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Breaking News: Chanel Owners are Richer Than You

If JC Penney (JCP) needs an extra billion dollars, as they disclosed today, they could always ask notoriously elusive Chanel owners Alain and Gerard Werthheimer. According to Chanel’s annual report filed with the Dutch chamber of commerce, the duo is worth $19.2 billion. In 2011 alone, they pulled in $5.9 billion. Basically, either one of them could finance JCP’s turnaround efforts with a debit card.

Wrenched from any clarifying context, it’s near impossible to appreciate how much money that really is. Consider this: the 2018 World Cup in Russia will cost about $20 billion. Afghanistan’s GDP is about $18 billion. The reconstruction of the World Trade Center in NYC costs about $3.9 billion. The Werthheimers almost have enough scratch to give every single man, woman and child in India two bucks a piece.

The pair ranks 120th and 121st on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. For reasons that remain obscure, Alain is slightly richer than Gerard, apparently the underachiever of the family.