I get a ton of email everyday, most with a distinct slant, or point of view, pushing one thing or another at me. One such email did catch my eye, because it featured a chart of Michigan’s billionaires and how they’re doing during the pandemic. I’ll spare you the ax being ground by the sender, but it does point out that while some businesses are hurting, others are actually thriving.  And some that are not thriving may surprise you.

Michigan’s billionaires listed in this email, and according to Forbes, are the Meijer Brothers, Hank and Doug;  Quicken Loan’s Dan Gilbert, Kalamazoo’s Ronda Stryker, Little Caesars’ Marian Ilitch, Plastics maker William Young, the recently deceased Manny Maroun (Ambassador Bridge), financial lender Donald Foss, and automotive legend Roger Penske.

In the three months from the March shutdown, Penske, Stryker and Foss’ net worth have gone up over 20 percent. Penske has a bunch of auto dealerships and the truck rental business, but how much car buying or moving are people doing? So that’s interesting. Stryker, well, medical equipment right now makes sense. And Foss lends money, so a lot of activity there ( with so many Americans scrambling to pay bills or merely stay afloat, financially).

Surprisingly, the Meijer brothers are down about 3 percent. That’s not a lot, but interesting, that a lot of people, myself included, were making only one trip outside of going to work, during March and April, and that was to the grocery store, and you know the whole story about empty shelves. You’d think that would have translated into increased sales.  Ilitch’s number was about flat, which given Little Caesars being open and not requiring seating might be surprising, but again, they held steady.

Maroun went out on top, having recently died, but his net worth was up just under 10 percent, according to Forbes.

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