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Rediff.com  » Business » Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Last updated on: October 2, 2009 


Castles in France...islands in the Caribbean...private jets.... With a collective wealth of $1.27 trillion at their disposal, the members of the Forbes 400 could buy almost anything, business magazine Forbes said about its annual ranking of America's 400 richest persons.

The collective wealth of the richie-rich club has, however, declined from $1.57 trillion.

The individual fortunes of many Forbes 400 members are as big as some of the world's economies, the magazine noted.

Let's take a look at some of these super-rich entrepreneurs...

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Bill Gates.

Bill Gates, America's richest man with a net worth of $50 billion, has a personal balance sheet larger than the gross domestic product of countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia and Uruguay.

"The Microsoft visionary's nest egg is just short of the GDP of Tanzania and Burma," Forbes added.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Warren Buffett.
Legendary investor Warren Buffett, ranked second richest with a wealth of $40 billion has a fortune equivalent to the size of North Korea's economy, Forbes said.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Michael Bloomberg.

The publication further said that one of the Forbes 400 members - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg - actually runs "a small chunk of a state in an official capacity."

"While he is busy serving as the chief executive of New York City and grappling with its sluggish economy, his own personal balance sheet ($17.5 billion) -- amassed through financial information services and media company Bloomberg LP -- equals the value of all the goods and services produced in South Africa's Republic of Zambia's."

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Donald Bren.

Land developer Donald Bren's assets throughout the vicinity of Orange County, include 475 office buildings, 115 apartment communities, 41 retail centres, resort properties and new housing.

Bren with a net worth of $12 billion, could, in theory, buy Haiti's economy.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Sheldon Adelson.
Casion mogul Sheldon Adelson's $9 billion is akin to the GDP of the Bahamas.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Pierre Omidyar.
Pierre Omidyar, founder of the world's biggest auction marketplace eBay, could theoretically control Somalia's market with his $5.5-billion fortune.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: George Lucas
Famed Hollywood director George Lucas, with a net worth of $3 billion is worth as much as the GDP of Guyana.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: David Shaw.

Hedge fund expert David Shaw's $2.5 billion net worth parallels Belize's marketplace.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: Eli Broad.

Although philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad's fortune suffered because of AIG's collapse last fall--his wealth ($5.4 billion) rivals Barbados' economy.

Broad is well known for his philanthropy and extensive art collection.

He is also a founder of the financial giant SunAmerica, now a subsidiary of the American International Group.

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Image: John Paulson.
Photographs: Reuters

Investor John Paulson amassed much of his fortune by exploiting the real estate bubble and shorting the subprime market in 2007.

Paulson's net worth of $6.8 billion is equivalent to Montenegro's gross domestic product.

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