The world’s 500 richest billionaires lost $1.4 trillion in the first half of 2022, the steepest six-month drop ever for the ultra rich, Bloomberg reports.
Why it matters: The losses come as the S&P 500 Index suffered its worst first half of the year since 1970, per Barron’s.
By the numbers: The decline is a sharp contrast from the previous two years, when the fortunes of the world’s richest people swelled amid government stimulus measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, per Bloomberg.
- Jeff Bezos lost about $63 billion.
- Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth was cut in half, down to $60 billion.
- Elon Musk’s fortune plunged by almost $62 billion.
- Changpeng Zhao, a crypto pioneer, watched his $96 billion fortune tumble by close to $80 billion this year due to the turmoil over crypto, per Bloomberg.
Yes, but: Many of these billionaires are still supremely wealthy. Musk still has the biggest fortune on the planet, at $208.5 billion, while Bezos is second with a $129.6 billion net worth, per Bloomberg.
The big picture: It’s a bad year to be really rich, Axios’ Felix Salmon writes.
- Zuckerberg, Zhao, Musk and Bezos lost $50 billion each by May alone.
- Not to mention Russian oligarchs, who saw their fortunes frozen, and crypto investors watched their wealth drop, too.
- “Those of us who work for a living are broadly fine,” Felix writes. “Those who don’t need to, on the other hand, are feeling a bit of a pinch.”