“It’s been a tough year for the richest people in the world. Last year there were 1,125 billionaires. This year there are just 793 people rich enough to make our list,” Forbes Magazine reports. That’s “a 30% decline from a year ago.”
“Of the 1,125 billionaires who made last year’s ranking, 373 fell off the list–355 from declining fortunes and 18 who died. There are 38 newcomers, plus three moguls who returned to the list after regaining their 10-figure fortunes. It is the first time since 2003 that the world has had a net loss in the number of billionaires,” Forbes reports.
“The world’s richest are also a lot poorer. Their collective net worth is $2.4 trillion, down $2 trillion from a year ago,” Forbes reports. “Bill Gates lost $18 billion but regained his title as the world’s richest man. Warren Buffett, last year’s No. 1, saw his fortune decline $25 billion as shares of Berkshire Hathaway fell nearly 50% in 12 months, but he still managed to slip just one spot to No. 2. Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim Helú also lost $25 billion and dropped one spot to No. 3.”
Forbes reports, “The biggest loser in the world this year, by dollars, was last year’s biggest gainer. India’s Anil Ambani lost $32 billion–76% of his fortune–as shares of his Reliance Communications, Reliance Power and Reliance Capital all collapsed.”
Forbes reports, “Russia became the epicenter of the world’s commodities bust, dropping 55 billionaires–two-thirds of its 2008 crop… After slipping in recent years, the U.S. is regaining its dominance as a repository of wealth. Americans account for 44% of the money and 45% of the list’s slots, up seven and three percentage points from last year, respectively. Still, it has 110 fewer billionaires than a year ago.”
Apple CEO Steven Jobs is at #178 on Forbes’ list with $3.4 billion, a cool $2 billion less than last year:
The coolest man in tech stunned investors after announcing he would take a six-month leave of absence beginning January, after finding his medical situation had become ‘more complex.’ Just a week earlier he had said the condition that had forced him to lose vast amounts of weight was just a ‘hormone imbalance.’ Apple shares fell 7% in after-hours that day; they are down 50% in the past 6 months. SEC now looking into whether the company misled investors. Firm reported record quarterly sales of $10.2 billion in January as iPhone shipments soared 88% over previous year. Currently marketing ‘green’ MacBook Pro line of computers: energy-efficient, longer-lasting batteries; premium pricing on its products may hurt Apple as consumers cut back on spending.
MacDailyNews Take: The SEC couldn’t find the sun in the Saharan sky at noon.
Full article here.