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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

Last updated on: October 2, 2009 

Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Castles in France...islands in the Caribbean...private jets.... With a collective wealth of $1.27 trillion at their disposal, the members of the Forbes 400 could buy almost anything, business magazine Forbes said about its annual ranking of America's 400 richest persons.

The collective wealth of the richie-rich club has, however, declined from $1.57 trillion.

The individual fortunes of many Forbes 400 members are as big as some of the world's economies, the magazine noted.

Let's take a look at some of these super-rich entrepreneurs...



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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Bill Gates, America's richest man with a net worth of $50 billion, has a personal balance sheet larger than the gross domestic product of countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia and Uruguay.

"The Microsoft visionary's nest egg is just short of the GDP of Tanzania and Burma," Forbes added.


Image: Bill Gates.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Legendary investor Warren Buffett, ranked second richest with a wealth of $40 billion has a fortune equivalent to the size of North Korea's economy, Forbes said.

Image: Warren Buffett.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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The publication further said that one of the Forbes 400 members - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg - actually runs "a small chunk of a state in an official capacity."

"While he is busy serving as the chief executive of New York City and grappling with its sluggish economy, his own personal balance sheet ($17.5 billion) -- amassed through financial information services and media company Bloomberg LP -- equals the value of all the goods and services produced in South Africa's Republic of Zambia's."


Image: Michael Bloomberg.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Land developer Donald Bren's assets throughout the vicinity of Orange County, include 475 office buildings, 115 apartment communities, 41 retail centres, resort properties and new housing.

Bren with a net worth of $12 billion, could, in theory, buy Haiti's economy.


Image: Donald Bren.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Casion mogul Sheldon Adelson's $9 billion is akin to the GDP of the Bahamas.

Image: Sheldon Adelson.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Pierre Omidyar, founder of the world's biggest auction marketplace eBay, could theoretically control Somalia's market with his $5.5-billion fortune.

Image: Pierre Omidyar.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Famed Hollywood director George Lucas, with a net worth of $3 billion is worth as much as the GDP of Guyana.

Image: George Lucas

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Hedge fund expert David Shaw's $2.5 billion net worth parallels Belize's marketplace.


Image: David Shaw.

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Their wealth exceeds GDP of 140 nations!

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Although philanthropist and art collector Eli Broad's fortune suffered because of AIG's collapse last fall--his wealth ($5.4 billion) rivals Barbados' economy.

Broad is well known for his philanthropy and extensive art collection.

He is also a founder of the financial giant SunAmerica, now a subsidiary of the American International Group.


Image: Eli Broad.

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Investor John Paulson amassed much of his fortune by exploiting the real estate bubble and shorting the subprime market in 2007.

Paulson's net worth of $6.8 billion is equivalent to Montenegro's gross domestic product.


Image: John Paulson.
Photographs: Reuters
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