2011 Forbes Billionaire List

Cropped picture of Carlos Slim, a Mexican busi...

Image via Wikipedia

Even during a global economic downturn, the rich are getting richer.

Three of the top five billionaires are Americans.

Carlos Slim Helu, Chairman of Telemax in Mexico was the world’s richest man this year with a net worth of $74 billion.  His wealth increased from $53.5 billion last year to $74 billion this year!  He holds interests in Saks Fifth Avenue and The New York Times.

Bill Gates (Microsoft) came in at number two this year with a net worth of $54 billion.  Gates has already given $30 billion dollars to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  The foundation fights hunger and disease world-wide.

Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) is third on the list with a net worth of $50 billion.  Buffett saw his fortune increase by $3 billion over last year.

Bernard Arnault (Louis Vitton) of France is the wealthiest man in Europe.  His wealth increased $13.5 billion over last year to $41 billion.  Guess those handbags are selling well!

Larry Ellison (Oracle) saw his net wealth jump $11.5 billion to round out the top five at $39.5 billion.  Ellison won the America’s Cup in 2010 after spending $100 million to win the yachting competition.

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