The global recession has wiped $25 billion from the collective wealth of Australia's richest people, causing the worst annual drop in the 26-year history of the BRW Rich 200 List.
There are now 28 billionaires in Australia, 10 fewer than there were a year ago.
The family of late Visy chief Richard Pratt, headed up by son Anthony, topped this year's list with a fortune of $4.3 billion. They knocked Fortescue Metals chief Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest from his perch at the top.
Mr Forrest tumbled to the number eight position after losing $7 billion through a combination of falling iron ore prices and a lower stock price at Fortescue. He now has $2.4 billion, BRW estimates.
Real estate tycoon Frank Lowy was second richest, with $4.2 billion, followed by Sydney property developer Harry Triguboff with $3.6 billion.
Gina Rinehart remains Australia's richest woman, with her iron ore fortune falling in value to $3.47 billion, even as her ranking rises to number four from number five, with the absence of Mr Forrest.
James Packer fell to the number six spot from third position last year, with the wealth from the family fortune built up over years through media and gambling interests halving to $3 billion.
For the rich "the exuberance isn't there any more," said BRW Editor in Chief Sean Aylmer. "It's a lot less flashy. The rich aren't out there showing off their wealth, at the moment that's for sure."
However, one politician has already downplayed his inclusion on the list. Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull re-entered the list after a four-year absence, bobbing up at number 182 with wealth of $178 million.
When he was elevated to the Liberal leadership, Mr Turnbull made much of growing up in a "rented flat".
Today, he said any estimates of his wealth were speculative.
BRW cited Mr Turnbull's property investments and fund holdings as the source of his wealth.
"People like to celebrate their wealth," said BRW's Mr Aylmer. "They are proud of their achievements and should be, but this year the mood is more tempered."
The biggest surprise this year was "just how much money" Australia's richest lost, Mr Aylmer said. The $25 billion fall was by far the largest in a single year and took the combined wealth of those on the list to $114 billion. In 2001, the total value of Australia's richest fell a relatively tiny $5 billion in the wake of the dotcom crash.
Falling asset values, tumbling shares and weaker prices on commodities combined to lower the cut off for entry on to the rich list to $150 million, from $200 million last year, BRW said.
Australian-born Rupert Murdoch doesn't appear on the list, which is based on citizenship, BRW said. BRW is owned by Fairfax, publisher of BusinessDay.
Leavers and risers
This year's tally saw the departure of former bankrupt and convicted fraudster Alan Bond, last year's number 157, who "suffered a drop in the value of his African oil and diamond investments," BRW said.
Babcock & Brown executive Phil Green, whose listed-asset company went into administration earlier this year, also exited the list. He had been number 137 on 2008's list.
Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer skyrocketed up the list to number five spot, more than doubling his wealth to $3.4 billion from $1.5 billion last year when he ranked 21.
Fairfax executive and former Melbourne Lord Mayor Ron Walker rose to the number 40 spot this year, from 93 spot last year.
Actress and Australia star Nicole Kidman ranked 109th this year, from 138 last year.
BRW's Mr Aylmer made no predictions about whether the losses for Australia's rich would continue next year, but left the door open to another year of wealth destruction.
"If history is a guide, it could well happen again," he said, noting the total value of the rich list fell two consecutive years before in 1990-91.
It largely comes down to what happens on the sharemarket, he said.
"If it just bumbles along and doesn't change much, it's probably touch-and-go whether we have another decline next year."
But if it falls, he said, Australia's richest will suffer more.
Top 200 by state
New South Wales 70
Western Australia 20
South Australia 7
Top 200 by industry
Financial Services 9
Health Services 2
Follow Executive Style on Twitter