The Paper reporter Sun Mingwei

  For most of the world's ultra-wealthy, 2022 will be a year of painful memories.

After experiencing the rapid expansion of wealth during the epidemic, there will be a sudden and dramatic decline in 2022.

  According to the Bloomberg Billionaires List, in 2022, the wealth of the world's 500 richest people will lose nearly $1.4 trillion in wealth.

Many problems are self-inflicted: former "cryptocurrency wunderkind" Sam Bankman-Fried (Sam Bankman-Fried) suspected of fraud; and Twitter's new boss Elon Musk (Elon Musk) because His own antics have resulted in a $132 billion drop in assets since early January.

  At the same time, the fortunes of the world's richest are in decline across the board, amid widespread inflation and tightening monetary policy.

Musk, Jeff Bezos, Changpeng Zhao and Mark Zuckerberg have collectively lost about $384 billion in net worth this year.

Musk's wealth "cut in half"

  On December 14, Bernard Arnault, chairman of the LVMH Group, officially surpassed Musk and became the richest man on the Bloomberg billionaires list with a net worth of US$165 billion. This is the first time he has topped the rich list.

A day earlier, Arnault had taken the top spot in the Forbes rankings.

  The 73-year-old Arnault is the helm of the luxury goods giant LVMH Group, which owns 75 brands including Louis Vuitton, DIOR, and Tiffany & Co., with a group valuation of US$170.8 billion.

Paris-based LVMH recorded sales of 64 billion euros last year, rebounding sharply from the trough of the new crown pandemic in 2020.

Arnault and his family own about 48% of the company.

  While a weak market this year has also sapped Arnault's fortune -- which is down by about $13.5 billion in 2022 -- he's in better shape than the tech billionaires who dominate the world's richest list.

This is because demand for high-end products remains resilient as the COVID-19 crisis recedes.

  As of December 30, the Bloomberg Billionaires List shows that Musk’s assets have evaporated by US$132 billion this year, and his net worth has halved to US$138 billion. He is the billionaire with the largest decline in net assets on the list. 10% of the wealth of the top 500 richest people has shrunk.

  On January 27, Musk lost $25.8 billion in a single day.

At the time, Tesla was sounding the alarm about supply chain challenges, and Musk was the world's richest man at the time.

It was the fourth-biggest one-day drop in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and it also heralds a bumpy year ahead for Musk.

  Shortly after disclosing his 9.1% stake in Twitter, Musk proposed on April 14 to buy the company for $44 billion.

That's a high price even for him.

To secure enough capital for the deal, he dumped more than $15 billion worth of Tesla stock -- about $8.5 billion in April and then another $6.9 billion in August -- to raise enough cash to fund the deal. Funding for the acquisition.

However, in the following months, as the market deteriorated, Musk tried to devise an "escape route" and started a months-long legal dispute with Twitter.

By the time the deal closed in October, Musk's net worth was $39 billion lower than when he initially proposed the acquisition.

  Zuckerberg's fortunes have also been lost.

As of December 30, Zuckerberg's net worth has shrunk by $79.9 billion since early January to $45.6 billion, mainly due to the high cost of Meta's transition to the metaverse and the downturn in the entire technology industry that has dragged down Meta's net worth. share price.

In 2022, Zuckerberg dropped 19 spots to No. 25 on the Bloomberg Wealth Index, his lowest ranking since 2014.

Indian tycoon Adani is the only top ten billionaire with positive growth

  It's not all bad news for the billionaire class, though.

  The biggest gainer is India's Gautam Adani, whose net worth has increased by $44.6 billion so far this year, more than double that of the next biggest gainer and the only one in the top ten whose net worth has increased.

  Adani's Adani Group has a network of listed companies active in power generation, cement, real estate and more.

At the beginning of February 2022, Adani became the richest man in Asia with a net worth of US$90.1 billion, and also ranked among the top ten richest people in the world.

Adani Group also acquired the Indian branch of Switzerland's Holcim Cement Company (Holcim) in May, making it India's second-largest cement producer.

In early December, Adani Group became the majority shareholder of New Delhi Television Ltd., one of India's largest television networks, further expanding its share in the Indian media industry.

  With $121 billion as of Dec. 30, Adani ranked third on Bloomberg's billionaires list, ahead of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

  It is worth noting that the bubble of the epidemic economy is rapidly bursting, and so is the wealth created by the epidemic.

During the pandemic, vaccines (Stephen Bancel of Moderna), used cars (Erni Garcia II and Erni Garcia III of Carvana), e-commerce (Kim Bum-seok of Coupang), etc. The industry is developing rapidly, and the rapid rise of Zoom has also created huge wealth for the founder Yuan Zheng.

In such industries that have benefited from the epidemic, the assets of the 58 billionaires whose wealth has grown at an extremely fast rate have shrunk by an average of 58% from the highest point, a decline far exceeding that of other rich people in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.