A year ago he was still the big high-flyer on the list of the super-rich: Sam Bankman-Fried. His fortune had grown by 886 percent in 2021, to around $ 16.4 billion at the time. But this year, his crypto exchange FTX went bankrupt, and the crash was total: minus 100 percent. The 30-year-old is now in prison.
Wealth can be fleeting. In 2022 this became particularly evident. Because in the past twelve months, the fortunes of many of the world's top billionaires have shrunk, especially those of those founders of the large US technology groups who were previously highly traded.
This shows the current list of the richest people in the world from the financial news service Bloomberg. The climbers, on the other hand, come from the old industries.
Elon Musk is at the top again – but this time in losses. His billions melted away with Tesla's market value. The electric car manufacturer was disenchanted, the stock lost dramatically, also because of Musk's erratic behavior after his takeover of the short message service Twitter.
It even cost him the throne in the ranking of the wealthiest people on earth. But the founders of the internet giants Amazon, Facebook and Google – Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page – also lost tens of billions.
The richest person is now a Frenchman, Bernard Arnault. His company LVMH does not trade with visions, but with well-established luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moët or Hennessy. Old Europe is overtaking the supposedly advanced New World.
But there is another area of the world that is confusing the current list of billionaires: India. The new third richest person is now an Indian, Gautam Adani. A compatriot, Mukesh Ambani, is in eighth place. What makes this change particularly piquant: Both earn their money with coal and oil. In the list of the richest, climate policy is taken ad absurdum.
In percentage terms, the biggest winner in 2022 is an American: Jeff Yass. At the age of 66, he is not one of the younger US founding stars of recent years. His company, Susquehanna International Group, is also a securities dealer – that too is rather old school.
According to the Bloomberg list, the richest German remains Klaus-Michael Kühne, the main owner of the logistics company Kühne
Compared to the previous year, however, he lost around nine billion dollars, this is the biggest minus among Germany's super-rich. Ugur Sahin, founder of vaccine manufacturer Biontech, suffered the second-biggest loss of $4.64 billion. He now comes to 6.64 billion dollars and thus place 334.
A total of 26 Germans are on the list of the 500 wealthiest people in the world. After all, this is the third largest group behind 172 Americans and 77 Chinese.
The French and Indians, who have recently been in the top ranks, only have 17 and 19 citizens, respectively. The fourth most represented nation is Russia, which still has 23 billionaires on the 500 richest people list.
However, no other national group has had to accept such large losses in the past year as this one with a minus of around 20 percent. However, compared to the suffering her government has brought upon the world in recent months, that should be easy to bear.
Behind the shiny facade of Elon Musk's Tesla group there is apparently far less substance than his fans previously thought. Self-driving cars still don't exist today, old videos about them have even turned out to be fake, and others can now build electric vehicles at least as well.
The stock has lost more than two-thirds of its value from the peak, Musk's assets have shrunk accordingly, and there is no end in sight to the fall in price. His new hobby, the short message service Twitter he took over, has brought him little luck so far.
When Amazon founder Jeff Bezos handed over management of the group to Andy Jassy in the summer of 2021, he was still the richest person in the world. But things have been going down since then, the price of Amazon shares has halved - and so has Bezos' fortune.
He is only fifth among the billionaires. The reason for this, however, does not lie in the clumsiness of his successor. Rather, the corona pandemic had given Amazon gigantic sales and profits because many people could almost only shop online. But life has since returned to normal, and Amazon has had to settle for less.
Among fans of digital currencies, he is usually just called CZ: Canadian Changpeng Zhao is the founder of Binance, the largest crypto trading exchange. When competitor FTX stumbled, he initially wanted to take it over, but then gave up and sent FTX into bankruptcy.
However, the crisis in the crypto scene continues and is spreading. Zhao has also suffered big losses, down more than 80 percent this year. Around twelve billion dollars are still left. The coming months will show whether this fortune will also disappear into thin air.
Mark Zuckerberg got rich with Facebook. At the end of 2021, he renamed his group Meta because he wants to focus on expanding a metaverse in the future. To date, few people have understood exactly what this looks like.
What is clear, however, is that the project will devour enormous sums of money. At the same time, young people are increasingly turning to other platforms such as TikTok. The Meta share price has therefore tripled since mid-2021.
In mid-November, Facebook announced that it would lay off 11,000 employees. So far, however, this has not brought about a turnaround for the stock and Zuckerberg's fortune.
Alphabet, Google's parent company, has fallen more than 30 percent from its peak, and company co-founder Larry Page's fortune has shrunk by a similar amount.
Fellow Google inventor Sergey Brin fared no better, but has slightly smaller stakes in the company and thus ranks behind Page in the list of losers.
Unlike most big US tech companies, Alphabet hasn't announced any mass layoffs yet. This suggests that the problems are less homegrown and that the group is suffering from the bad mood in the industry.
In 2022, fossil fuels experienced a renaissance. Gautam Adani has benefited from this: the richest person in India is the largest coal producer and trader in the South Asian country.
Its conglomerate Adani Group also includes data centers, cement manufacturers, media and 75 percent of Mumbai Airport.
In 2022 he rose to become the third richest person in the world, overtaking Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. However, the rating agency CreditSights recently warned that the Adani Group was massively over-indebted. Adani's empire is on shaky ground.
Jeff Yass is the high-flyer of 2022. In absolute terms, he only ranks second when it comes to wealth growth, but in percentage terms nobody surpasses him: he recorded an increase of around 760 percent.
The 66-year-old Yass came into his own with the securities trading platform Susquehanna International Group, which he launched in 1987.
The group now has stakes in many other companies, including a 15 percent stake in the Chinese company ByteDance, which owns the successful social network TikTok.
Facebook and Instagram are no longer so popular among very young people, their social network of the hour is TikTok. The service now has one billion users.
Behind it is the Chinese ByteDance group, and its founder is Zhang Yiming. With the success of the platform, his fortune grew again by around ten billion dollars in 2022.
He is now the 23rd richest person in the world. However, heavier waters are threatening: In the USA there are efforts to ban TikTok, since the data that the app collects is freely accessible to the Chinese government.
Rodolphe Saadé was born in Lebanon, but he also has French nationality and lives in Marseille. His father Jacques Saadé founded the transport and logistics company CMA, which merged with competitor CGM in 1999 and became one of the largest shipping companies in the world.
The Saadé family now owns 72.6 percent of CMA CGM and Rodolphe has served as CEO of the group since 2017.
In 2022, the company benefited from at times extremely high freight rates and a revival of trade after the pandemic slump.
French billionaires enjoyed an amazing rise in 2022. Luxury brand owner Bernard Arnault became the world's richest person, and two other Frenchmen in the same industry posted the fifth-biggest wealth gains: Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, the owners of Chanel.
Her grandfather had once founded the company with Coco Chanel, and for the heirs it developed into a gold mine.
If you added up the brothers' fortunes, they would be among the top 10 richest people in the world at more than $85 billion.
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