San Francisco: Warren Buffett had $1.4 billion wiped from his fortune Tuesday after Wells Fargo & Co. fell 3.3% as the fallout continued from revelations that bank employees had opened more than 2 million accounts without clients’ approval.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the lender’s biggest shareholder, fell 2%, causing the 86-year-old’s fortune to drop more than anyone else’s on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The US investor is the world’s fourth-richest person with a net worth of $65.8 billion.
Tuesday’s decline came amid a global equity sell off that has wiped out $93 billion from the world’s 400 biggest fortunes since Friday. The billionaires shed $37.3 billion Tuesday as stocks and bonds both slumped, and oil sank after the International Energy Agency’s prediction that a glut will extend into next year.
The world’s second-richest person, Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, leads the 400 richest people with a decline of $3.3 billion since the sell off began, according to the index. Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with $87.3 billion, has lost $2.4 billion. Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest person with $66.2 billion, has shed $1.9 billion. Buffett, whose fortune is mostly in Berkshire shares, has lost $1.6 billion in the sell off.
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Wells Fargo was overtaken by JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the world’s most valuable bank on Tuesday. It has fallen 5.9% since Thursday, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced fines stemming from the fake accounts. The drop since Thursday compares with a 2.5% fall for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Bloomberg