Earlier this year, China's raging stock market created vast numbers of new millionaires and billionaires—at least on paper. Now many of the new Chinese paper-rich are folding.
Chinese stock markets have plunged 30 percent over the past month, wiping out an estimated $3.35 trillion in wealth. Much of that lost "wealth" was spread among the millions of small farmers, workers and other first-time investors who margined up to play the great casino of the stock market. With so many families losing their savings, the losses of the rich seem trivial in comparison.
But just as in the U.S., the fortunes of China's billionaires are closely tied to the stock market. And the bull market run in China stocks in the first half of 2015 created vast fortunes for those at the top of the Chinese economy— and now the crash is claiming its share of 10-figure victims.
According to Wealth-X, there were 22 new billionaires created in China during the market runup in the first half of the year. That would mark growth of more than 10 percent on China's billionaire population of 190, according to Wealth-X.