The stock market crash has not just affected the man on the street but also some of the world’s richest people. With losses running into billions, the pandemic had earlier allowed them to pocket big money but as stocks and crypocurrencies continue to tank, billionaires around the world have seen staggering losses.
Ironically throughout the pandemic, corporations and billionaires enjoyed record profits while millions became paupers overnight. In fact a new billionaire was minted every 30 hours on average but since the start of this year, statistics tell a different story.
The S&P has plummeted to an all time low, down 18% year to date and cryptocurrencies have seen $1 trillion in value erased from the market driving record losses for the world’s wealthiest.
Billionaires in the US have seen their fortunes cut by a staggering $800 billion. Top on the list is Elon Musk who has been in the news of late for his decision to buy Twitter. The Tesla CEO saw his net worth plummet in the first five months of the year. With Tesla stock down by 44% Musk fortune dropped from $270.1 billion in January to $201 billion on May 20.
Not far behind in losing a fortune is Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who left the company last year. His net worth plummeted by $61.1 billion and his wealth is now at $131billion.
French luxury goods owner Bernard Arnault who is CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has seen his wealth decline by $52.2 billion.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume tops the list for the largest year-to-date drop in net worth so far.
Zhao saw his net worth fall from nearly $95 billion in January to $14.9 billion on May 20 as the cryptocurrency market crashed.
Closer to home, Singaporean tech billionaire Forrest Li saw his wealth dissipate by 80% and had to be kicked off a rich list amid a global tech sell off.
According to a Bloomberg report, Li, the CEO and founder of the gaming and e-commerce conglomerate Sea, was estimated to be worth $22 billion a few months ago, but is now worth about $4.7 billion. This no longer places him on the 500 richest people in the world’s list.
The shrinking of Li’s fortune came as a series of bad news engulfed Sea, which he founded in 2009, which sent its share prices tumbling more than 80% since its October peak.
Correspondingly, the value of Li’s holdings shrunk and chipped away at his wealth. Sea was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2009. Last August, Li became Singapore’s richest person as Sea’s share prices rose amid Southeast Asia’s booming digital economy and strong performance in stock markets around the world.
According to a Reuters report Sea took a huge hit when India banned the company’s popular game “Free Fire” in February which scared investors. Sea lost $16 billion as a result.
Stock markets around the world continue to crash amid higher global inflations, and the war in Ukraine. As of May 23 the Nasdaq was down by more than 25% since the beginning of 2022.