Surprise! Jeff Bezos Is the Richest Person in the World Again

Despite slipping Amazon stocks.
Brad Bergan
Jeff Bezos and friends, with a bottle of champagne.Blue Origin

Someone once said "time is a flat circle."

So maybe this is why CEO Blue Origin Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world again, seizing the number-one position a step ahead of the fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault at the end of July, according to an initial Forbes report.

And we are genuinely intrigued that this happened despite slipping Amazon stock prices.

Bezos, Musk, and other billionaires swapped spots a lot

Amazon stock fell by 1.3% on Wednesday, driving Bezos' net worth down by $1.3 billion. Likewise, shares of Arnault's luxury firm LVMH fell by 5.2% in European trading markets, cutting the French billionaire's fortune by a whopping $9.9 billion. Billionaire asset management aside, this friendly swap of places between the two richest people in the world came on the heels of a broader game of musical chairs amid other tech billionaires. Last November, Elon Musk raced past Bill Gates to become the second-richest person in the world, and, less than two months later, he flew past his biggest rival Bezos to claim the prize of the richest person in the world, for the first time. His net worth at the time was $188.5 billion, $1.5 billion higher than Jeff Bezos'.

It's not overwhelmingly shocking for Musk to have done this. Coming from a wealthy family and further growing his portfolio with PayPal in the early 2000s, followed by his all-in investments in Tesla, SpaceX, and several other cutting-edge companies an industrial revolution ahead of competitors, it was probably inevitable. When he learned of his new position, he didn't have much to say, surprisingly. "How strange", he began in an initial tweet, which was followed by a reply that read, in a reluctant voice: "well, back to work ... ". But his reign didn't last very long.

A little more than a month later, Musk was bumped back into second by, you guessed it: Bezos. As Musk's electric car company Tesla's shares dropped 8.6%, his mega-fortune was shaved down by $15.2 billion, leaving Bezos in the top spot, with $186.3 billion on February 24, 2021. But earlier this month on Aug. 3, the French fashion tycoon Bernard Arnault overcame Jeff Bezos after the Amazon founder's net worth dropped by a staggering $13.9 billion in a single day. Arnault's net worth was $195.8, with Bezos' at $192.6 billion, when the Frenchman claimed the throne. But, less than a month later, the billionaire who launched himself to space reclaimed his top position on Wednesday, with a net worth of roughly $186.1 billion, just an arbitrary billion dollars above Arnault's $185 billion. Wealth inequality has surpassed gilded-age levels, but, bizarrely, this hasn't stopped the world's richest from growing their portfolios.

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