The ammount of billionaires in the world decreased by almost a third in the last 12 months as many of the world's richest men and women fell victim to the economic recession.
Those worth over £1billion fell from 1,125 in 2008 to just 793, as a combined $2.4 trillion (£1.74 trillion) was wiped off the value of their collective 2008 $4.4 trillion fortune.
As a result, the average billionaire saw their net worth fall from $3.9bn to $3bn in the year, as the value of investments, property and other assets all collapsed.
1 Bill Gates, Microsoft $40bn Down $18bn USA
2 Warren Buffett, Investor $37bn Down $25bn USA
3 Carlos Slim Helu, Telecoms $35bn Down $25bn MEXICO
4 Larry Ellison, Oracle $22.5bn Down $2.5bn USA
5 Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea $22bn Down $9bn SWEDEN
6 Karl Albrecht, Aldi $21.5bn Down $5.5bn GERMANY
7 Mukesh Ambani, Petrochemicals $19.5bn Down $23.5bn INDIA
8 Lakshmi Mittal, Steel $19.3bn Down $25.7bn INDIA
9 Theo Albrecht, Aldi, Trader Joes $19.3bn Down $3.7bn GERMANY
10 Amancia Ortega, Zara $18.3bn Down $1.9bn SPAIN
Five Biggest Losers – Forbes 2009 World Billionaires list
1 Anil Ambani, Reliance $10.1bn Down $31.9bn
2 Laskhmi Mittal, Steel $19.3bn Down $25.7bn
3 Warren Buffett, Investor $37bn Down $25bn
4 Carlos Slim Helu, Telecoms $35bn Down $25bn
5 Kushal Pal Singh, Property $5bn Down $25bn
Few debates over the new list come to mind let´s consider the third richest man on earth
Carlos Slim Helu.was born in Mexico city.
Slim has been vice-president of the Mexican Stock exchange and president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses. He was the first president of the Latin-American Committee of the New York Stock Exchange Administration Council, and was in office from 1996 through 1998.
He was on the Board of Directors of the Altria Group (previously Philip Morris) (resigned in April 2006) and Alcatel. Slim currently sits on the Board of Directors for Philip and Morris International. He was on the Board of Directors of SBC Comunications until July 2004 to devote more time to the World education and development fund, which focused on infraestructure, health and education projects. In 1997, just before the company introduced its iMac line, Slim bought three percent of Apple Computer's stock, which has skyrocketed over the years.
He built the large Mexican financial-industrial conglomerate Grupo Carso which owns, among other companies, the now bankrupt Comp Usa electronic retail chain. On December 8, 2007, Grupo Carso announced that the remaining 103 CompUSA stores would be either liquidated or sold, bringing an end to the struggling company. After 28 years he became the Honorary Lifetime Chairman of the business. He is also Chairman of Telefonos de Mexico America Movil and Grupo Financiero Inbursa.
Slim is said to have shown an interest in buying the Honda Formula One team.Slim would overtake the billionaire owner of Force India, Villay M., to become the richest team owner in a sport famous for being a playground for the super wealthy.
On March 5, 2008, forbes ranked Slim as the world's second-richest person, behind Warren Buffet and ahead of Bill Gates During some parts of 2007, several major financial publications had ranked Slim as the richest person on earth. It is interesting to note that even if he also is one of the biggest loosers of the economy and even if he lost his second place this year he´s still the third.
Another interesting factor of the Forbes list that is interesting to mention is the entry to the list of Joaquin "El chapo" Guzman
The global credit crisis may have cost the world’s richest men billions of dollars but one industry seems virtually recession-proof. Mexico’s most wanted drug baron has leapt on to the annual Forbes rich list after a bumper year of cocaine trafficking.
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is thought to be responsible for thousands of murders, made his debut on the authoritative list with an estimated personal fortune of $1 billion.
Guzman is nicknamed The Dwarf because he is just 5ft tall but he is one of the most feared men in Mexico. His Sinaloa cartel is involved in a vicious drug war that has killed around 7,000 people since the start of last year.
He has been on the run with a $5 million reward on his head since 2001, when he escaped from prison apparently hidden in a laundry truck. He is the number one most wanted man in Mexico and on the Interpol and US wanted lists.
"He is not available for interviews," said Luisa Kroll, senior editor of Forbes magazine. "But his financial situation is doing quite well."
The magazine places Guzman’s worth at £726 million, putting him at number 701 on the list, in between a Swiss oil-trading tycoon and a US chemical heir.
Forbes cited estimates that Guzman and his operation is likely to have grossed 20 per cent of the $18 billion to $39 billion in drug revenues that Mexican and Colombian traffickers laundered last year - “enough for him to have pocketed $1 billion over his career and earn a spot on the billionaires list for the first time”.
Guzman’s fortunes in the past year compare favourably to the rest of the billionaires on the list. Sir Richard Branson and Sir Philip Green were among the nine in 10 billionaires who lost money over the past 12 months. On average, the world’s wealthiest people are estimated to have lost 23 per cent of their total wealth in a year.
When Guzman escaped from prison to the fury of the Mexican authorities, he was serving more than 20 years for criminal association and bribery. Mexican officials are convinced that he leads the Sinaloa drug gang, though he has never been convicted on drug trafficking charges. The Mexican government has already repudiated the nomination.
Guzman, 54, is not the first drug trafficker to make the list. Pablo Escobar, the Colombian cocaine lord, was once included, before dying in a shootout with the South American nation’s security forces in 1993.