Slim once again leads list of world's fat cats
Thursday 10 March 2011
In a lament that sounded a lot like "Where's the money?" Britain was singled out yesterday as a leading power with fewer super-rich individuals in its midst than might be expected, with its taxation laws a main culprit.
Releasing the latest Forbes world billionaire's list, the magazine's publisher, Steve Forbes, labelled Britain's 50 per cent tax rate for top earners as "ridiculous". He then expressed his disdain for the Government's assertion that the new rate affects only a slender group of people. "You are making sure you only have a few people who make it into that bracket because of the policies you are pursuing," he declared.
With Mexico's mobile phone tycoon Carlos Slim Helu leading the list with $74bn (£45.6bn) of personal worth and Bill Gates occupying second position with $56bn, the pecking order of world's richest individuals has not changed at the very top. It has grown much longer, however – 1140 people compared to 937 a year ago – with the so-called "Bric" nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China contributing more names than ever before. Add the fortunes of all the billionaires on the planet together and you come out with a record $4.5tr, which is a bit larger than the gross domestic product of Germany. More than 200 people have joined the list for the first time and there are more women too, up to 102 from 89 last year.
The latest roster of the rich "reflects the extraordinary changes taking place in the global economy," Mr Forbes suggested. While the Bric quartet and some countries in Asia-Pacific (not including Japan) are taking more spots on the list this year, there is stasis or even retreat in Europe and the United States. Germany had one less billionaire this year, though largely because two of last year's contingent died.
While a decade ago half of all billionaires lived and built their fortunes in the US, today it's only one in three. Most of those, meanwhile, are concentrated in California and especially Silicon Valley – there are five Facebook executives on the list – and also in New York where no fewer than 67 billionaires reside, according to Forbes.
First to appear on the list from the UK is the Duke of Westminister. Other familiar British names were Sir Richard Branson, Philip & Cristina Green and David and Frederick Barclay.
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen at th...
£36000 - £40000 per annum + Bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...