Gates Not World’s Wealthiest Person

    March 6, 2008

His net worth still exceeds the combined 2007 GDPs of Jamaica, Iceland, and Costa Rica, so we can’t feel too sorry for the guy.  Still, according to the latest rankings by Forbes, Bill Gates is no longer the world’s richest man.

Gates No Longer World's Wealthiest Person
 Bill Gates – World’s Third Richest Man

That title goes to Warren Buffett, who’s worth $62 billion.  Matt Miller explains, "Gates is now worth $58 billion and is ranked third in the world.  He is up $2 billion from a year ago, but would have been perhaps as rich – or richer – than Buffett had Microsoft not made an unsolicited bid for Yahoo! at the beginning of February."  The value of Microsoft’s stock – and Gates’s shares – fell as a result of that offer.

Of course, neither Buffett nor Gates seems to mind about the change, and both men have promised to give a great deal of money to good causes.  Gates told a CNBC anchor, "Since both Warren and I have committed the bulk of our wealth to charity, we probably don’t belong on the list at all.  However, I couldn’t be happier to cede this position to Warren."

Gates then joked, "This weekend when we played golf he saved money by not buying a golf glove and using Band-Aids instead.  It didn’t work too well but he saved a few bucks.  I suppose that was the key here rather than the increase in Berkshire’s stock price.  When we play this weekend I may have to try playing even without Band-Aids to get an edge on him."

Meanwhile, although he’s worth much less than either Buffett or Gates ("only" $1.5 billion), Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, was labeled by Forbes "the youngest self-made billionaire in human history."  A couple of kids have beaten him in terms of age, but they inherited their money.