Ten of the world’s richest people lost over 14 billion dollars on 23 August following a US stock market crash, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average declining by 623 points by the end of the day amid an escalation in the trade war between the US and China, data from the daily ranking Bloomberg Billionaires Index (BBI) shows.
The biggest financial losses were experienced by Jeff Bezos, the founder and president of Amazon.com, whose current wealth is estimated at $109 billion. Bezos’ fortune declined by $3.35 billion, followed by the loss of $1.79 billion by the principal founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates.
The BBI also reported that Facebook’s head Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin together lost over $4 billion. The list of other billionaires who suffered substantial financial damages includes Oracle’s executive chairman Larry Ellison, American investor Steve Ballmer, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway investing company Warren Buffett, founder of Dell Technologies Michael Dell and American philanthropist MacKenzie Bezos.
US Stock Market Indices Decline
The sharp drop in the US stock market happened just few hours after President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce a pledge to respond to Chinese tariffs against US goods and his plan to shut down operations of American businesses in China.
Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
"The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA. I will be responding to China’s Tariffs this afternoon. This is a GREAT opportunity for the United States”, Trump wrote on Twitter.
Immediately after these statements, the Dow Jones index dropped by 1.4% and the S&P 500 plunged by 44 points.
The US president previously argued that the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping by 573 points earlier that day was primarily connected with an announcement that Democratic Congressman Seth Moulton had withdrawn his candidacy from 2020 presidential race.
The Dow is down 573 points perhaps on the news that Representative Seth Moulton, whoever that may be, has dropped out of the 2020 Presidential Race!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019
China-US Trade War
After the New York Stock Exchange closed on 23 August, Trump announced a new round of tariffs against China via Twitter that would include a 30% import tax on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and products starting from 1 October. He also increased initial tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports introduced at the start of August from 10% to 15%.
This came as a response to China’s imposing 10% and 5% tariffs on $75 billion worth of US imports, including wheat, corn, crude oil and some other industries starting from 1 September and 15 December respectively.
The trade war between the US and China has been escalating since summer 2018, when Trump introduced tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports in order to fix trade deficits allegedly caused by “unfair” Chinese trade practices.