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400 Rich Americans 2009

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Forbes 400 Richest Americans List 2009
Review of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States of America,
according to the Forbes business magazine, 2009

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The Richest 400 Americans  2007 Forbes 400 Rich List - The Richest American People in 2009

On September 30, Forbes released its list for the richest people in the US in 2009. For the fifth time in almost thirty years of the annual list, the net worth of the richest Americans fell over the last year from $1.57 trillion to $1.27 trillion, falling $3 billion from 2008.

The net worth of the 400 richest people in America suffered due to falling stock markets, troubled national and world economies, and, for some, from fraud and divorce. 314 of the 400 individuals on the list lost worth over the year while 32 of last year's richest fell off the list in 2009.

Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest men, lost the most over the year, suffering a $10 billion net loss in his shares of Berkshire Hathaway to settle at $40 billion in net worth. Despite his losses, Buffett still ranks second on the list.

The No. 1 slot on the Forbes list of America's 400 richest people went to Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Overall, Gates lost a total of $7 billion in net worth over the year.

Larry Ellison joined Walmart heirs Christy Walton, Jim C. Walton, Alice Walton, and S. Robson Waltton to round out the top seven spots. The eighth spot on the Forbes list went to Micheal Bloomberg while the ninth and tenth spots went to Charles and David Koch.

The top ten richest Americans lost a total of $39.2 billion in combined net worth, a 14% decline over the past twelve months.

Kirk Kerkorian, owner of the gambling giant MGM Mirage, also lost worth in 2009. Since October 2007, shares of MGM Mirage have fallen 90% and Kerkorian lost a total of $8.2 billion over the course of 2009 alone.

Jack C. Taylor, founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, also saw massive losses over the last 12 months. Due to declines in travel and budget cuts, Taylor saw a $7 billion decline in personal net worth.

There were some individuals on the list, however, who saw gains in their assets. Andrew Beal, for example, bought cheap loans and assets in last fall's market shock and tripled his net worth. As a result of his gains, Beal is worth $4.5 billion.

Minimum net worth to make this year's list also fell from $1.3 billion in 2008 to $950 million in 2009. While some members fell off of the list, the lower minimum allowed for 19 new and 19 returning members to make the list.

Some of this years newer members include Isaac Perlmutter, chief of Marvel Entertainment, who saw a huge growth in net worth after Disney bought the company in August. Other newcomers include Charles Zegar, Jack Dangermond, and Steven Schonfeld.

Another newcomer, Jeffry Picower, made this year's list with a net worth of $1 billion after investing for years with Bernard Madoff. Piccower is alleged to have extracted billions more from the company before it collapsed and is now being named in a lawsuit looking to liquidate Madoff's business. According to the suit, they're looking to recover money obtained through "fraudulent activity."

Other changes included Michael Moritz returning to the list after making money with Amazon and Google stocks. Omid Kordestani, a member of last year's list, fell off this year's list due to divorce. R. Allen Stanford also fell from the list after being charged with an alleged $8 billion Ponzi scheme as did Sanford Weill, Matthew Bucksbaum, the mall developer, and Jorge Perez.

In addition to some loss in wealth, there were six deaths from the previous year including William Davidson and Frank Battten Sr. There has also been one death since the list was established on September 10, 2009. Donald Fisher, co-founder of the retail store Gap, passed away on September 27. He ranks No. 296 on this year's list.



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top 10 rich list Richest Top 10

Top 10 richest people in United States 2009 according to the Forbes business magazine.
(All figures in American Dollars)

1. Bill Gates, $50 billion, Microsoft
2. Warren Buffett, $40 billion, Berkshire Hathaway
3. Larry Ellison, $27 billion, Oracle
4. Christy Walton & family, 21.5 billion, Wal-Mart
5. Jim Walton, $19.6 billion, Wal-Mart
6. Alice Walton, $19.3 billion, Wal-Mart
7. S Robson Walton, $19 billion, Wal-Mart
8. Michael Bloomberg, $17.5 billion, Bloomberg media company
9. Charles Koch, $16 billion, Koch Industries
9. David Koch, $16 billion, Koch Industries

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