Buffett Unseats Gates As World's Richest
Other significant moves on the annual list include the arrival of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who Forbes says is probably the youngest self-made billionaire in history, and the exit of two big names in banking: Lehman Brothers chief Dick Fuld and ex-Bear Stearns head James Cayne. Thanks to the subprime mortgage crisis, both fell off Forbes' list of billionaires. In addition, due in part to the weak dollar, only four of the top 20 richest people on the planet were American this year, a significant drop from two years ago when 10 of the top 20 were U.S. citizens. However, according to Forbes, the U.S. might be down but it's far from out. Americans still account for 42 percent of the world's billionaires and 37 percent of the list's total wealth.
For the first time in 13 years, Microsoft man Bill Gates is not the richest man in the world. This year, in Forbes' annual review of the world's billionaires, investment guru and Nebraska native Warren Buffett topped the list, thanks to a recent 25 percent surge in stock value of his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway. Currently, Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio of companies includes pieces of GEICO, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Kraft Foods and Anheuser-Busch.