Warren Buffett had $1.4 billion wiped from his fortune Tuesday after Wells Fargo & Co. fell 3.3 percent as the fallout continued from revelations that bank employees had opened more than 2 million accounts without clients’ approval.
Berkshire Hathaway, the lender’s biggest shareholder, fell 2 percent, causing the 86-year-old’s fortune to drop more than anyone else’s on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The U.S. 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 co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with $87.3 billion, has lost $2.4 billion. Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest person with $66.2 billion, has shed $1.9 billion. Buffett, who’s fortune is mostly in Berkshire shares, has lost $1.6 billion in the sell off.
Wells Fargo was overtaken by JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the world’s most valuable bank on Tuesday. It has fallen 5.9 percent since Thursday, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced fines stemming from the fake accounts. The drop since Thursday compares with a 2.5 percent fall for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
With assistance from David Wilson and Noah Buhayar