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Richest magnates lose $1.4 trillion in worst half -year ever

  • News
  • July 4, 2022
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Elon Musk’s fortune plunged by almost $62 billion. Jeff Bezos saw his wealth flip by about $63 billion. Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth was reduced by more than half.

All told, the world’s 500 richest people lost $1.4 trillion in the first half of 2022, a rapid decline that marks the abrupt six-month drop ever for the global billionaire class.

It’s a sharp exit from the previous two years, when the fortunes of the ultra-rich increased as governments and central banks unchecked unprecedented stimulus measures in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, influencing the value of everything from tech companies to cryptocurrencies.

With policymakers now raising interest rates to combat raised inflation, some of the highest-flying shares — and the billionaires who own them — are losing elevation fast. Tesla Inc. had its worst quarter ever in the three months through June, while Inc. fell by the most since the dot-com bubble burst.

Though the losses are support for the world’s richest people, it only represents a modest move toward narrowing wealth inequality. Tesla’s co-founder, Musk, still has the biggest fortune on the planet, at $208.5 billion, while Amazon’s Bezos is second with a $129.6 billion net worth, as reported by Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Still, the billionaire class has combined so much wealth in recent years that not only can the vast majority withstand the worst first half since 1970 for the S&P 500 Index, but they’re likely looking for giveaways, said Thorne Perkin, president of Papamarkou Wellner Asset Management.

The most high-profile takeover of all belonged to Musk, who reached a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter Inc. He offered to pay $54.20 a share; the social-media company’s stock traded at $37.44 at 10:25 a.m. in New York.

The world’s richest man said in an interview with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait last month that there are “a few unresolved matters” before the deal can be accomplished.

“There’s a limit to what I can say publicly,” he added. “It is somewhat of a sensitive matter.”

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