Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now worth $202 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bezos is the first person to surpass the $200 billion threshold, CNBC reported, and remains the richest person in the world.
For this milestone, Bezos can thank his company’s success, as most of his personal wealth is tied to his more than 57 million shares of Amazon stock. The e-commerce behemoth has a market cap of about $1.7 trillion.
When looking back on his success with Amazon, Bezos has said his “best decisions” were all made the same way.
“All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts — not [with] analysis,” Bezos said during an interview at the Economic Club Washington D.C. in 2018.
“When you can make a decision with analysis, you should do so, but it turns out in life that your most important decisions are always made with instinct, intuition, taste, heart.”
Without intuition, Amazon would have missed out on “outsized discoveries” that led to its success, Bezos wrote in his 2018 letter to shareholders.
″[W]andering in business is … guided – by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity,” he wrote in his 2018 letter. “The outsized discoveries – the ‘non-linear’ ones – are highly likely to require wandering.”
For example, Bezos’ decision to greenlight Amazon Prime was ultimately based on intuition, he said at the FIRST gala in 2018.
“There wasn’t a single financially savvy person who supported the decision to launch Amazon Prime. Zero. Every spreadsheet showed that it was going to be a disaster,” he said at the 2018 gala. “So that had to just be made with gut.”
That “gut” decision has been a huge success: Amazon has over 150 million paid Prime subscribers globally, according its fourth quarter 2019 earnings report, and revenue from subscription services, including Prime membership fees, Music Unlimited and Prime Video Channels, came in at $5.24 billion for the quarter, CNBC reported.
“People think of Amazon as very data-oriented…,” Bezos said. “But a lot of the most important decisions simply cannot be made with data.”
A teenager was arrested and charged with homicide on Wednesday in connection with gunfire that killed two people and wounded a third during protests over the police shooting of a Black man in the Wisconsin city of Kenosha.
Civil unrest has rocked Kenosha, a city of about 100,000 on Lake Michigan north of Chicago, since Sunday, when police shot Jacob Blake, 29, multiple times in the back at close range.
The incident, captured on video, sparked protests over racism and the excessive use of force against minorities by law enforcement officers, reigniting a movement that erupted across the United States earlier in the summer.
While outbreaks of vandalism and arson that destroyed several businesses marred the first two nights of protests, the third night turned deadly as protesters and mostly white armed militia members, who said they had been guarding local businesses, began to clash in the streets.
“What it seems to be is a member of a militia group who decided to be a vigilante and take the law into his own hands and mow down innocent protesters,” Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes told MSNBC television on Wednesday before the arrest was reported.
The suspected gunman in the shooting was identified as Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, who was arrested on a warrant in Illinois and charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the shootings overnight, according to court documents.
The public defender’s office in Lake County, Illinois, where Rittenhouse was being held pending extradition to Wisconsin, declined to comment.
The violence coincided with the second night of the Republican National Convention, which has nominated President Donald Trump as the party’s candidate in the Nov. 3 election. Trump has made “law and order” crackdowns on violent protests a centerpiece of his campaign.
Social media videos captured much of the overnight violence, but not the initial confrontation involving the gunman. The videos show a crowd chasing the gunman, with some in the crowd shouting that he had shot a man.
Daniel Miskinis, Kenosha Police Chief, speaks during a news conference, regarding the protests and shootings that came after Jacob Blake was shot by police, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
The gunman then falls to the ground where he comes under attack, but he fires a number of rounds, appearing to hit a man in the torso, who falls to the ground, and seriously wounding another man in the arm.
As the crowd around him disperses, the man walks freely down the street, hands in the air and his rifle hanging in front of him. He walks past several police vehicles, which drive by without stopping him.
Kenosha police said in a statement that two people had died and a third gunshot victim was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, but he was expected to live. They pleaded for witnesses to come forward, requesting additional video or photos beyond those posted on social media.
The suspect’s now-deleted Facebook page shows him posing with another young man, both holding rifles. The photo is encircled by a Blue Lives Matter badge in support of police.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told a news conference on Wednesday that he believed the shooting may have involved people who were part of a group that had pushed him to deputize them to help police during the protests. He said he denied that request.
On Wednesday, Facebook took down the page of the Kenosha Guard, a self-described local militia which had called on members to help protect the streets.
“We are unaware if the armed citizen was answering the Kenosha Guard Militia’s call to arms,” the group said earlier on Wednesday.
Trump on Wednesday said had spoken with Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who had agreed to accept U.S. law enforcement support. While not confirming the President’s assertion, Evers said he had doubled the potential National Guard deployment to 500 officers.
In preparation for a fourth night of turmoil, Kenosha officials moved the nighttime curfew ahead by one hour to 7 p.m. CDT (0000 GMT).
“TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!” Trump wrote on Twitter, without elaborating.
Anti-racism protesters also clashed with police in Portland, Oregon, and Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday night, part of a wave of national protests that have taken place since George Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he spoke on Wednesday with the family of Jacob Blake, the man shot by police, “and I told them justice must and will be done.” He condemned violent protest in Blake’s name, calling it “needless.”
Blake is paralyzed. He underwent another round of surgery on Tuesday to stabilize his spine with rods and screws, Patrick Salvi Sr., a lawyer for Blake’s family, told CNN on Wednesday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is leading the investigation into Blake’s shooting and has yet to provide details. Kenosha police have referred all queries to that agency.
“The explosion at Natanz nuclear facility was a result of sabotage operations, security authorities will reveal in due time the reason behind the blast,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi.
