It's Been an Absolutely Terrible Month for the Richest People on the Planet

Source: AP
Source: AP

The rich have gotten a little less rich, for once.

Since the beginning of January, the wealthiest 400 people on the planet have lost a combined $305 billion in global equities courtesy of a major downturn in world stock markets, Bloomberg Business reports. In the first 10 days of 2016, the top 100 lost approximately 8% of their collective wealth.

On the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Microsoft founder Bill Gates was listed as losing $6.8 billion, Spanish fashion magnate Amancio Ortega had lost $5.7 billion, investor Warren Buffett lost $2.6 billion, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos lost an astonishing $8.9 billion.

Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim was in the hole for $5.8 billion, while Koch Industries owners, and major conservative political contributors, Charles and David Koch lost a combined $2.4 billion.

As the Telegraph notes, losses among the globe's ultra-wealthy are primarily due to the falling Dow Jones, as well as faltering stock markets in Europe and China. Value loss in these markets are linked to the plummeting price of oil around the globe, which has also caused major routs in Middle Eastern stock exchanges.

However, 2016's short-term losses among the richest of the rich follow years of exploding wealth for global elites.

A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in May found that among the 34 wealthy countries that comprise its membership, income inequality was "at its highest since records began," according to Al-Jazeera America.

In 2015, charity Oxfam projected that the richest 1% of people worldwide will own more wealth than the other 99% of the world combined by the year 2016.

While the richest countries in the world are experiencing skyrocketing rates of inequality, the New York Times' Tyler Cowen argued in 2014 that global levels of inequality have actually fallen as the poorest nations across the world experience rapid economic development.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.

Hillary Clinton says Republicans will be the "death party" if they pass health care bill

Hillary Clinton spoke out against the Republican's proposed bill on Twitter.

It's time to redefine the clitoris, according to sex education experts

"Words matter. They shape and mold our ideas and beliefs about our purpose, our bodies, our self-worth and our place in the world around us."

Al-Jazeera becomes a target amid Qatar diplomatic crisis

Gulf states are demanding the broadcaster be shut down.

5 blocks of London apartments to be evacuated over potentially flammable cladding

800 North London apartments will be evacuated following a fire inspection that turned up evidence that the buildings could be unsafe.

Tomi Lahren wants to rally women to her side after criticizing feminists and "pro-choicers"

"My view on abortion is not black-and-white," Lahren said.

These 5 states are drafting laws to limit protests on college campuses

The legislation is intended to protect free speech on campus.