On Monday, the world’s 500 richest people lost $139 billion in a day amid fears that the coronavirus will hammer the global economy. According to the report, it’s the biggest wealth drop for the group since October 2016.
Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury-goods maker LVMH, and Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos led the declines, with each losing more than $4.8 billion. Amancio Ortega, chief executive officer of Zara parent Inditex SA, tumbled $4 billion, and the fortunes of everyone else in the top 10 slid by at least $2.3 billion.
China, where the virus originated, makes up 40% of the global market for luxury goods. Paris-based LVMH increased its Asia share excluding Japan to 30% last year from 15% in 2002.
The market declines hit the stocks of cruise-line operators particularly hard, with Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. each dropping about 9%.
Carnival Chairman Micky Arison’s net worth fell $406 million to $10.6 billion. Hundreds of people who were aboard Carnival’s Diamond Princess in Japan tested positive for the virus.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average each dropped more than 3% on the day, the most in more than two years.
It is intriguing how a handful of people lost $139 billion just amid fears while millions of people in the world are still struggling to make bread. This clearly depicts the failure of world economic order where only a few are playing with the most of the wealth of the world and shows how economic inequality, probably the biggest shame of our times, has spread across the so-called civilised world.
Hope, the world will be able to develop an international economic order to which everyone can comprehend.