Elon Musk’s fortune collapsed nearly $62 billion. Jeff Bezos saw his net worth fall by about $63 billion. Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth was cut by more than half.
All told, the world’s 500 richest people lost $1.4 trillion in the first half of 2022, a staggering drop that is the sharpest in six months for the global billionaire class.
It’s a stark departure from the previous two years, when the fortunes of the ultra-wealthy soared as governments and central banks unleashed unprecedented stimulus in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, raising the value of everything from tech companies to cryptocurrencies. was enlarged.
With policymakers now raising interest rates to combat high inflation, some of the fastest-growing stocks — and the billionaires who own them — are rapidly losing ground. Tesla Inc. had its worst quarter on record in the three months to June, while Amazon.com Inc. plummeted the most since the bursting of the dotcom bubble.
While the losses pile up for the world’s richest people, this represents only a modest step toward reducing wealth inequality. Musk, the co-founder of Tesla, still has the largest fortune in the world, at $208.5 billion, while Amazon’s Bezos is second with a net worth of $129.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bernard Arnault, the richest person in France, is in third place with a net worth of $128.7 billion, followed by Bill Gates with $114.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg index. They are the only four to be worth more than $100 billion — at the start of the year, 10 people worldwide exceeded that amount, including Zuckerberg, who is now 17th on the wealth list with $60 billion.
Changpeng Zhao, the crypto pioneer who debuted on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in January with an estimated net worth of $96 billion, has seen his fortune drop nearly $80 billion this year amid the turmoil in digital assets.
Still, the billionaire class has amassed so much wealth in recent years that the vast majority are not only able to withstand the worst first half since 1970 for the S&P 500 index, but are likely to be looking for bargains, said Thorne Perkin, president of Papamarkou Wellner. wealth management.
“Often their mentality is a bit more contrarian,” Perkin said. “Many of our customers look for opportunities when there are problems on the street.”
That was true in the first half of the year in some of the most ailed corners of global financial markets.
Vladimir Potanin, Russia’s richest man with a $35.2 billion fortune, acquired Societe Generale SA’s full position in Rosbank PJSC earlier this year amid the fallout from Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. He also bought out Russian mogul Oleg Tinkov’s sanctioned share of a digital bank for a fraction of what it was once worth.
Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer of crypto exchange FTX, bought a 7.6% stake in Robinhood Markets Inc in early May. after the app-based brokerage’s share price fell 77% from its highly anticipated IPO last July. The 30-year-old billionaire also acted as a lender of last resort for a number of troubled crypto firms.
The most high-profile buyout of all was that of Musk, who struck a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter Inc. to buy. He offered to pay $54.20 a share; the social media company’s shares traded at 10:25 a.m. in New York for $37.44.
The world’s richest man said in an interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait last month that there are “a few unsolved cases” before the transaction can close.
“There is a limit to what I can say in public,” he said. “It’s a bit of a sensitive issue.”