The Hurun Global rich list of the world’s billionaires’ fortunes plummeted $1 trillion due to market meltdowns in 2018. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos managed to maintain its place as the world’s wealthiest.
Bezos managed to rake in a staggering $147 billion in 2018. Still the only centi-billionaire in the list despite market fluctuations the previous year.
There are 2,470 billionaires in the world, a number which dropped 224 names from last year. Their total overall wealth summed around $9.6 trillion, $950 billion short from the previous year thanks to stock market fluctuations.
Meanwhile, Amazon announced its $15/hour minimum wage to all employees in October 2018. This move was also the time the market went down, and just like everyone else in the US, Bezos suffered intermittent losses and gains.
Bezos lost around $2.6 billion (7.5% of his net worth) when the market closed on October 26. By the end of 2018, Bezos’ worst monetary loss amounted to $46 billion. On his worst day, he could pay the annual median income for 762,397 US household based on the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Federal Reserve System stated that the market meltdown was caused by “A variety of factors—including Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) communications, weaker-than-expected data, trade policy uncertainties, the partial federal government shutdown, and concerns about the outlook for corporate earnings—were cited by market participants as contributing to a deterioration in risk sentiment early in the period.”
Bill Gates, who followed Bezos earned $96 billion followed by Warren Buffet at $88 billion despite their enthusiasm for philanthropy.
On the other hand, according to a list by wealth compiler, Hurun Report or China’s version of Forbes, more than 212 Chinese tycoons lost their dollar billionaire status.
The market meltdowns took the most significant toll on Asia. Specifically in Japan where the Tokyo Stock Exchange lost 43% of its value in market capitalization. Even Shanghai’s exchange lost nearly a quarter of its value, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged almost 16%.
The US, earlier in 2018, placed stricter regulations on trade and tariffs with China leading to further losses with its neighboring countries.
The weak perception of other countries’ economic state was also an issue as stated by the FOMC, “December FOMC communications were reportedly perceived by market participants as not fully appreciating the implications of tighter financial conditions and softening global data over recent months for the U.S. economic outlook.”