Brexit cost investors $2 trillion, the worst one day drop ever

Brexit vote cost worldwide markets more than $2T
Brexit vote cost worldwide markets more than $2T

The U.K.'s referendum to leave the European Union was a costly decision in more ways than one.

Worldwide markets hemorrhaged more than $2 trillion in paper wealth on Friday, according to data from S&P Global, the worst on record. For context, that figure eclipsed the whipsaw trading sessions of the 2008 financial crisis, according to S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt. 

The prior one day sell-off record was $1.9 trillion back in September of 2008, Silverblatt noted. According to S&P's Broad Market Index, combined market capitalization is currently worth nearly $42 trillion.

As bourses sold off from Asia to the U.S., the fallout from Brexit culminated in the Dow Jones Industrial Average racking up a 600 point loss. Bloomberg's Billionaires Index noted that the world's 400 wealthiest investors lost a combined $127 billion in Friday's market downturn.

"Brexit is the biggest global monetary shock since 2008," said David Beckworth, a scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, in a blog post on Friday. "This could be the tipping point that turns the existing global slowdown of 2016 into a global recession."

Beckworth also noted that risks stemming from the U.K.'s decision is "hastening the the frantic race to bottom on safe yields." Safe-haven government bond prices have soared around the world, pushing yields to near-historical lows. Bond yields move inversely of prices. 

Massive demand for safe-haven assets is outstripping supply, he added, meaning currencies like the yen and U.S. dollar, as well as government bonds and gold, are likely to keep booming.

Since Brexit became a catchphrase for markets, risk-averse investors have destroyed vast sums of wealth in fear of the potential shockwaves that could ripple through the global economy. Although analysts say an affirmative U.K. vote was always a possibility, markets appear to be preparing themselves for even bigger ructions—making more losses all but certain.

On Sunday, noted economist Nouriel Roubini said the U.K.'s departure from Europe may lead to the break-up of the entire 28-trading bloc. His comments echoed those of billionaire investor George Soros, who wrote that a dissolution of the EU was "practically irreversible."