Forbes says that the collective worth of the 400 richest people fell by $300 billion or 19% to $1.27 trillion. The top reasons for the decline were market turmoil, plummeting real estate prices, fraud and divorce.
Bill Gates, the richest American, lost $7 billion. One guy who got kicked off the list completely was R. Allen Stanford — who was accused by the SEC of running a Ponzi scheme.
Oddly, a Madoff investor was actually added to the list:
Among the newbies is Jeffry Picower, who the magazine describes as “a longtime investor with Bernard Madoff who is alleged to have extracted billions of dollars from Madoff’s fund before it collapsed.”
Bet he’s really popular these days.