The world’s richest people lost $35 billion Wednesday when global equity markets were rocked by political turmoil in the U.S., according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with $86.8 billion, lost $1 billion as shares of Microsoft Corp., his largest holding, tumbled 2.8 percent, the most in almost a year. Amazon.com Inc. co-founder Jeff Bezos, who came within $4 billion of taking the top spot from Gates earlier this week, dropped to No. 3 after losing $1.7 billion as shares of the online retailer slid 2.2 percent. Spanish retailing tycoon Amancio Ortega lost $355 million to end the day in the second position with $83.2 billion.
Global stock indexes tumbled as political turmoil enveloped the White House, with President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and his firing of FBI Director James Comey under scrutiny. U.S. stocks posted their steepest declines since September, led by the Nasdaq Composite’s 2.6 percent slide. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.2 percent, and bank stocks were the worst performers.
Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg was hardest hit in the tumult, dropping $2 billion when the social media giant dropped 3.3 percent. Zuckerberg is the fifth-richest person on the planet with $62.3 billion, according to the index. Trump, the first billionaire to serve as U.S. president, has a net worth of $3 billion and doesn’t have a spot on the Bloomberg index, a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. They have a combined net worth of $4.9 trillion, up $455 billion in 2017.
Frontpage February 19, 2020