Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world’s richest man again
Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world’s richest man again, overtaking investor Warren Buffett, as the global financial meltdown wiped out $US2 trillion from the net worth of the world’s billionaires, Forbes Magazine said.
The number of billionaires in the world fell by nearly a third to 793 in the past year, with large numbers dropping off the list in Russia, India and Turkey.
Gates regained his title as the richest man in the world, with $US40 billion after slipping to third last year when he was worth $US58 billion. Buffett, last year’s richest man, fell to second place with $US37 billion, down from $US62 billion. Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim took third place with $US35 billion, down from $US60 billion.
Collectively, the top three billionaires lost $US68 billion in the year to February 13, when Forbes took a snapshot of wealth around the world to compile its annual list of billionaires.
Chief executive of Forbes Magazines Steve Forbes said that, while few would shed a tear for the plight of a billionaire, it was bad for the economy when entrepreneurs were in trouble.
"Billionaires don’t have to worry about their next meal, but if their wealth is declining and you’re not creating numerous new billionaires, it means the rest of the world is not doing very well," he told reporters. "The typical billionaire is down at least one third on their net worth."
The top 20
1 Bill Gates – United States
2 Warren Buffett – United States
3 Carlos Slim Helu & family Mexico
4 Lawrence Ellison United States
5 Ingvar Kamprad & family Sweden
6 Karl Albrecht Germany
7 Mukesh Ambani
8 Lakshmi Mittal India
9 Theo Albrecht Germany
10 Amancio Ortega Spain
11 Jim Walton United States
12 Alice Walton United States
12 Christy Walton & family United States
12 S Robson Walton United States
15 Bernard Arnault France
16 Li Ka-shing Hong Kong
17 Michael Bloomberg United States
18 Stefan Persson Sweden
19 Charles Koch United States
19 David Koch United States