capitalism

The loss is not that much: Only near to $2trillion; and the US billionaires’ loss was the biggest.

A recent report by Forbes said:

The billionaires of today’s world have had a tough 2022, as their total lost went near to $2 trillion combined.

These benevolent gentlepersons, however, gathered trillions of dollars in their collective coffer during the previous two years.

Forbes’ estimates said:

In terms of recent loss, the billionaires from the Empire were the hardest hit: $660 billion collectively.

The factors driving the losses include the dunking tech stock prices due to rising interest rates, jumping inflation, and an aggravating economy.

According to the Forbes report, now, much debated, and near-despised by a part of the mainstream Elon Mask, the CEO of Tesla and Twitter, found: His fortune has diminished the most. The super-rich person’s net worth made a nosedive by about $115 billion in 2022.

Tesla’s stock price is down nearly 70% for the year.

So, Musk’s crown of this earth’s richest person was lost in 2022. He is still the wealthiest in the US, however. His net worth was nearly $139 billion as of December 27.

Musk, “the biggest loser of 2022 isn’t the only billionaire whose net worth took a hit.

Forbes’ report said:

Five other US billionaires who lost most in 2022 include Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos (-$80 billion), Meta Platforms (Facebook’s parent company) co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (-$78 billion), Google co-founder and board member Larry Page (-$40 billion), Nike chair Phil Knight (-$18.3 billion), The Estée Lauder Companies chair emeritus Leonard Lauder (-$9.8 billion).

The Forbes’ real-time tracker finds:

The number of billionaires has fallen too, from 2,671 to 2,523, as high-profile moguls like FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried, Kanye West and Rivian founder RJ Scaringe have dropped from the ranks.

What does happen to these billionaires with this simple loss – a few billions? Shall this make any change in the exploitation that creates so much rich to so few persons, who have no identity without money?

Can any poor, be it on the street of Mumbai or Delhi or Lagos, count millions, and billions and trillions? Can they assume cause behind and implications of these losses? Can they find out source of the resources that have made a loss of the size of a peanut?

What about the billions of the poor? Have the lost, if the rich consider those as loss by the poor, anything, and of any amount? Shall those be counted? Do their losses, if the rich consider those as losses, impact their lives? What about their food, their health, their shelter, their education? Do those affect the billionaires, the world economy? Shall ever the collective loss by the poor of the world counted ever? What happens when a poor or a group of poor loss a few dollars in real wage? Shall ever these questions put on the table of discussions? What shall happen, if the poor of the world, finding negative answers and attitude to these questions and the system related to these, say to the billionaires, to the system that the billionaires has constructed: Ad internecionem – to extermination?

The wealthy Americans are spending less

A CNBC online survey conducted in November 2022 has found:

The US millionaires are slashing their holiday spending.

What are the reasons behind the good souls’ such consideration?

It’s increasing inflation.

This bad guy – increasing inflation – is, as the good souls consider, a major risk to the economy and their personal wealth.

The CNBC survey with 761 millionaires found:

Eighty percent of millionaire respondents — those with investible assets of $1 million or more — said they plan to spend less this holiday season due to inflation. Millennial millionaires are the most likely to cut back, with 100% saying they plan to spend less, compared with 78% of baby boomers.

Responding to the question on how they’re responding to inflation, 52% of the millionaires explained they were “more price conscious” when shopping and a third said they are dining out at restaurants less often.

Spectrem Group conducted the Survey with CNBC. Spectrum’s president George Walper said: The millionaires “are becoming more cautious about how they’re spending their money.”

It should be note that inflation in the US hit 40-year highs this summer, which was pushed up by increasing prices. Official data shows the rate has slowed down since then, with the consumer price index settling at 7.1% in November, down from a 7.7% gain in the previous month.

The CNBC research pointed out:

Inflation has impacted the millionaires spending. But, they are divided on the issue of making changes in their investment portfolios.

On this issue, 29% reported they have already made changes while another 11% said they are just planning to do so, 30% said they “might or might not” make changes, and 31% said they are not planning any changes.

Walper’s assumptions said: The millionaire investors are keenly aware of the impact of higher rates on their investments and the need to shift their portfolios, but they are uncertain about what exact actions to take.

He explained: The millionaires are not sure where they should make changes. People don’t want to try to market time.”

How do the poor spend in a market dominated by increasing prices and energy cost/bold inflation/widening lay off*/cutting down breakfast, dinner and medical expenses? Do they survive? Can they? Shall there be anyone to find out answers to the questions? Or, is it that such questions don’t come at all as the poor don’t count in any term – not considered at all if the rich don’t face the question of regeneration of capital – in this dominating system?

* A news report, not-yet-turned old, said: Amazon.com Inc’s layoffs will now increase to more than 18,000 roles – part of a workforce reduction it previously disclosed. Amazon will communicate the layoff decisions starting January 18. The cuts amount to 6% of Amazon’s roughly 300,000-person corporate workforce.

Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka, Bangladesh.


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