Iran’s top security body in July said that the cause of the fire had been determined but would be announced later. Iranian officials said that the fire had caused significant damage that could slow the development of advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges.
The Natanz uranium-enrichment site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities monitored by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
Some Iranian officials have said the fire may have been the result of cyber sabotage, and have warned that Tehran would retaliate against any country carrying out such attacks.
An article by Iran’s state news agency IRNA in July addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States, although it stopped short of accusing either directly.
Israeli officials declined to comment on Sunday.
The IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said on Saturday he will make his first trip to Tehran in that role on Monday to pressure Iran to grant inspectors access to two suspected former atomic sites.
The IAEA suspects activities possibly related to developing nuclear weapons were carried out in the early 2000s at these sites. Iran insists its nuclear programme has no military dimensions.
“Iran has not opposed access to its nuclear facilities, but the IAEA’s questions and allegations should be based on serious evidence and documents,” Kamalvandi said.
Iranian officials said on Sunday that Grossi’s visit was not related to the U.S. push at the U.N. Security Council to reimpose international sanctions on Tehran, Iran’s state TV reported.
President Trump has so far been a remarkably successful foreign-policy president. His success lies in his ability to identify America’s national interest clearly and pursue it without regard to outdated ideological investments.
He recognized that China is a strategic economic threat and not a partner in prosperity. He killed an Iranian commander whose life’s work was the exportation of war and terror—Qasem Soleimani—but he refused to order retaliatory strikes against Iran for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone when he was told they might cost the lives of 150 Iranian troops. Although perfectionist doves loathe the use of any force whatsoever, Trump’s actions were maximally antiwar as well as pro-American: he eliminated an exporter of war and sent a resounding message to the murderer’s masters, but he did not engage in needless killing in the service of ideology or pride. He drew the right lines.
The president’s bold diplomacy with Pyongyang has not produced a breakthrough on the Korean peninsula as yet, but it has at least opened new possibilities, which the rigid approach of previous administrations precluded. In the Arab world, meanwhile, the president’s peace initiatives have recently paid a surprising dividend with the announcement last week that the United Arab Emirates would normalize relations with Israel. In return, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to postpone plans to annex the West Bank.
This is cold comfort to the Palestinians, who have made their feelings of betrayal by the UAE known. But realistic diplomacy is not about making everyone happy—it’s about pursuing stability, and the deal between Israel and the UAE brokered by the Trump administration is a significant advance in that direction.
Ironically, the Middle East failures of the last two administrations readied the stage for President Trump’s success. The Iraq War launched by the Bush administration (with the support of Democrats like Joe Biden, of course) destroyed the Saddam Hussein regime that had kept a check on Iranian power. More than that, it destabilized Iraq, and ultimately Syria as well, in ways that created channels for wider Iranian influence. The Obama administration then exacerbated these conditions with the JCPOA “Iran Deal” that further loosened restraints on the Islamic Republic. Bush’s war and Obama’s idea of peace both built-up Iranian power.
The expanding reach of Tehran in turn changed strategic calculations for Gulf states like the Emirates. UAE joined Saudi Arabia in a bloody proxy war with Iran over Yemen. Now, as a more peaceful kind of balancing, UAE is strengthening its relationship with Israel, the heaviest counterweight to Iran. More choice of partners means more freedom in the tangled politics of the Persian Gulf, and UAE’s opening to Israel will also in the long run give the Emirates more room to maneuver with Saudi Arabia.
Improved relations with the United States are another obvious attraction for UAE. Israel, for its part, also has anti-Iranian coalition-building in mind, as well as finally putting an end to the now archaic and ritualized hostility of the Arab world to Israel’s very existence. For Arab autocrats the Palestinians were for decades a convenient distraction from discontents at home, a focus for moral outrage. That ploy has begun to wear thin, however, even as Israel’s neighbors find themselves increasingly compelled to devote their attention to the regional ambitions of Iran, Russia, and Turkey.
The internal and external politics of the Arab states have moved away from the disposition that had made the Palestinians so prominent.
The collapse of the Israeli left over the past two decades has altered the terms of engagement with the Arab world as well: the prospect of any generous deal for the Palestinians appears negligible, and the possibility may have been a phantom of the liberal imagination all along. But while such a possibility was at least conceivable, it encouraged the Arabs to hold out. Today everyone knows the “Two-State Solution” is a mirage, and why let a mirage stand in the way of real strategic and economic interests?
For the Arab states, the latter include carefully managing a transition away from their over-dependence on oil, in an era when spikes in petroleum prices can be offset by the increase in shale oil production by the United States. The oil states now have to live with a price ceiling that is also a limit on their political clout at home and abroad. And they have long known that their dependence on oil is a profound vulnerability, one for which there may be no cure, but that can at least be ameliorated through technological development and trade. Israel is an invaluable partner for both purposes.
What the Trump administration has done is to harness these developments for the purpose of greater peace, and if it appears that what the administration has not done is at least as important as what it has done, in considering what it has accomplished here, that is no less to the credit of the president and his team.
Had Hillary Clinton or a Republican like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush been in the White House these past three years, the U.S. would have followed the same playbook of meddlesome and counterproductive intervention that the George W. Bush and Obama administrations employed. There would be regime change in Damascus or a vigorous ongoing attempt at one, and American policy experts would be incessantly busy with their attempts to micromanage and artificially balance the region’s powers along with the ideological baggage that smart Americans with no “skin in the game” always bring to world affairs.
Donald Trump can succeed where the others fail because he is transactional, not ideological, and he looks out for the American interest—which is peace through stability—rather than trying to bring about peace through perfection, as ideology and technocratic hubris demand.