The world’s wealthiest 500 people have lost a staggering $1.4trillion in 2022 alone due to rocketing interest rates and record inflation, a bombshell report has found.
American billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg saw their fortunes slashed by around $800billion this year, the Capgemini World Wealth review said.
The rest of the top five was made up of Binance founder Changpeng Zhao – who shed $85.6billion – and French Louis Vuitton magnate Bernard Arnault, who is worth $56.8billion less.
On Monday alone a whopping $206billion was wiped off the net worths of the top 500, amid fears uncertainties over national economies and rocketing inflation.
The eyewatering losses come despite a huge surge in their wealth last year following the pandemic as businesses flourished as restrictions loosened.
In 2021 the world’s top ten richest men watched as their fortunes skyrocketed by $400billion with Musk adding $121billion and Bezos adding $4.5billion.
But so far this year – amid a mix of business decisions and a spiraling global economy – the billionaires club has seen staggering slashes to their net worth.
The world’s 500 wealthiest lost a combined $1.4 trillion this year, it has been revealed – a loss spurred by rocketing interest rates and record inflation. US billionaires – such Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the two richest men in the world – saw their fortunes cut by roughly $800 billion, placing them among the biggest losers
Zuckerberg, currently ranked No. 17 on the list of top billionaires after falling out of the top 10 in March, has lost a marked $64.4 billion – more than his current net worth of $61.1 billion
Musk, Bezos, and Zuckerberg were among the top 5 losers of the list, formed from data compiled by Capgemini World Wealth. Also among the top 5 was Binance head Changeng Zhao, who has seen almost all of his fortune evaporate as the crypto space tumbles, and longtime Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault, the third richest man behind Musk and Bezos
The report, released by Capgemini World Wealth, also showed the billionaires with the biggest gains during 2022
The two richest in the world, Musk and Bezos, accounted for roughly 16 percent of the decrease seen among US billionaires, the data revealed.
The losses seen by Musk were partially fueled by the outspoken CEO’s recent high-profile purchase of the majority of Twitter, setting him back $43billion, as well as falling Tesla stock.
Bezos’ losses come as his company stock also plummets, after experiencing its worst day on the markets in eight years in late April.
Musk, 50, who emerged as the world’s richest man in fall 2021 after seeing his wealth surpass Bezos’, lost roughly a quarter of the $270billion he started the year with, losing $73.2billion in less than six months, according to Capgemini.
The Tesla head’s net worth now stands at roughly $197billion as of the report’s release Tuesday, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
Bezos, 58, meanwhile – who enjoyed the distinction of world’s richest man for years before being beaten out by Musk last year – lost a similar $65.3billion, the report found.
The amount served as roughly a third of the Amazon boss’ nearly $200billion net worth seen in January.
Others to lose astronomical numbers included Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who fell out of the top ten list of billionaires in March due to his plummeting Meta stock, and the world’s third-richest man, Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard Arnault.
Zuckerberg, currently ranked No. 17 on the list of top billionaires, has lost a marked $64.4 billion – more than his current net worth of $61.1 billion.
Arnault, meanwhile, saw the fifth-highest losses according to the report, losing roughly $56.8 billion this year – a decrease of nearly 30 percent. His net worth still stands at $121.2 billion – a fortune only surpassed by Musk’s and and Bezos’.
Those figures, however, paled in comparison to the losses incurred by the year’s biggest loser, Binance head Changpeng Zhao, 44, who has seen $85.6billion of his once $100billion fortune disappear this year, leaving him with just over $10 billion.
It comes as the founder and CEO of the Chinese cryptocurrency exchange – the world’s largest – has seen the vast majority of his wealth wiped out due to the currently tumbling crypto space and a labor shortage seen in the tech sphere.
The decreases can be attributed to rapidly rising inflation, which has snarled the US economy as onlookers anxiously wait to see how sharply the Federal Reserve will raise rates later this week
A Labor Department report Friday revealed the consumer price index jumped one percent in May from the prior month, for a 12-month increase of 8.6 percent – topping the recent peak seen in March.
The new figures released on Friday suggested the Federal Reserve could continue with its rapid interest rate hikes to combat what has been coined ‘Bidenflation,’ and markets reacted swiftly, with the Dow shedding around 600 points.
Markets continued to drop during early trading Tuesday, as fears of a recession grow stronger.
New data show that annual inflation in the US rose to 8.6% last month. The report led Biden to concede that inflation remains a problem in the US
President Joe Biden speaks to reporters outside of Air Force One on Saturday. He continued to blame Russia and its war in Ukraine for soaring gas prices in the US
The runaway inflation rates are hurting American wallets outside of the gas station, most notably at the grocery store.
Grocery costs have increased at staggering rates, and are expected to only keep climbing as the crisis continues.
As inflation-borne production costs climb, producers and retailers alike have indicated that they will be forced to continue hiking prices.
The report further illustrates how much the world’s elite benefited from the Covid-19 pandemic, due to federal aid received by the government and the ability to make opportune investments as the market fell to bottom spurred by national uncertainty surrounding the economy and lockdown restrictions.
Last year, as the market began to rebound, the world’s then 10 richest added $402 billion to their collective net worths, after capitalizing on those investments.
As the year came to an end, Tesla CEO Musk emerged as the biggest winner, adding $121 billion to his fortune, making it the largest ever in the world at $277 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos, meanwhile, who started the year in the top spot, sank to number two, after adding a more modest $4.54 billion to his net worth.
Arnault, meanwhile, had the largest gains for the year, adding $61.3 billion to his fortune.
The world’s ten richest people added $402 billion to their collective net worth in 2021, making it a banner year for the ultra-wealthy
For Musk in particular, it was an eventful – and financially successful – year, marked by a hosting appearance on Saturday Night Live, a break-up with girlfriend Grimes, and his self-coronation as ‘Technoking’ of Tesla.
The South African mogul made financial waves last fall after he sold off many billions worth of his Tesla stock in a move purportedly dictated by a poll he posted on Twitter.
In reality, at least some of the stock sales were driven by mandatory taxes as he exercised stock options that will expire in August.
He has sold $16.4 billion worth of shares since early November when he said he would sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock if Twitter users agreed, which they did.
But Musk in September had set up a prearranged plan for stock sales related to options expiring next year, and Tesla in a filing said the program was complete.
Musk said he would be done selling shares after his programmed sales ended.
The tweet from Musk saw a swift decline in Tesla stock that erased $35 billion from his net worth in the span of day.
However, in the months after, the stock briefly recovered before plummeting earlier this year, in February.
During this marked decline, Musk sold off a stunning $16 billion in shares and donated $5.7 billion worth to charity, seemingly foreseeing the effect his posting would have on the share price, likely saving him billions of dollars in the process.
Elsewhere on the top-10 billionaires list, Microsoft founder Bill Gates added $7.13 billion to his fortune, the fourth largest in the world at $139 billion.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates added $7.13 billion to his fortune, the fourth largest in the world at $139 billion
Larry Ellison (left, the executive chairman of Oracle, added $28.8 billion to his wealth, while Warren Buffett (right) added $21.4 billion in 2021
Google co-founders Larry Page (left) and Sergey Brin (right) added $47.4 billion and $45.1 billion to their net worths respectively last year
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin added $47.4 billion and $45.1 billion to their net worths respectively.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gained $24.3 billion for the year, bringing his total to $128 billion, though his fortunes have declined as Facebook stock is down 9 percent since a whistleblower leaked damaging documents this fall.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gained $41.2 billion in 2021, and Warren Buffett added $21.4 billion.
Larry Ellison, the executive chairman of Oracle, added $28.8 billion to his wealth.