Billionaires Freefall from Forbes’ Richlist

By Eric Medway
Eric Medway
Eric Medway
March 12, 2009 Updated: March 12, 2009
LOSS AND GAIN: Steve Forbes announces the Forbes' 2009 list of the World's Billionaires in Manhattan on Wednesday March 11. (The Epoch Times)
LOSS AND GAIN: Steve Forbes announces the Forbes' 2009 list of the World's Billionaires in Manhattan on Wednesday March 11. (The Epoch Times)

TOP SPOT: Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp. took out the top spot on the Forbes' richlist despite a loss of $18 billion. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)
TOP SPOT: Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp. took out the top spot on the Forbes` richlist despite a loss of $18 billion. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK—It's official, the world is poorer. Off the Forbes' list this year are 355 billionaires, along with $2 trillion net worth.

Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates regained the top spot with $40 billion to his name, sneaking past Warren Buffet who was last year's winner. 

The top three on the Forbes' list have lost a combined $68 billion in the past year. The 10 biggest dollar losers lost a combined $238 billion.

Buffet lost a whopping $25 billion last year due to the decline of Berkshire Hathaway stock, leaving him on a dollar total of $37 billion.

The 2009 list is dominated by Americans, who occupy 10 of the top 20 spots—a huge increase caused by a fall of fortunes in Asia and Russia.

The biggest loser was last year's biggest gainer—Anil Ambani lost $32 billion in the last 12 months. New York Cith Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the only member of the top 20 who gained in net worth in the past year.

Eric Medway
Eric Medway