Value judgment: Donald Trump tumbles down billionaires’ rankings

While the richest got spectacularly richer during the pandemic, the ex-president plummeted nearly 300 places in the Forbes list

One of the biggest injustices of 2020 is that while almost 80 million Americans lost their jobs and were completely floored by the global pandemic, America’s billionaires got even richer. Today, we learn that Donald Trump got richer, too, but was left trailing by his billionaire mates. Poor guy.

According to the yearly update of Forbes’ billionaires list, Donald Trump’s standing among other billionaires has plummeted almost 300 places since 2020, down to No 1,299. The humiliating fall sits next to a quote from Donald Trump reading: “I took a lot of finance courses at Wharton. First they taught you all the rules and regulations. Then they taught you that those rules and regulations are really meant to be broken.”

Trump has lost millions on his retail locations, hotels and golf resorts in the last few years. But it does seem that businesses who were distancing themselves from Trump after the Capitol attack, continue to lease his properties, helping him to rake in millions on some properties in the last year.

The former president’s fortunes have been on shaky ground for some time now – as detailed by the damning investigative work of the New York Times, which revealed the former president to be a “billion dollar loser”, when they uncovered his tax returns. In fact, they found the self-described “self-made man” (who started his career with a hefty inheritance from his father), had a un-Midas-like touch with his own finances: “the more he is involved in designing a business and setting it up and creating a business plan, the more likely it is to have trouble,” they concluded after extensive analysis.

Although Trump still sits on a sizable fortune – his net worth is $2.4bn – his wealth has fallen by almost a third since he took office in 2017, from $3.5bn then, to $2.4bn today. Other losers in this year’s list include Kylie Jenner – who dropped off the list after it was revealed that she had inflated her sales figures to get on the 2020 list.

Meanwhile, her sister, Kim Kardashian West (whose bio reads: “I do feel like success is the best revenge,”) is officially declared a billionaire.

Kardashian West today joins an almost incomprehensible number of billionaires –2,775 individuals across the world on Forbes’ 35th annual list – an increase of 660 people since one year ago. The richest person in the world is still the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, with a fortune of $177bn. Poor James Ratcliffe the British founder, chairman and majority owner of the chemical powerhouse Ineos Group now has a fortune of $17bn, less than a 10th of Bezos’s.

But don’t feel too bad, 86% of the people on Forbes’ list this year are richer than a year ago. Meanwhile, the pandemic looks to increase the number of people living in extreme poverty by up to 150 million people this year – the first year that the number collated by the world bank has risen in 20 years.

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