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Money losers of 2008: Billionaires who lost billions this year.

Posted on: December 30, 2008


Posted Dec 24th 2008 12:30PM by Trey Thoelcke

There’s no doubt about it — times are tough. People are struggling to find work and to pay the bills as the value of their homes and savings dwindle. The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer.

Or do they? It’s all relative, of course, but world’s billionaires have been taking some big hits too. We take a look at Sheldon Adelson, Kirk Kerkorian, and Lakshmi Mittal in their own separate posts, but here are some other billionaires who have lost billions this year (courtesy of Forbes and Business Sheet).

money-losers-6-billionaires-200cm121808

  1. Brothers Anil and Mukesh Ambani of India’s private conglomerate Reliance lost $32.5 billion and $28.2 billion, respectively.

Warren Buffett, the Sage of Omaha, lost $16.5 billion. Shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) are down about 32% since the beginning of the year.

Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT) founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen lost $12.3 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively, while CEO Steve Balmer lost $6.5 billion. Shares of Microsoft are down 46% since the beginning of the year.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, cofounders of Google Inc. (NYSE: GOOG), lost $11.9 billion and $11.7 billion, respectively, and CEO Eric Schmidt lost $3.8 billion. The share price of Google has fallen 55% since the beginning of the year.

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL), lost $8.2 billion. Shares of Oracle are down 21% since the beginning of the year.

Media maven Sumner Redstone lost $7.2 billion. Shares of his private investment firm National Amusements fell 70% this year.

Charles Ergen lost $6.1 billion. Shares of DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) have fallen 71% since the beginning of the year.

Financier and activist investor Carl Icahn lost $5.1 billion. Shares of Icahn Enterprises are down 62% since January.

Eddie Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD), lost $5.0 billion. Shares of Sears are 62% lower since the beginning of the year.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos lost $4.6 billion. Shares of Amazon are down 44% since the beginning of the year.

Oil and gas magnate Dan Duncan lost $4.1 billion. Shares of Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD) have fallen 33% since the beginning of the year.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch lost $4.0 billion. Shares of News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) are 57% lower since the beginning of the year.

Stephen Schwarzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) lost $3.8 billion. Shares of Blackstone are down 73% since the beginning of the year.

Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) founders Min Kao and Gary Burrell lost $3.4 billion and $2.6 billion, respectively. Shares of Garmin are 80% lower since the beginning of the year.

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of his eponymous computer company, lost $3.3 billion. Shares of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) are down 55% since the beginning of the year.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) founder Pierre Omidyar lost $3.2 billion. Shares of eBay have fallen 56% since the beginning of the year.

Micky Arison, CEO of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) lost $2.6 billion. Shares of cruise ship operator are 46% lower since the beginning of the year.

Former American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) chairman and CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg lost $2.3 billion. Shares of the bailed-out insurer have fallen 97% since the beginning of the year.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) founder and CEO Steve Jobs lost $2.3 billion. Shares of Apple are down 55% since the beginning of the year.

Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) lost $2 billion. Shares of the casino and hotel operator are 62% lower since the beginning of the year.

Oleg Deripaska, Russia’s richest man, lost $1.5 billion when he was forced to sell his stake in a Canadian auto-parts company to meet a margin call.

Others who fell off the list of billionaires include Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) CEO Jerry Yang, former Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) CEO Sanford Weill, former AIG executive Leslie Gonda, AIG executive Ernest Stempel, Wachovia Corp. (NYSE: WB) board member Ernest Rady, and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) shareholder Clemmie Dixon Spangler Jr. Here’s hoping all the former billionaires can get by as mere millionaires.

Be sure to check out more Money Losers of 2008.

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