The big losers
Frenchman Bernard Arnault, the third richest man in the world and CEO of LVMH, lost 14 billion in one week to 84.6 billion.
Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, saw his fortune invested in Amazon melt, from 117 billion dollars last weekend to 109 billion Friday, or 8 billion dollars less in seven days, according to real-time figures from Forbes magazine.
The fortune of Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, it went in a week from 108.2 billion to 103 billion Friday, down 5.3 billion.
Businessman Warren Buffett, “the Oracle of Omaha”, was penalized by the defeat of the airlines, of which his group Berkshire Hathaway is a major shareholder. His fortune went from 81.6 billion at the end of last week to 76.3 billion on Friday.
Mark Zuckerberg, who completes the top 5, saw his wealth decrease from $ 9.2 billion to $ 62 billion in the wake of Facebook’s stock market downturn.
All these losses are nonetheless virtual because the big fortunes have not sold their securities and will therefore be able to regain the money lost if the markets recover.
Panic in the markets has led a large number of investors to take refuge in so-called safe assets such as debt securities, and in particular American debt.
This rush caused the fall in yields on these bonds, which affects conventional life insurance and life insurance contracts with variable annuities, part of the amount invested in the subscription grows according to stock market results until ‘upon retirement of the insured.
The 30-year Treasury bill rate, the longest term, was 1.5% on Friday.
The number of American households owning shares, directly or via funds, was, according to the last Federal Reserve survey on the subject, of 51.9% in 2016. It is more than one in two Americans.
These assets are often contained in 401 (k) retirement savings plans.
Individual investors will therefore have a bad surprise when they receive their next statement. They will no doubt see that their virtual “fortune” has decreased drastically, which risks influencing their consumer behavior. Consumption is the engine of the American economy.