The Stock Market Cleaned Out Billionaires Over the Past Week. Here’s Who Lost the Most
Billionaires have won big in the long-running bull market that may be teetering on the edge of ending. But they’re also set to lose big. Over the past week, the world’s wealthiest have collectively dropped about $50 billion in estimated net worth.
What’s $50 billion among the world’s uber-rich? Enough to leave a mark, that’s for sure, but they aren’t hurting for cash—yet. For perspective though, in addition to being the amount of evaporating wealth, $50 billion is also the amount of the U.S. trade deficit in July, the first round of Trump’s tariffs against China, and the market value of Target—with $5 billion to spare.
So how exactly has the stock market selloff impacted the net worth of world’s richest people? Here’s who took the biggest bath this week, and how much it cost them:
Jeff Bezos (-$15 billion)
Amazon’s founder, the world’s richest person, stood to lose the most. And that he did. Jeff Bezos’ net worth dropped from $161 billion a week ago down to $140 billion on Thursday. That still puts him standing arms akimbo on top of the heap of lesser billionaires, but his company’s focus on consumer goods, which could be further affected by import tariffs and trade wars, could push him closer to more diversified super rich.
Bernard Arnault (-$5.9 billion)
Arnault is the longtime chairman and chief executive of LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE), the world’s largest luxury goods company. He’s also the richest person in Europe, and accordingly, his net worth went down with the crash, from $73.5 billion to $67.6 billion. At one point, he was down to $66.9 billion, but his portfolio seems to be rebounding already.
Warren Buffett (-$5.4 billion)
Even the Oracle of Omaha couldn’t predict the market volatility of this past week. Buffett initially saw gains from the $90 billion he started with a week ago, climbing to $92 billion by Oct. 9. But ultimately, he came crashing down, finishing Oct. 11 with an estimated $84.6 billion
Pony Ma (-$4 billion)
The China-based Tencent is one of the world’s largest Internet companies, and Pony Ma (Ma Huateng) is the founder, chairman, and chief executive, and maintains extensive holdings in the company. While Tencent dominates Chinese gaming, chat, investment, and other arenas, the global stock pullback pushed his net worth from $32 billion down to $28 billion.
Bill Gates (-$3.9 billion)
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has shifted out of the fast-paced life of a technology dominator into the role of public-health and education philanthropist. But despite regular transfers of wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he doesn’t find himself pulling his pockets inside out for change. Gates, the second-richest person in the world, saw his worth drop from $98.7 billion to $94.80 billion in the last week.
Larry Page (-$3.8 billion)
Google co-founder Larry Page remains actively involved in the management of Alphabet, the holding company of Google and other ventures, has been buffeted lately by concerns about the company navigating forward with a reported China-targeted search engine acceptable that country’s censors, and military-contracting work. Page’s net worth dropped from $57.10 to $53.30 billion since Oct. 4.
François Pinault (-$3.8 billion)
François Pinault, among France’s richest people and the head of one of the nation’s wealthiest families, is the 82-year-old self-made billionaire behind Kering, which owns a large array of luxury-goods brands, like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. He also personally owns Christie’s, the long-established auction house. His portfolio slumped from $32.4 billion to $28.6 billion.
Sergey Brin (-$3.6 billion)
Google’s other co-founder has similar holdings and suffered similar losses as his partner, Larry Page, with Sergey Brin dropping from a reported $55.6 billion to $52 billion.
Frank Wang (-$2.54 billion)
Frank Wang may seem like an outlier and a relative unknown in this list, with a net worth estimated on Oct. 11 of just $6.74 billion. But he’s also one of the biggest net losers, dropping from $9.28 billion in the last week. Wang’s holdings are tied up in DJI, the biggest maker of commercial and civilian drones in the world, and a company he founded in 2006. As a privately held company, estimates of his net worth over the short term may be more volatile, but DJI has a high degree of exposure to Trump’s trade wars with China from several angles, including the cost of raw goods globally and import tariffs imposed on the lucrative American market potentially reducing revenue.
Steve Ballmer (-$2.4 billion)
Bill Gates’s earliest lieutenant, Ballmer took over Microsoft for several years and missed out on the mobile revolution. Forced from the company, he’s found solace in $40.1 billion of personal wealth, down from $42.50 billion a week ago—and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball team.
Mark Zuckerberg (-$2.1 billion)
Despite the many investigations, disclosures, and security problems Facebook has faced in recent months, Mark Zuckerberg saw the least losses among his dot-com peers. He was worth $62.9 billion a week ago, and now $60.8 billion.
Correction, Oct. 17, 2018: An earlier version of this story misstated that Kering owned LVMH. LVMH is not owned by Kering. LVMH is its own entity, unrelated to Kering or François Pinault.