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Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk Lose $127 Billion

The two richest men have lost over $127 billion of their net worth as their stocks have sunk.
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The world's two richest men, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, have lost at least $127 billion of their net worth so far this year from the recent selloff in the stock market, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which is a daily ranking of the world’s richest people.

Musk, CEO of Tesla ( (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report), has lost $66.5 billion while Amazon ( (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com Inc. Report) CEO Bezos saw his fortune decline by $61 billion as of May 23 as the correction in the market brought down the valuations of their companies. Amazon's stock has fallen by 35.4% year-to-date while Tesla's stock has declined even more at 36.1%.

Musk is now worth $204 billion while Bezos is worth $131 billion. French businessman Bernard Arnault, who is the CEO of luxury goods retailer LVMH Moët Hennessy, holds the number three spot with a net worth of $126 billion after losing $51.8 billion so far this year.

The fortunes of the two moguls are based on the stakes they have in their respective companies. For Musk it's Tesla and SpaceX, while for Bezos it's Amazon and Blue Origin.

An update by Bloomberg Billionaires Index on May 24 shows that Musk's net worth on paper is now below $200 billion. To be precise, it's at $193 billion, which means it's down $77.6 billion since January. 

This is the first time Musk has fallen below the symbolic $200 billion threshold since March. his fortune had risen to $288 billion on April 4 before he announced that he was a shareholder of Twitter.

Bezos' fortune is at $128 billion, down $64.6 billion since January.

Musk's Problems

The richest man in the world, Musk, who also is CEO of SpaceX, has had a history of fighting with the Securities and Exchange Commission and now wants the agency that regulates the stock market to investigate Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report over fake accounts on the platform.

He challenged Twitter's board of directors and management since his acquisition offer of $44 billion to take over the social media company on April 14. By May 17, Musk said he wants Twitter to verify its data on the number of spam accounts and challenged the social media company's board by saying that the takeover deal is no longer on the table.

"My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does," Musk said.

This latest move could be an attempt by Musk to renegotiate the terms of the deal by seeking a lower price or back out of the deal completely.

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The billionaire is facing more problems as Musk reportedly settled a sexual misconduct claim for $250,000. He allegedly exposed himself to a flight attendant on a private jet owned by SpaceX and propositioned her in 2016, according to a report by Business Insider.

"For the record, those wild accusations are utterly untrue," Musk said about the allegations.

Other Billionaires Net Worth Plummets

Several other billionaires have also lost large chunks of their net worth this year. The Walton family members lost about $19 billion in one day after Walmart (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report slashed its profit outlook after consumers lowered their spending amid higher inflation levels.

The Walton family heirs control the retailer whose stock has fallen by 21% in the past month.

Jim and Rob Walton, who rank number 16 and 17 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, lost $5.63 billion and $5.34 billion of their fortune, respectively at the close of the market on May 17. Jim Walton's net worth is now $58.3 billion and he has lost $6.2 billion year-to-date while Rob Walton's net worth is $57.8 billion and his fortune has lost $6.2 billion year-to-date as of May 23.

The Walton family's stake is managed in trusts and the heirs of the family fortune sold $6.2 billion in shares in 2021 to keep their holding to under 50% as the company bought back shares.

While other investors have seen a large percentage of their fortunes dissipate in the recent market selloff, Buffett has risen to the top.

Buffet is one of three people in the top ten richest people globally whose net worth increased since January, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Oracle of Omaha is ranked number five on the index. His total net worth is $112 billion and he has gained $3.3 billion year-to-date.

The Bloomberg list includes only two other billionaire in the top 10 - Gautam Adani, an Indian infrastructure magnate that owns real estate along with commodities and power generation and transmission, whose total net worth is $104 billion and his year-to-date performance is a profit of $27.6 billion through May 23.

His countryman Mukesh Ambani, ranked 9th, has seen his net wealth increase by $5.20 billion since January to $95.2 billion.