How to Lose $30 Billion in 18 Months

Business & Money

In 2012, Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista was on top of the world: Forbes  had ranked him the seventh richest man on the planet, and the wealthiest Brazilian overall with a net worth topping $30 billion. He was named as one of TIME’s most influential people in the world, with Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, praising him. Batista’s “most valuable asset is his commitment to Rio’s legacy,” Paes wrote at the time.

Unfortunately for Batista it’s looking more and more like this might be literally true. Since landing on the TIME 100 list less than two years ago, Batista has watched as his $30 billion in wealth has vanished to anywhere from $200 million to possibly nothing at all if you factor in debt. How does something like this happen?

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Batista’s wealth was always tied…

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