Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hey, buddy, can you spare a billion?

So you think you had a tough year financially. Quit your crying. I bet you didn't lose $10 billion. Warren Buffett did did. It was a rough year for the Berkshire Hathaway chairman. But don't expect to find him at the Salvation Army in his hometown of Omaha.

Buffett is still the second richest man in America, according to the latest list of Forbes Magazine's 400 richest Americans. He's down to his last $40 billion, so if you think you have it bad, remember someone else always has it worse.

In fact, it was a tough year all around for this country's 391 billionaires. They lost a total of $300 billion in the last 12 months, and the top 10 richest Americans lost $39.2 billion because of failing capital markets and faltering real estate prices.

For the 16th year in a row, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates tops the list at $50 billion. If Gates gave away $100,000 a day, it would take him 500 days to go broke.

Some other billionaires of note:

Apparently Wal-Mart continues to make a profit. Four Sam Walton heirs are all in the top 10, and all worth approximately $20 billion each.

13. Michael Dell, the University of Texas dropout, and his Dell computers are worth $14.5 billion.

24. Phil Knight of Nike, $9.5 billion.

85. H. Ross Perot, $3.5 billion. His son, Ross, Jr., is No. 317 at $1.2 billion.

97. Directior and movie mogul Steven Spielberg, $3 billion.

139. Dallas Mavericks owner and petulant child Mark Cuban, $2.4 billion.

141. Oprah Winfrey, $2.3 billion (I think I'm going to be sick).

196. Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner, general manager, stadium king, Wade Phillips string puller, $1.8 billion.

341. Former Amarillo High basketball guard Boone Pickens, $1.1 billion.

371. Tom Hicks, who is looking to sell the Texas Rangers, $1 billion.

This was off the 400 charts slightly, but a little digging revealed this:

299,643,212: Me, net worth: Sad.

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