Bill Gates has just lost billions from his personal fortune
We all have bad days at work sometimes. Maybe your boss asked you to stay and work late, or maybe somebody stole your lunch from the fridge (that was CLEARLY LABELED), or maybe you spilled coffee on your laptop. Well, life could always be worse - you could have lost billions of dollars from your personal fortune.
Yesterday the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 1,175 points, or 4.6%, closing down at 24,345.75. Whatever that means! I don't understand how the stock market works, despite seeing The Wolf Of Wall Street twice. But I do know that it is not good. U.S. stocks took a deep plunge - the worst fall in six years - and now global stocks are taking a tumble as well. As Steven Colbert said on his monologue last night, "The stock market is just like the rest of us: It spent January working on improving itself, then in February said, 'F--k it.'"
So, how did this happen? The U.S. Labor Department released its employment numbers, and there was surprisingly strong growth in wages. It sounds like good news, but it had an unfortunate side effect: As investors reacted to the changes, concerns of higher interest rates accelerated a sell-off.
CMC Markets Analyst Michael McCarthy said the wage numbers "blew lower interest rates out of the water." David Kuo, the chief executive of financial services company Motley Fool, said "Economic news from the US has been stronger than anticipated. So, perversely, the market correction has been caused by positive economic news." And a bunch of people on Wall Street said a bunch of unprintable curse words.
The nosedive in stock may not affect you or me, but it had awful consequences for some of the richest people in the world. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, lost $3.2 billion. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg lost $3.6 billion. And Microsoft founder Bill Gates lost $2.2 billion. Ouch. And I get mad when I lose a dollar! Losing a huge amount of money like that is hard to fathom.
But don't cry for him too much. Reportedly, Bill Gates is worth $90 billion, so I'm guessing he's going to be just fine. Still, it's hard not to feel bad for him, given his generous work as a humanitarian. In 2009, he and fellow rich dude Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, in which billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy. He also created The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to enhance healthcare, reduce extreme poverty and expand educational opportunities. And every year he plays Secret Santa on Reddit and gives amazing presents. Had it not been lost in the stock market, that $2.2 billion would have surely went to a good cause.
So, if you're having a bad day at the office, look at the bright side: At least you didn't lose billions of dollars.
In related news, Bill Gates revealed how he'd live on $2 a day...