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2009 Top 50 Billionaires

2009 Top 50 Billionaires

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Published by: Hbalrahif on Aug 18, 2009
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08/18/091
Top 50 Billionaires in theWorld
 
08/18/092
William Gates III
$40 billionMicrosoft/U.S.53. Married, three childrenSoftware visionary regains title as the world's richest mandespite losing $18 billion in the past 12 months. Stepped downfrom day-to-day duties at Microsoft last summer to devote histalents and riches to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Organization's assets were $30 billion in January; annual letterlauds endowment manager Michael Larson for limiting last year'slosses to 20%. Gates decided to increase donations in 2009 to$3.8 billion, up 15% from 2008. Dedicated to fighting hunger indeveloping countries, improving education in America's highschools and developing vaccines against malaria, tuberculosis andAIDS. Appointed Microsoft Office veteran Jeffrey Raikes chief executive of Gates Foundation in September. Gates remainsMicrosoft chairman. Sells shares each quarter, redeploys proceeds
 
08/18/093
Warren Buffett
$37 billionInvestments/U.S.78. Widowed, remarried; three childrenLast year America's most beloved investor was the world's richest man. This year he has to settle for second place after losing $25 billion in 12 months.Shares of Berkshire Hathaway down 45% since last March. Injected billions of dollars into Goldman Sachs, General Electric in exchange for preferred stock lastfall; propped up insurance firm Swiss Re in February with $2.6 billion infusion.Admits he made some "dumb" investment mistakes in 2008. Upbeat aboutAmerica's future: "Our economic system has worked extraordinarily well overtime. It has unleashed human potential as no other system has, and it willcontinue to do so." Scoffs at Wall Street's over-reliance on "history-based"models: "If merely looking up past financial data would tell you what the futureholds, the Forbes 400 would consist of librarians." Son of Nebraska politiciandelivered newspapers as a boy. Filed first tax return at age 13, claiming $35deduction for bicycle. Studied under value investing guru Benjamin Graham atColumbia. Took over textile firm Berkshire Hathaway 1965. Today holdingcompany invested in insurance (GEICO, General Re), jewelry (Borsheim's),utilities (MidAmerican Energy), food (Dairy Queen, See's Candies). Also hasnoncontrolling stakes in Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo.

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