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 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 BBC’s new Game of Thrones slayer 'The Last Kingdom' relies on Saxon appeal, creators say
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Jennifer Lawrence face palms Emma Watson at Christian Dior show in Paris
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Pamplona Running of the Bulls 2014: Briton critically injured in San Fermin festival
Israel's deadliest Gaza air strikes yet kill five children from same family as Palestinian rocket barrage continues
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...
On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...
£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...