"Rich Will Keep Getting Richer In 2014" - In 2013, Top 300 Billionaires Added Half A Trillion In Net Worth

Tyler Durden's picture

All the pundits who preach an economic recovery in the US always fall strangely silent when asked to share their thoughts on the following chart (taken from the St. Louis Fed), showing the annual change in real disposable income per capita in the US. What seems to stump them most is that aside from the 2012 year end aberration (due to accelerated distribution of dividends ahead of the 2013 tax hikes) is that in November the series finally posted its first Y/Y decline (-0.1%) since the Lehman collapse.

But as the chart notes, the data is "per capita" and as everyone knows, under the New Normal, some "per capitas" are more equal than other "per capitas." Enter the billionaires. As Bloomberg summarizes, "The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals. The aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the ranking. The biggest gains came in the technology industry, which soared 28 percent during the year. Of the 300 people who appeared on the final ranking of 2013, only 70 registered a net loss for the 12-month period."

Will this trend change any time? Not if the world's wealthiest have anything to say about it:

"The rich will keep getting richer in 2014," John Catsimatidis, the billionaire founder of real estate and energy conglomerate Red Apple Group Inc., said in a telephone interview from his New York office. “Interest rates will remain low, equity markets will keep rising, and the economy will grow at less than 2 percent.”

Who were the biggest winners of 2013? In top spot was...

Bill Gates, the founder and chairman of Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp., was the year’s biggest gainer. The 58-year-old tycoon’s fortune increased by $15.8 billion to $78.5 billion, according to the index, as shares of Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, rose 40 percent. Gates recaptured the title of world’s richest person on May 16 from Mexican investor Carlos Slim. Gates’s fortune has also benefited from a rally in stock holdings that include the Canadian National Railway Co. and sanitizing-products maker Ecolab Inc., which rose 34 percent and 45 percent respectively.

Breathing down his neck was Sheldon Adelson, founder of Las Vegas Sands, the world's largest casino company. The outspoken GOP supporter was the second-biggest gainer in 2013, adding $14.4 billion to his net worth as the company’s shares rose 71 percent. "Macau’s gross gaming revenue is expected to grow 17 percent to $44.5 billion in 2013 from a record $38 billion in 2012, according to Deutsche Bank AG analyst Karen Tang in Hong Kong. Las Vegas Sands had revenue of $13.2 billion in the 12 months ending Sept. 30. More than 58 percent of its sales come from Macau."

In 2013 Latin America was a hotbed of wealth transfer creation, after the investment arm of Jorge Paulo Lemann, Latin America’s second-richest person and Brazil’s wealthiest, 3G Capital completed its $29 billion acquisition of Pittsburgh-based HJ Heinz Co. in June, a transaction done with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. With his two partners, the Brazilian billionaire, a former professional tennis player, manages three iconic American brands: Burger King, Budweiser beer and Heinz ketchup.

Latin America’s third-wealthiest person is Colombian Luis Carlos Sarmiento, who controls more than a quarter of the country’s financial industry through four publicly traded banks that form Bogota-based Grupo Aval. His net worth fell 7.4 percent to $16.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg ranking.

Not all billionaires were winners in 2013: Mexico's Carlos Slim, until recently the world's richest man lost $1.4 billion during 2013. The reason: "his America Movil SAB, the largest mobile-phone operator in the Americas, dropped 12 percent in the first three months of the year after Mexico’s Congress passed a bill to quash the billionaire’s market dominance. The company finished the year up 2 percent after a planned expansion into Europe was reined in, reassuring investors who were leery about the billions of dollars in investment the strategy would require."

Nobody lost more, however, than Brazil's Eike Batista. His net worth declined more than $12 billion during the year. "OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA, the oil company that transformed him into Brazil’s richest man, filed for bankruptcy protection in October. Batista was the world’s eighth-richest person in March 2012, and now has a negative net worth, according to the Bloomberg ranking.  “His loss of credibility is explained by not delivering on the results promised when he listed his companies,” Elad Revi, an investment analyst at Spinelli SA, said by telephone in a July 26 interview from Sao Paulo. “There was a chain reaction: he lost credibility in one, then he lost it in all of them."

Tracking the fortunes of some other billionaires from Bloomberg:

John “Johnny” Morris became a billionaire by stitching together shopping outlets for multiple outdoor sports and adding a touch of entertainment to the mix. Since founding Bass Pro Shops LLC in 1972 in his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, Morris has expanded to at least 58 superstores, with 20 more planned. The company makes a variety of fishing boats and house-apparel brands, and controls a chain of full-service restaurants inside the stores.


