With limited metrics by which to assess a person’s worth, Tesla/SpaceX/Twitter CEO Elon Musk has long enjoyed being rated Number One atop the human pile simply by counting his billions upon billions of dollars. As they say, however, the bigger they are… and according to The Guinness Book of World Records, Musk has had the hardest fall of all time. While 2022 was a tough year for all the world’s obscenely rich, no one was more obscene and rich than Musk, until he lost an estimated $200 billion thanks to his vainglorious—and almost certainly, haplessly accidental—Twitter takeover quest.
“Elon Musk (South Africa) has officially broken the world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history. He has lost approximately $182 billion (£153B; €173B) since November 2021, as estimated by Forbes, although other sources suggest that it could actually be closer to $200 billion,” the talliers at Guinness World Records said in a statement.
“Musk’s misfortunes also saw him lose his status as the world’s richest person to Bernard Arnault (France), founder of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), who has an estimated net worth of $190 billion (£156B; €177B),” the record keepers added. “And don’t worry, even though Musk has lost more money than any human in history, he won’t be going hungry any time soon – he’s still the world’s second-richest person.”
Musk’s dwindling fortune is one he shares with Tesla, shares of which lost as much as 70 percent in 2022 alone.
The Twitter Commander, however, blames the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates at the fastest pace in a generation. “Tesla is executing better than ever!” Musk tweeted on Dec. 16. “We don’t control the Federal Reserve. That is the real problem here.”
As reported by CNBC Make It, American billionaires lost a collective $660 last year, including Jeff Bezos, who lost $80 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg, who lost $78 billion. The previous record holder was Masayoshi Son, a Japanese investor who lost 58.6 billion in 2000 after several disastrous investments in dot-com startups went bad.
While Musk is now the world’s the biggest loser, he is also the world’s second-richest person, with what Forbes estimates to be a net worth of $142.1 billion. Still, it must be a bit of burn to be in second place when that position has become synonymous with flabby Lex Luthor Jeff Bezos.