BUSINESS

The World’s 400 Richest People Lost $124 Billion This Week Thanks To China

Wall Street was bouncing back Tuesday, but the plunge in China shows how much wealth can vanish quickly

Aug 25, 2015 at 10:59 AM ET

How much wealth can a one-day plunge in the Chinese market wipe away? A lot: The world’s richest 400 people lost a collective $124 billion Monday.

Chinese stocks continued to tumble Tuesday morning as that market hit its lowest point since last December. But stock markets in the U.S. and Europe were rebounding in early trading, after China’s central bank cut interest rates and freed up its banks to lend more money. By mid-morning, the Dow Jones Index had already reclaimed about half of what it lost Monday.

But Monday’s steep drop in China hit the portfolios of the world’s richest people hard. Some 24 billionaires each lost more than $1 billion of their wealth. Asia’s richest person Wang Jianlin lost $3.6 billion, the most of any billionaire in the world. China’s crash spread to the West’s wealthiest, too. Microsoft founder Bill Gates lost $3.2 billion, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw $2.6 billion wiped from his wealth. Investor Warren Buffett lost $2.6 billion, and co-founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg suffered $1.7 billion-dollar loss from his accounts.

Only three out of the world’s wealthiest 200 people saw gains Monday, according to data collected by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index: Saudi Arabian businessman Alwaleed Al Saud, Uniqlo founder Tadashi Yanai and Czech businessman Petr Kellner.