CONSUMER

31 billionaires are worth more than the US Treasury has in cash

May 29, 2023, 3:23 PM

Left to right, clockwise: Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Warren Buffett, Michael Dell...

Left to right, clockwise: Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bernard Arnault, Warren Buffett, Michael Dell, Jeff Bezos. (Kevin Dietsch/Ludovic Marin/Eric Piermont/Gareth Cattermole/Matthew Busch/Johannes Eisele/AFP/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

(Kevin Dietsch/Ludovic Marin/Eric Piermont/Gareth Cattermole/Matthew Busch/Johannes Eisele/AFP/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Cash levels at the US Treasury are tumbling toward a dangerously low level as Washington waits until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling.

As of the close of business on May 25, Treasury had just $38.8 billion in cash, according to the latest federal data. That’s down from more than $200 billion earlier this month and nearing the bare minimum level of $30 billion.

For context, 31 billionaires are each worth more than the federal government’s $38.8 billion in cash, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Debt-ceiling deal: What’s in and what’s out of the agreement to avert US default

Some of them, like fashion mogul Bernard Arnault – are worth a lot more. Arnault, the chairman of luxury goods maker LVMH, has a net worth estimated at $193 billion. Tesla billionaire Elon Musk is worth $185 billion and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $144 billion.

The list of 31 billionaires worth more than Uncle Sam’s cash total includes household names like Michael Dell, legendary investor Warren Buffett and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, as well as billionaires with lower profiles such as French billionaire Francois Pinault and Chanel chairman Alain Wertheimer.

President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy have reached a bipartisan deal to suspend the debt ceiling through January 1, 2025.

If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by June 5, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns the government will not have enough funds to pay all of the nation’s obligations in full and on time.


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31 billionaires are worth more than the US Treasury has in cash