Bezos’ Feb Amazon stock sale earned $3.4 billion, not $1.8 billion


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In early February Jeff Bezos sold of 3% of his Amazon stock, almost twice what had been reported at the time, earning him $3.4 billion not $1.8 billion.

This information is part of an overall sell-off in early February by the top executives of many U.S. companies, totaling $9.2 billion.

While Mr. Bezos’s sales accounted for more than a third of the 2020 sales, thousands of other insiders sold stock. More than 150 executives and officers individually sold at least $1 million worth of stock in February and March after having sold no stock in the previous 12 months, the Journal analysis found.

Wall Street executives also sold large dollar amounts, including Laurence Fink, CEO of BlackRock Inc., who sold $25 million of his company shares on Feb. 14, pre-empting potential losses of more than $9.3 million and Lance Uggla, CEO of IHS Markit Ltd., a data and analytics firm, who sold $47 million of his shares around Feb. 19. Those shares would have dropped in value by $19.2 million if Mr. Uggla had retained them. A spokesperson said the shares were sold under a preset plan.

These early February sell offs are in addition to the sudden sales of stock by four Senators, all conveniently timed to beat the crash that has since occurred.

If I was a cynic I would say they got inside information from their buddies in Congress and the state governments, telling them that the government was going to shut down the economy because of COVID-19, and you better sell.

If I was a fool I’d say that can’t be, these people are all upfront and honest, especially those in Congress. They would never work with the big stockholders on Wall Street to manipulate stocks so those stockholders could make a killing. Never!

Meanwhile, Bezos’ stock sale now gives him a total of $8.2 billion in cash from all his stock sales since 2017. While he has said this money was intended to support his space company Blue Origin, he has also said he wants to spend $10 billion on “climate change.”

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8 comments

  • Scott M.

    I’ll go ahead and quote the inimitable Claude Rains in ‘Casablanca’.

    “I’m shocked, SHOCKED to find out that GAMBLING has been going on in here!”

  • Lee S

    I very much doubt Bezos’s sale came due to any insider information, the biggest home delivery company the world has ever known stands to do very well indeed from the current crisis.
    Polititions on the other hand……

  • Cotour

    Whether you were a cynic or a fool might depend on whether you live in a two dimensional or three dimensional reality.

    You can not detect and understand what it is you can not see or refuse to recognize.

  • Joe

    It is also just possible that this was coincidental. There are a lot of people who sold stock who did have insider info. Not sure what can be done about such things.

  • MDN

    When China locked down Wuhan in late January all in the free world had adequate information to see that the crisis could, and likely would, escalate into an international crisis. You can’t expect that a lock down of a city/province of some 40M could occur with no PREsidual and residual spread of the virus given today’s global connectivity. Especially those with intimate ties to international trade and commerce who would recognize just how much daily travel out of China across the globe occurs, and could and would consult with experts to model just how bad the effects could be.

    This is why Trump, bless the man, decided to ban travel from China less than a week later, an act that saved America more than most know. Too bad Europe fell victim to wokeness, instead of science, because they have suffered greatly for that mistake.

    But the information that counted was largely public and it is not at all surprising that many in the investment class took some action to hedge against the case we are experiencing.

    That does not excuse our political leaders if they took action based on data they had but did not share, but if they acted through professional economic advice/management (ie managed Trusts, or at least guidance from a long term paid financial advisor independent of the government), then they were just being responsible investors.

    My 401K was skewed to a near max conservative posture already as I’m nearing retirement. But had it not been I believe I would have made that adjustment in early February too.

  • Bruce

    Corporate insiders can only sell a few times per year, called “windows”, after public disclosures are out. Amazon released its 10k on January 31, so this would be such a window. Most companies are on similar schedules.

  • TL

    “Corporate insiders can only sell a few times per year, called “windows”, after public disclosures are out. Amazon released its 10k on January 31, so this would be such a window. Most companies are on similar schedules.” — Bruce

    This is key. The sales by political folks may be sketchy (due to horrible reporting I can’t tell one way or the other), but for CEOs and senior company officers this is one of their few annual opportunities to do a big sale. If they want to diversify their wealth or just get funding for a really big purchase (I hear there are deals to be had on Boeing jets right now), after their quarterly financial report is released is when that can happen.

  • foxbat

    he should build electric delivery trucks using the tesla 3 base

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