Mega-rich getting even richer
Thu, 20 Sep 2012 9:15a.m.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remains the richest man in the US by far, as the tech and philanthropy giant took the top spot on the Forbes 400 list for the 19th year running, with a net worth of US$66 billion.
Investor Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway again took second with US$46 billion, while Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison remains third with US$41 billion and brothers Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries Inc, tied for fourth with US$31 billion.
Forbes said the rich mainly got richer in 2012, with net worth rising for 241 members of its list and shrinking for only 66. Rising stock prices, a rebound in real estate values and rare art prices helped.
More members of the Walton family, the founders of Wal-Mart Stores, moved up into the Top 10, displacing investor George Soros and Las Vegas Sands Corp founder Sheldon Adelson. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who made his fortune with the financial data services firm Bloomberg LP, is also back with the top dogs at No 10 with an estimated net worth of US$25 billion.
Social media moguls took the biggest hit. Zynga's Mark Pincus and Groupon's Eric Lefkofsky dropped off the list entirely. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest dollar loser in Forbes' latest ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans. The company's lackluster IPO in May resulted in a huge drop in market value that cut the value of his shareholdings almost in half, costing him US$8.1 billion in net worth. That dropped Zuckerberg from No 14 on the list to No 36.
But although Zuckerberg lost more money than most people will make in many lifetimes, his net worth still totals an estimated US$9.4 billion, according to the magazine.
Twenty newcomers joined the list, which required US$1.1 billion in net worth for entry, up from US$1.05 billion a year ago. Among the freshly minted are Shahid Khan, owner of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, at No 179; Judy Faulkner, founder of health records firm Epic Systems, at No 285; Andrew & Peggy Cherng, the husband and wife team behind restaurant chain Panda Express, at No 239; and Twitter creator Jack Dorsey at No 392.
There are 45 women on the list, up from 42 a year ago, including Oprah Winfrey at No 151.
The top 10 people on this year's Forbes 400 list are:
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26/09/2012 7:58:02 a.m.
The so-called equalisation theory.The problem is if all this money was fiven away, then we wouldn't have the businesses employing people, that create jobs, and wealth for much more than the individuals. Who invests money into businesses? Its not those colelcting benfeits.If all the welath was given away we would have huge unemployment and everyone starving in the street.
20/09/2012 10:15:11 a.m.
Be even more philanthropic and give at least half of it away, Bill. You can start with me. I'd be happy with a couple of million. All you other billionaires, you have too much money. Give some away.
20/09/2012 10:11:34 a.m.
At least Bill Gates is using is wealth to assist others , putting huge amounts of money into Aid projects , especially projects involved in growing food in many second and third world countries ,maybe poeople with money in thiscountry should follow his example , as such scial responsibility would go a long way to solving many of NZ's social issues.
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