It’s not every day that you feel good about going one up on someone like Anil Ambani. So you lost a few thousand rupees this week during Holi festivities with your chums. Mr Ambani’s losses over the last year had been $32 billion thanks to the global financial meltdown. Feel free to conjecture now who the bigger loser is. The Forbes list of billionaires this year has other big losers also, with $2 trillion chuted down the drain from the cumulative bowl of the world’s billionaires. Suddenly, not having that much makes us feel better about our situation.
Ah yes, Mr Ambani — and his richer brother Mukesh — can still afford to avoid the tough life of the streets, or even the tougher life of the aspirational middle class. But our hearts, if not chequebooks, go out to him. Imagine his friends and loved ones picking up the latest Forbes and finding out that he’s been made to unload an amount that’s almost Nigeria’s external debt in 2003. Maybe this is the right time when Mr Ambani will get to know who his real friends are.
Luckily for him though, everyone’s suffered. Last year’s richest man, Warren Buffett now is the second richest (after Bill ‘I’m Back Boys!’ Gates) losing $25 billion from his net worth stash to have only $37 billion in his kitty today. As we quietly mourn at the humungous loss of Mr Ambani and others on his floor, let’s remember how easy it is for all of us to also share that fate. Stop that sniggering in the back!