A flight of confidence in the markets saw a collective $182 billion vanish from the wealth of the world’s billionaires.
Concerns about the Chinese economy contributed to the New York Stock Exchange seeing its biggest loss this year on Friday, with the Dow Industrial Average plunging more than 500 points.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg suffered an estimated $1.9 billion loss to see his reported fortune plunge to $37.8 billion.
The largest loss in the week overall went to Warren Buffett, an investor and the world’s third wealthiest person, with a $3.6 billion loss in fortune over seven days.
The especially sharp fall in the stock market on Friday was thought to be the result of slowed growth in China. Investors have been rattled by the surprise devaluation of the yen earlier this month and a government report on Friday admitting its factory sector is shrinking.
Further losses in oil and mining stocks compounded the issue, according to experts. But they also say the market is readjusting over “overheating” earlier this year.
“A week like this feels really bad, but when you take a step back, in a big picture view it’s not a disaster by any means,” John Collins, director of investment advisory at US wealth management firm Aspiriant, told Bloomberg.
He said about the loss to billionaires: “For them that’s a fractional percentage, even though $182 billion is a big number.”
Plummeting oil prices, which saw the longest weekly losing streak since 1986, also contributed $15.2 billion in losses for energy billionaires. Harold Hamm, chairman of Continental Resources Inc, saw 9 percent of his net worth disappear this week.
Yet many of the billionaires who saw losses this week haveexperienced some of the biggest increases in their worth over the year as a whole – with Zuckerberg alone gaining more than $3 billion since this time last year.