World’s 20 Richest, Led By Jeff Bezos, Shed More Than $78 Billion Amid Thursday’s Market Rout
As the Dow Jones suffered its worst decline since 1987 and coronavirus fears caused markets to slide around the globe, the world’s twenty richest people lost just over $78 billion combined in a single day.
Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, saw his net worth drop by $8 billion, shedding more than 7% of his net worth as Amazon shares fell by nearly 8%. Close behind was Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of French luxury conglomerate LVMH, whose net worth declined by $7.7 billion. Arnault, the world’s third-richest person, finished the day with $82.5 billion, after shares in LVMH closed nearly 9% lower as the luxury retail industry was hit by the effect of the coronavirus on demand for luxury goods in China and Europe.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost $5.7 billion — 9% of his net worth — as Facebook shares plunged by more than 9%. Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s net worth fell by nearly as much, dropping by $5.6 billion as Oracle shares slumped 11%.
The billionaire losses came as the S&P 500, Nasdaq, and Dow Jones all closed more than 9% lower, driven by market fears about the growing coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the U.S. economy. President Donald Trump’s Wednesday night announcement of a ban on flights from most of Europe was followed on Thursday by a spate of cancellations, as the NCAA and major sports leagues suspended their seasons and New York City declared a state of emergency.
Since the market selloff began on Monday, Jeff Bezos has seen his net worth shrink by more than $9 billion to $104.4 billion at Thursday’s market close. That’s on top of his $14.1 billion loss last week. While LVMH’s Arnault suffered fewer losses last week — he was down $7.4 billion — his fortune has taken a $10.1 billion hit since Monday, with LVMH shares in freefall. Needless to say, buying luxury goods is not at the top of many people’s lists this week.