Preparing the worldwide list of the rich is a tricky business. How you calculate the net worth of an individual can be challenged and slight modification in the methods adopted can change the complexion of the list substantially. The Forbes list for 2010 has some surprises. Though the US economy was barely stable, the world economy as a whole was in a much better shape with global stock markets rising more than 11%. Despite of all this positive development 17 Americans fell off the list.
Forbes explained the phenomenon by saying that it was due to some new information received and legal investigations going against some. In the cases of Sam Wyly and Edgar Bronfman Sr. the ongoing SEC investigations have revealed that the magazine had been overvaluing their assets over the years. Americans formed the largest group on the billionaires list. Most of those who have dropped off were just on the $1 billion mark and a slight drop in valuations has elbowed them out of the list.
Marc Rich, the commodities trader is one such example. Dorrance Hamilton, the Campbell’s soup heiress’ case is a little curious as the value of her stocks have risen. Carl Lindner, the United Dairy founder was listed at $1.7 billion but has still lost his place in the list. Charles Zegar, the co-founder of Bloomberg LP was on the list last year. Bloomberg had a good year and Mr. Zegar even signed the giving pledge. It would be most unfair if he has been displaced because of philanthropy.