“In the United States, the stock market crash is here”

Chronic. The French don’t know yet, protected from the shocks of the financial markets by the money printing of the European Central Bank (ECB) and by the French budget deficits, but the crash is there. Wall Street is experiencing a serious thaw, having its worst week since the start of the pandemic, January 18-21. The drop no longer spares tech stars (Apple, Amazon, Netflix, etc.), and the Nasdaq has lost more than 15% since its peak in November 2021. The overall S&P 500 index is down nearly 8%, with no good news in sight. .

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Ah yes: the phenomenon should delight billionaire killers. According to the Bloomberg agency, Elon Musk (Tesla) lost nearly $100 billion, his fortune dropping from $338 billion in November to 243 billion on January 21. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has “melted” 45 billion and owns only 177 billion. For Bill Gates, the drop is $25 billion (with an estimated net worth of $129 billion). since 1er January 2022, the first ten billionaires on the planet lost $125 billion, or 9% of their fortune, with nothing on the planet changing. They had earned 402 billion in 2021.

With every crash you will eventually find a winner. Warren Buffett, owner of Berkshire Hathaway, is doing well: The wise Omaha investor in traditional stocks (plus Apple) had underperformed during the pandemic. But these withstand better in periods of rising interest rates. Slowly, the “turtle” Buffett is catching up with the “hares” of Wall Street, especially Cathie Wood, the star of recent years for her investments in hyper-growth stocks, boosted by free money and the pandemic. His ARKK fund has halved in a year, with rampant speculation coming to an end, the receding pandemic and the prospect of rising interest rates (tomorrow’s dividends and therefore stocks are worth less as the discount rate rises).

The stock market opens its eyes

The impoverishment of billionaires does not make anyone richer. Rather, the case threatens to wash and eat away stock marketers who had found their way to Wall Street through forced pandemic savings from US pension funds. This is likely to exacerbate the sluggishness of households, which are already under pressure from inflation (7% in December), pushing real wages down (by 2.3%). Maintaining consumption is therefore not guaranteed.

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