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Gates retakes rich list top spot as Zuckerberg slides off chart

Life's a... bitch

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Bill Gates struck a blow for the world's techies yesterday, when he regained his spot at the top of the world's billionaire list despite mislaying around $18bn over the last year.

But, illustrating how recessions hit the youth hardest, Facebook boy wonder Mark Zuckerberg has been booted off the Forbes Magazine billionaire list - a mere year after first scrambling on as the world's youngest billionaire.

The annual hitlist for goldiggers, con artists and kidnappers illustrated the effect of the financial tornado which has hit the word's economy in the last year, blowing large chunks off even the most rock solid fortunes.

According to Forbes, Gates's wallet now contains $40bn, compared to $58bn at last count. Not bad for a man who has swapped a full-time job for volunteer and who has given a large chunk of change to his eponymous foundation.

Gates overtook his good pal, Warren Buffett, who now takes the number two spot. Larry Ellison came in fourth with a slightly reduced $22.5bn.

Michael Dell came in at 25, with a reduced fortune of $12bn, with Forbes noting that he lost millions buying shares in... Dell.

The equally loveable Sergey and Larry from Google keep their spots on the under-40s list, with $12bn a piece, putting them on a par with Michael Dell, and just ahead of old-timer Steve Ballmer.

Jeff Bezos scrambled in at 68 with $6.8bn, and Forbes notes Amazon's own sliding share price.

Steve Jobs, you might be surprised to see, came in at 178 with a mere $3.4bn. But at least lots of people tend to think he's cool.

But at least they're all still on the list - unlike Zuckerberg, who is apparently not a billionaire anymore. Forbes doesn't show the poor slob any mercy, observing: "While Facebook is gaining millions of users each week, revenues haven't followed just yet. It's hard to imagine the privately held company being worth nearly as much as it was a year ago."

Just in case you want to check how you measure up, the full list is here. ®

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