400 richest

What recession? According to the latest from Forbes magazine, the 400 richest Americans saw their average net worth grow $400 million to reach $4.2 billion. Again, that’s just an average. Cumulatively, that’s a staggering $1.7 trillion, or roughly one-eighth of the whole U.S. economy.

A quick scan of the creme de la creme, the top 20 of the 400 wealthiest, reveals some pretty familiar names. Sure, the list is rife with requisite billionaires — like Warren Buffett, the Walton “Walmart” family, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, among others — but tech’s native sons also represented. The tech heavyweights include:

  • Bill Gates, $66 B, age 56, Microsoft
  • Larry Ellison, $41 B, age 68, Oracle
  • Jeff Bezos, $23.2 B, age 48, Amazon.com
  • Sergey Brin, $20.3 B, age 39, Google
  • Larry Page, $20.3 B, age 39, Google
  • Steve Ballmer, $15.9 B, age 56, Microsoft
  • Paul Allen, $15 B, age 59, Microsoft

So who sat at the very top of the whole heap? For the 19th straight year, that would be Bill Gates, who saw his fortune balloon $7 billion since last year, to $66 billion. And conspicuously absent from the list was Mark Zuckerberg. While he’s still in the 400, he didn’t make the elite top 20, thanks to the epic fail of the Facebook IPO. It chopped his net worth practically in half, dropping it to $9.4 billion, and knocked him from his No. 14 perch last year to the No. 36 slot on this year’s list.

[Via Mercury News, Forbes]