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May 20, 2022, 8:16 a.m. EDT

The billionaires are bleeding. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other top earners have lost nearly $200 billion in 2022.

By Barbara Kollmeyer

Get the hankies ready.

The world’s top billionaires lost more than $40 billion as markets cratered on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index , a daily ranking of the world’s wealthiest.

Still at the top of that list is Tesla’s (NAS:TSLA) chief executive officer, Elon Musk, who lost the most of 500 billionaires. Musk shed $12.3 billion of his personal fortune as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) and S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) saw their worst days in two years.

Musk has been pursuing a $44 billion deal for Twitter (NYS:TWTR) , arguing with the social-network service’s CEO Parag Agrawal about spam bots, in what may be a bid to get a cheaper deal or walk away from it all together. Wednesday’s batch of Musk tweets, in which he vowed to vote Republican in the next election and decried the S&P ESG index as a scam after the index dumped Tesla, drew wide attention.

Tesla’s stock-price target was slashed by Wedbush on Thursday, as the analyst citing a “circus show” over Twitter and headwinds from China’s COVID battle. Since the deal was announced on April 25, Tesla has dropped 28%, though that has come amid hefty marketwide losses this year with the S&P 500 flirting with a formal bear market.

Market Extra: How long does the typical bear market last?

Dry those crocodile tears, though, as Musk is still worth $210 billion, even if he’s lost $60.4 billion so far this year.

Just behind Musk is Amazon.com (NAS:AMZN) founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos, whose Wednesday losses came in at close second, with a $8.48 billion drop leaving his fortune at $131 billion. Amazon shares have fallen 35% so far this year, taking a hit from last month’s first reported quarterly loss in seven years . On a year-to-date basis, Bezos has lost $61.6 billion.

No. 3 on the ultrawealth list, Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of French luxury-goods giant LVMH Moët Hennessy (MIL:IT:LVMH) , lost $3.15 billion on Wednesday and has seen his fortune dwindle by $52 billion this year, to $126 billion.

Microsoft (NAS:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates lost $2.19 billion on Wednesday and is $19.4 billion poorer for the year so far. His wealth stands at $119 billion, while Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYS:BRK.A) (NYS:BRK.B) chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett, saw $2.74 billion wiped off his fortune, though he’s gained $2.17 billion in 2022. Buffett is presently worth $111 billion.

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