Global fortunes were wiped out by ultra-rich tech founders, but secretive families and pro sports owners survived relatively unscathed.
By Devon Pendleton on December 29, 2022, at 8:29 PM GMT+5:30 Share this article New Gift this article For the vast majority of the wealthiest people in the world, 2022 was a year they will never forget.
Even though the amount of money lost was staggering, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates that almost $1.4 trillion was taken out of the wealth of the 500 richest people. A lot of the aggravation, it ends up, was self-caused: the alleged fraud perpetrated by former crypto guru Sam Bankman-Fried; the devastating war that Russia fought in Ukraine, which led to crippling sanctions against its leading businessmen; furthermore, obviously, the jokes of Elon Musk, the new proprietor of Twitter who’s valued at $138 billion short of what he was on Jan. 1.
The year was a dramatic downturn for a group of billionaires whose fortunes soared to unimaginable heights during the Covid era of easy money. This was combined with a backdrop of widespread inflation and aggressive central bank tightening. Most of the time, the fall is more dramatic the larger the rise: Musk, Jeff Bezos, Changpeng Zhao, and Mark Zuckerberg all had their combined net worth reduced by $392 billion.
The billionaire class wasn’t all down, though. On the wealth index, India’s Gautam Adani surpassed Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, and some of the world’s richest families, such as the Kochs and the Mars family, also increased their wealth. Sports franchises have only increased in value, making them increasingly difficult to acquire for anyone outside of the top 0.0001 percent.