Elon Musk loses $182 billion in net worth: Where does he rank in the list of most money lost?
The billionaire lost a huge amount of money last year but only drops to the world’s second richest but he is not alone in losing tens of billions of dollars.
Elon Musk had quite a bruising 2022. While being monstered on Twitter daily, the South African-born billionaire lost the not inconsequential amount of $182 billion. While it wasn’t like he burned all that in cash, it still represents a lot of investing power that has disappeared.
In 2022, Tesla stock (TSLA) lost around 65% of its value as the company missed a number of growth targets and was forced to scale back production in China. Investors were also reportedly unhappy with Musk’s constant involvement in running Twitter as well as the billionaire selling billions of Tesla stock to finance the move, dropping its value.
Despite losing the huge amount of money Musk is still the second richest person on the planet after French billionaire Bernard Arnault
Musk not the only person to fall from a high perch
The previous record for the most money lost by one person was $58.6 billion, set by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000, according to the Guinness report.
Son made his money during the dot-com bubble in 1999 and 2000, supposedly making $10 billion a week. Low interest rates allowed many dot-com companies, that is a company that does most of its business online, to be created and join in stock trading. The Nasdaq Composite, one of the top-three New York trading exchanges and specialising in information tech, rose in value by 400% between 1995 and 2000.
However the same bubble turned into a crash when these startups ran out of investment and failed to turn a profit. The same Nasdaq market lost nearly 80% of its entire value by fall 2002, wiping out any investments people had made. Son was the unluckiest, or the most foolish depending on your viewpoint, as he lost tens of billions of dollars of wealth.
What about further back in history?
Excluding people who died and lost all of their wealth there is one person who had so much and lost it overnight. This is Nicholas II Romanov, Tsar of the Russian Empire. Thought to have had a personal wealth of up to $45 billion, the February Revolution of 1917 forced him to abdicate the throne and the vast majority of his wealth along with it.
What value his personal items had were seized by his murders when Nicholas and his family were executed in July 1918. According to historian William Clarke the subsequent Bolshevik government sold all of Russia’s, and by extension Nicholas in his role as sole autocrat’s, gold. It has been difficult for historians to put an ultimate figure on his wealth, some estimates are as high as $300 billion, but it is clear that Nicholas had so much and lost nearly all of it in an instant.