Not Funny Money, Honey

“The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money.” --Anonymous

I wonder what the conversation around the Zuckerberg dinner table went like on Wednesday night.

You may be aware that on Wednesday afternoon, Facebook’s stock plummeted nearly 20% during after-hours trading.

Some 34 million shares of Facebook changed hands during those few hours, which caused the social media giant to lose $120 billion in market capitalization in just two hours. It was the biggest single day drop in U.S. stock market history.

It also meant that in between lunch and dinner on Wednesday, Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s personal portfolio took a $17 billion hit.

Yep. Billion with a B.

His personal loss was more than the market value of Macy’s. Let that sink in for a moment.

Do you think Zuckerberg and his wife chose to drive through Wendy’s for dinner Wednesday night after that news?

Zuckerberg’s personal wealth actually dropped from around $87 billion to somewhere near $70 billion. I think he may survive.

But what about other shareholders who are not quite as well-heeled as Zuckerberg? What might the drop have cost them?

But the startling loss of Benjamins may also be a cautionary tale. Not just about the volatility of tech stock, but perhaps also about doing business with integrity. Could it be that the Cambridge Analytica scandal had something to do with this dramatic ? Or is it simply a case of more Americans turning their social media attention to Instagram, Twitter and others?

I guess we will find out.

The moral of the story? Money can be here today and gone tomorrow, as the Zuckerbergs saw on Wednesday. If we put our hope or trust in, or find our fulfillment through, our bank account, what will we do when our Wednesday comes?

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”     --Benjamin Franklin

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