And so are we in a recession? You wouldn’t know it from the latest Forbes billionaires list which now boasts of 1,125 members, breaking four digits for the first time.
Bill Gates is down at number three, giving up the number one spot to his good buddy Warren Buffett , at $62 billion – with a 6x surge in net worth since last year, thanks to flying shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The number two spot now belongs to Carlos Slim Helu of the Mexican wireless telephone company, America Movil.
Interestingly, the Ambani family of the Indian company the Reliance group might have come in first on the richest list with a combined worth of $85 billion, except that the warring Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil split up their fortune and showed up in fifth and sixth positions respectively, with individual net worths of $43B and $42B.
And how about the youngest self made billionaire? Yes, you guessed it – it is 23 year old Facebook genius Mark Zukerberg who is worth $1.5 billion. Of course this number is based upon Microsoft paying $240 million last October for a 1.6% stake in the company, which pegged Facebook’s value at a whopping 15 billion. Not many believe this huge valuation, and the story going around is that Microsoft paid up not necessarily because it believes that the company is worth as much, but more to keep out those who might be thinking about taking over all of Facebook!
While on unnamed suitors for Facebook, Google founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin made the top of the Forbes thirtysomething list with $19 billion apiece.