15 ways things have changed for billionaires in the past year
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images
Donald Trump (R) and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault (L).
- 2019 was a good year to be a billionaire - sort of. Billionaires in France, for example, saw their collective net worths soar, while the opposite happened in China.
- But billionaires in the US have been increasingly forced to contend with the prospect of a wealth tax.
- The public is also increasingly holding billionaires accountable for how they make and spend their fortunes.
- As we approach the end of the year - and the decade - Business Insider took a look back at how things have changed for billionaires over the course of 2019.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
French billionaires, for example, enjoyed surges in their net worths this year, while months of mass protests and political unrest sunk those of Hong Kong's billionaires. Meanwhile, ultra-wealthy people who made their fortunes in controversial ways - no matter where they lived - were forced to deal with public reckonings amid growing income inequality.
Keep reading to learn how life has changed for billionaires in 2019.
1. Billionaires' ranks are shrinking.
2. But a few standout names were inducted into the 3-comma club this year.
3. 2019 was the year of the billionaire presidential candidate.
4. Public perception has increasingly shifted out of billionaires' favor.
5. Billionaires have been increasingly forced to contend with the prospect of a wealth tax in the US.
6. 2019 wasn't the best year to be a billionaire in China.
7. The fortunes of Hong Kong's billionaires also took a hit in 2019.
8. But on the other side of the globe, it was actually a pretty good time to be a billionaire: North America was the only region in the world to gain more billionaires in 2018, the most recent year for which data is currently available.
9. The top tier of the 1% is more gender diverse than it used to be.
10. One thing hasn't changed: Only two people have appeared on the Forbes 400 every year since it was first issued in 1982.
11. No billionaire saw greater personal growth to his fortune in 2019 than French luxury magnate Bernard Arnault, who started the year with a net worth of $66 billion and ended it with nearly twice that much.
12. French billionaires made the greatest gains.
13. Billionaires are increasingly preparing for a global recession by changing how they store their wealth.
14. The public increasingly held billionaires accountable for how they made their fortunes ...
15. … and how they spent them.
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