Bezos loses $7 billion overnight, $18 billion in a month

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Jeff Bezos lost $7 billion in paper wealth overnight, and more than $18 billion over the past month, as Amazon’s share price has plunged on fear that the coronavirus outbreak will slow the global economy.

The world’s richest person saw his wealth drop to $110 billion overnight, down from $117 billion, as Amazon’s shares fell 7% at Monday’s open from Friday’s close. The shares recovered slightly midafternoon Monday, but over the past month alone, Bezos’ wealth has fallen from $129 billion.

Concerns over coronavirus have roiled markets and torched hundreds of billions in paper wealth from the world’s billionaires over the past month. But last night’s declines, driven by a drop in oil prices, could be the largest overnight wealth loss in nearly a decade.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who tweeted that the “coronavirus panic is dumb,” has seen about $4 billion of his paper wealth lopped off overnight. That would bring his losses for the month down to more  than $12 billion. Though with Tesla’s huge gains in January, he is still up about $4 billion for the year.

Tesla shares were recently down about 10%, but are up more than 53% year to date, and have risen 126% over the past 12 months. 

Perhaps the biggest billionaire loser from the virus, however, is LVMH chief Bernard Arnault. He lost $6 billion overnight. Because luxury is so vulnerable to economic and stock shocks, LVMH shares have fallen 24% since January. Arnault, whose wealth topped $110 billion in January and passed Bill Gates to become the second richest man, has seen his paper fortune fall by nearly $30 billion in just two months. He has since dropped back to No. 3, over $20 billion behind Gates.

Warren Buffett’s paper fortune fell $4 billion, bringing his total losses over the past month to $12 billion, and his total net worth as of Monday morning to about $76 billion.

Even before Monday’s market declines, the world’s top 10 billionaires had lost $80 billion in the last week of February.

Correction: LVMH chief Bernard Arnault’s losses bump him back down to the third richest man, behind Bill Gates. An earlier version misstated his rank.

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