The Biggest Losers – Financial Edition

June 19, 2009 by JS · 1 Comment 

Even Billionaires Are Going Bust in this Recession

Even Billionaires Are Going Bust in this Recession

With today’s economy, it’s easy to think that you’re the only one that’s being directly affected by the losses on the stock market or by the rise in prices on food at your local supermarket. It’s also easy to feel like the only people being affected by the recession or the middle and lower class people, blue collar workers.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even the world’s most wealthy people are bleeding money. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not feel sorry for these people. In my opinion, if you can lose over 5 billion dollars and still have a net worth of 13 billion dollars, you’re doing pretty good. If you’re on a “billionaire” list, you really don’t have as many worries as the rest of us. Yes, you may have to sell one of your fifteen homes, but you still have electricity, food, a home, and clothes on your back.

It absolutely sickens me to think that these people, still making billions of dollars after huge losses in the market, think they have it bad. They don’t know what bad is. Until you can’t pay your power bill or you wonder how you will feed your family this week, you don’t have it as bad as most of the people in the U.S. right now. I have been there, and struggle every day to keep from falling that far again.

On the other hand, I think it’s important to realize that we are not the only ones losing money from the recession. It’s very easy to think that you and your neighbors are all struggling, but it’s not easy to think that a billionaire even knows what the word “struggle” means when it comes to money. But according to some numbers, these billionaires may be learning to associate money with the word struggle.

Forbes agrees. They recently noted that “They’re reeling as much as everyone else,” in regards to billionaires. Effects have been seen globally. I had no idea until today that a former Icelandic billionaire (Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson) sold the soccer team that he owned in order to pay off his debts. I also learned that a German billionaire Adolf Merckle took his own life after his business suffered losses that he undoubtedly thought he was unable to come back from.

While these stories don’t make me feel sorry for the “billionaire community” as a whole, it does help to know that I’m not the only one suffering. I’m not saying that I want everyone to feel what I feel and to go through what I’ve had to go through. It’s just that for once, it looks like the people who seem to always be ahead, actually may begin to know what it’s like to really feel the economic downturns that our world has faced before.

I hope that since these billionaires have suffered losses and suffered from the recession that maybe they won’t take it for granted again. I can only hope that if they recover their money, they realize how precious it is and give more of it away to charitable organizations. Maybe for once, they’ll realize that they own over 50 percent of the world’s wealth and it should be taken care of rather than being spent on frivolous things.

Maybe everything really does happen for a reason, and maybe we’re all really not alone.

[this article was featured in the 210th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance at Urban Dollar]