rich win victory after victory. But even he was surprised by how quickly America’s billionaires have turned pandemic into profit. “I still get shocked,” he said.