Bloomberg reports the sale of superyachts surged during the virus pandemic. COVID didn't deter the rich and famous from overindulgence when central banks flooded financial markets with trillions of dollars. The rich got richer, and they wanted bigger yachts.
The superyacht market has been "roaring," said Sam Tucker, head of superyacht research at London-based VesselsValue. The number of sales in recent quarters "has been record-breaking -- the second-hand market is absolutely red hot. If anything, demand for extravagantly high-end yachts has exceeded supply."
He said it's nearly "impossible to get a slot in a new-build yard - all the popular shipbuilders are booked."
During the pandemic, the world's 2,365 billionaires saw their net worth increase by $4 trillion thanks to central banks inflating asset bubbles. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, the world's top billionaire, saw his fortune soar to $178 billion from $113 billion, or 57%, during that time.
Bezos, who stepped down from his role as chief executive of Amazon earlier this year to focus on other initiatives, currently has one of the largest sailing yachts ever being built in the Netherlands. The superyacht has a price tag of around $500 million, but what does that matter when he continues to offload billions of dollars worth of stock into the secondary market.
Jeff Bezos' new yacht is 417 feet long: BBG— zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 7, 2021
Steven Spielberg is another who has a new superyacht on order. His current yacht is listed for $158 million.
COVID was a blessing for the super-rich who had their fortunes explode in value thanks to the easy money policies of central banks. The superyacht binge is a testament to the "K-shaped" recovery where the rich were bailed out, and the working poor is still suffering.
Giovanna Vitelli, vice president of Azimut Benetti Group, said his order book is full of dozens of superyachts. He said the pandemic is much different from the 2008 crisis because it was more widespread back then.
The ballooning wealth among the world's wealthiest people shows how monetary policy benefits the super-rich as they're now panic buying superyachts while the working-poor still struggle.