Feeds

Gates' money-pile now bigger than galaxy

22 June 1999

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

It was five years ago today... When looking at the total sum of Bill Gates' wealth we are reminded of the old Abba song. No, not Money, Money, Money, but rather SOS, which begins with the line: "Where are those happy days, they seem so hard to find..?"

The reason for our melancholy turn is the following historical wedgefest:

Gates' money-pile now bigger than galaxy

By John Lettice
Published Tuesday 22nd June 1999 09:08 GMT

Microsoft accounted for three of the top four slots in the latest Forbes list of the world's richest people, with only famous investor Warren Buffett separating the trio of Gates, Allen and Ballmer. Gates naturally heads the list, Microsoft's escalating share price having seen off a succession of former world's richest people over the years, and his estimated value of $90 billion is almost triple Buffett's paltry $36 billion. This just goes to show that although the rich aren't like you and I, his Billness doesn't real count as being like the rich any more. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, comes next with $30 billion while Steve Ballmer, in early but obviously not early enough, clocks $19.5 billion. It takes a whole family, Roche Pharmaceuticals, to account for the next slot, and even then Michael Dell, who is occasionally cruelly categorised as a Microsoft billionaire round these parts, is coming on strong behind with $16.5 billion beer tokens.


Yup, that's a lot of beer tokens. Times, though, do move on. According to Forbes, the 2004 top five comprises:

  1. William Gates III ($46.6bn)
  2. Warren Buffett, businessman ($42.9bn)
  3. Karl Albrech, supermarket chain owner ($23bn)t
  4. Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, businessman ($21.5bn)
  5. Paul Allen, mate of Bill's ($21bn)

Although Gates and Buffett still occupy the top two positions, the purpose of our Abba citation becomes clear: where exactly did the rest of Bill's galaxy of cash go? Must have been that solid-gold house in Seattle, although $45bn buys an awful lot of emerald-encrusted letter-openers. Michael Dell, meanwhile, currently ranks 18 on Forbes with a paltry $13bn, narrowly pipping Steve Balmer into 19th spot with $12.4bn. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.