NEW YORK — The world's first billionaire could emerge sooner than you think. And it shines a spotlight on today's richest 1%.
The first billionaire could be created within the next decade, Oxfam International said in its annual assessment of global inequality published earlier this week. This comes as anti-poverty groups point to the widening gap between rich and poor, which has sharply widened globally during the coronavirus pandemic.
To measure this surge, Oxfam extracted net worth from Forbes' real-time billionaires list as of March 2020 and the end of November 2023. Such lists change over time and even within hours, so Buffett, for example, went from being the fifth richest person to seventh on Forbes' Wednesday rankings in November.
Oxfam's report was timed to coincide with the annual World Economic Forum gathering of political and business elites in Davos, Switzerland. Many billionaires and billionaires have also written letters to world leaders asking them to tax the super-wealthy like themselves fairly. Mr. Musk, Mr. Arnault, Mr. Bezos, Mr. Ellison, and Mr. Buffett were not among the signatories, but Mr. Buffett criticized the low tax rate for the wealthy and had previously advocated for policy changes to the same effect. is famous.
Let's take a look at the assets of these five billionaires who made headlines this week and their current fortunes.
Elon Musk: $226.6 billion
Elon Musk is currently considered the world's richest person, with a net worth of $226.6 billion as of Wednesday, according to Forbes real-time rankings. He is down from $245.5 billion as of November 2023.
In addition to being a member of Tesla's executive team, Musk also serves as CEO of rocket ship company SpaceX. In 2022, he acquired Twitter, now called X, for $44 billion. Although he is no longer the CEO of the social media platform, he still wields far-reaching influence and has faced intense backlash from issues ranging from content moderation and hate speech to alienating advertisers.
Bernard Arnault and family: $175.1 billion
Bernard Arnault and his family currently have a personal fortune of $175.1 billion, according to Forbes magazine. This has fallen from around $191.3 in November 2023.
The French businessman has been CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's largest luxury goods group, since becoming its largest shareholder in 1989. He is also the Managing Director of Groupe Arnault SE, his family's holding company and primary investment portfolio. Hard.
Jeff Bezos: $173.6 billion
Jeff Bezos' net worth on Wednesday was $173.6 billion, according to Forbes magazine. That's up from $167.4 billion in November 2023.
Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 out of his Seattle garage. And his wealth soared as the company grew into the e-commerce giant it is today. Although he stepped down as CEO in early 2021, he still has broad influence over Amazon as executive chairman and the company's largest shareholder.
Larry Ellison: $134.9 billion
According to Forbes magazine, Larry Ellison's current personal wealth is $134.9 billion, down from $145.5 in November 2023.
Mr. Ellison co-founded software and database management giant Oracle Corporation in 1977 and served as CEO until 2014. He currently serves as Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of the Board. Ellison also served on Tesla's board of directors from 2018 to 2022, and has ranked high on the billionaire list in recent years.
Warren Buffett: $119.5 billion
At the time Oxfam cited Forbes' statistics for its inequality report, Warren Buffett was the fifth richest person in the world with a net worth of $119.2 billion. While his personal wealth has remained relatively stable since then ($119.5 billion as of Wednesday), Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates each have a current net worth of $129.5 billion. With $120.1 billion and $120.1 billion, she surpasses him in the Forbes rankings.
Over the years, Warren Buffett has earned a reputation for successful investing and aggressive business tactics. He runs Berkshire Hathaway, a holding conglomerate that owns dozens of companies across sectors such as insurance, manufacturing, utilities, transportation and retail.