Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch each lost $1.1 billion on Tuesday, a drop that might devastate even the wealthiest of the one percent. For the Kochs, the fifth- and sixth-richest people on earth, it represents just 2 percent of their individual fortunes.
Some perspective for the rest of us? That's akin to the average 60-year old American losing about $3,400, according to Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic And Policy Research, in an interview on Bloomberg Television.
Yesterday's fall is the third such swing in the past 12 months and the fifth in the past three years, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Because the drops represent a loss of paper value based on market conditions that affect assets in their closely held Koch Industries, they are not likely to alter the Kochs' plans to spend $900 million to elect a Republican president in next year's election.
The brothers each own 42 percent of Koch Industries, the second-largest closely held company in the U.S. The company owns Georgia-Pacific as well as oil refineries, fertilizer makers, financial services firms, and dozens of other businesses. Overall, the brothers, each worth $50.5 billion, have added about $190 million to their fortunes in 2015.