Hey, Jeff, need a ride?
Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report CEO Elon Musk is the world’s top billionaire, according to Forbes, beating out Amazon’s (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report former top executive Jeff Bezos, who had spent the past four years as the richest person in the world.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth Drops
Forbes put Musk’s estimated net worth at $219 billion, while the Bloomberg Billionaire Index pegged his wealth at $288 billion. But either way he still beat Bezos.
Forbes said that a 3% drop in Amazon stock and increased charitable giving wiped $6 billion from Bezos’ net worth.
“It tells you that there is nothing permanent in this world,” one person tweeted.
The world’s richest man tweeted his first words on Monday since the news broke, asking if people wanted an edit button.
Rounding out the Forbes top five were Bernard Arnault, chief executive of LVMH (LVMHF) remains at No. 3, followed by Microsoft’s (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) – Get Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Class A Report, who rejoins the top five after falling to No. 6 last year.
Forbes said that altogether the total net worth of the world’s billionaires is $12.7 trillion, down from last year’s $13.1 trillion.
And several of our billionaires were missing, with the total slipping to 2,668, down from 2,755 last year.
The war in Ukraine booted 34 Russian billionaires off the list, with total Russian billionaire wealth falling from $584 billion last year to $320 billion this year.
The Chinese tech crackdown knocked 87 Chinese citizens off the list.
There were 329 fewer people on the World’s Billionaires list this year, Forbes said, including 169 one-hit wonders who were part of last year’s record 493 newcomers.
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And speaking of newcomers, there were only 236 of them this year.
Some of the them include “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson at 1,929; Devin Finzer and Alex Atallah, founders of the NFT marketplace OpenSea, which recently made Time Magazine’s (TIME) list of most influential companies, at 1,397; and pop star and cosmetics mogul Rihanna at 1,729.
“The tumultuous stock market contributed to sharp declines in the fortunes of many of the world’s richest,” Kerry Dolan, assistant managing editor of wealth at Forbes, said in a statement. “Still, more than 1,000 billionaires got wealthier over the past year.”
The top 20 richest alone are worth a combined $2 trillion, Dolan added, up from $1.8 trillion in 2021.
Most Billionaires Are Self Made
Of the total 2,668 people on the list 1,891 are self-made billionaires, who founded or cofounded a company or established their own fortune–as opposed to inheriting it.
Forbes said there were 327 billionaires on the list, including 16 who share a fortune with a spouse, child or sibling, down from 328 in 2021.
There were 327 women billionaires, with the majority inheriting their wealth, including the world’s richest woman, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, whose grandfather founded beauty giant L’Oréal.
However, 101 women on the list are self-made billionaires, the richest being Fan Hongwei, who chairs Chinese chemical fiber supplier Hengli Petrochemical and is worth an estimated $18.2 billion.
Asia-Pacific had the most billionaires, with 1,088, followed by the United States, with 735, and Europe, with 592.
As for the seemingly endless Musk-Bezos rivalry, well, there’s always outer space.
Musk is the founder of the aerospace company SpaceX and on Tuesday, Amazon announced agreements with Blue Origin, Arianespace and United Launch Alliance to provide launch services for Project Kuiper, Amazon’s internet space initiative.
Blue Origin will help with Amazon’s plan to build a network of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit in order to provide global internet service.
Project Kuiper is similar to SpaceX’s own Starlink program, which has a plan for tens of thousands of small satellites to provide broadband internet.