Stephen Orenstein, 50, made his fortune in more hostile environs. As the majority owner of Supreme Group BV, Orenstein has overseen the delivery of food and fuel to some of the most inhospitable parts of the world, including Liberia, Mali and Sudan. His biggest business has been supplying military personnel in Afghanistan, where contractors dodge bullets fired by the Taliban and explosives set by insurgents.


Shutterstock Inc. founder Jonathan Oringer rode a 222 percent surge in his company’s stock to become the first billionaire to emerge from Silicon Alley, a collection of technology startups in New York. The 39-year-old founded Shutterstock in 2003 with 30,000 of his own pictures and turned it into the world’s largest stock photo and video marketplace. He has net worth of $1.5 billion.


C. James “Jim” Koch popularized craft beer in the U.S. and transformed Boston Beer Co. into the second-largest American-owned brewery. It also made him a billionaire, as frothy sales of his flagship Samuel Adams brand helped Boston Beer stock rally 80 percent in the past year.


Jonathan Gray, the 43-year-old who runs Blackstone Group LP’s real estate business, became a billionaire when shares of the New York-based private-equity firm surged in May. Blackstone stock doubled last year as the company sold assets and returned money to private and public shareholders. Gray has a fortune valued at $1.4 billion.


Elon Musk’s net worth had the biggest percentage gain by a self-made billionaire, surging 233 percent during the year. Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker being reviewed by U.S. regulators over battery-related fires, more than quadrupled, helping the billionaire add $5.6 billion to his fortune.


Mark Zuckerberg was technology’s biggest dollar gainer, adding $12.4 billion to his net worth as Facebook Inc. shares more than doubled. The chief executive officer of the world’s largest social-networking company sold more than $2 billion in stock last month and donated another $1 billion to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.


The fortunes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google Inc., surged about $10 billion each as the world’s largest search-engine business rose 58 percent.


Carl Icahn spent much of the year jousting with other billionaires while adding $7 billion to his net worth. The 77-year-old financier battled with short-seller Bill Ackman over Herbalife Ltd., and tried to snatch Dell Inc. from founder Michael Dell during his failed attempt to take the company private. He also took bond maven Bill Gross to task in a fight played out on Twitter, demanding the billionaire join him in committing to the Giving Pledge, which encourages the world’s richest to give the majority of their wealth to charity.


Henry Kravis’s fortune rose about $740 million this year. KKR & Co., the private-equity firm he founded with his cousin George Roberts, said in December that it raised $1.5 billion for its first real estate fund, with most of the money to be spent in North America and as much as a quarter of it in western Europe.


Li Ka-Shing remains Asia’s richest man with a fortune of $30.2 billion. The 85-year-old controls the Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. property investment company and conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.


The biggest gainer in Asia was Macau casino mogul Lui Che Woo, who added $14.2 billion to his net worth. Lui’s Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. has one of six gambling licenses in the Chinese enclave. The company is the second-largest by revenue and controls almost 20 percent of the city’s casino market.


The title for China’s richest person changed hands twice during the year. Beverage billionaire Zong Qinghou was eclipsed in August by Dalian Wanda Group property and entertainment mogul Wang Jianlin after regulatory filings showed Wang’s non-real estate businesses are more valuable than previously calculated.


Robin Li, founder of Beijing-based Baidu Inc., dethroned Wang in December. China’s most-used search engine rallied 77 percent in 2013. The crown could change again. The country’s top four billionaires all have fortunes of $12 billion or more.


Amancio Ortega held on to his title as Europe’s richest person. Inditex SA, the world’s largest clothing retailer, rose 14 percent during the year. The billionaire bought an office building in London’s West End for 410 million pounds ($679 million), a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Why are these people relevant? Because as we showed in November, the world's 2170 billionaires control a total of $33 trillion in Net Worth, roughly double the US GDP and about half of the world's entire GDP.

The bottom line from Weatlh X: "factoring in all of the connections between the world’s billionaires, this equates to a total social circle worth a combined US$33 trillion" or double the GDP of the US. The estimated "circle of influence" among the friends of just the US' richest is shown below.


The take home message is simple: while the New Normal is negative for everyone else, the rich are indeed getting richer. This status quo regime will continue until such time as the world's poor realize their welfare state hosts are insolvent and overthrow a broken system, leading to a long-overdue systemic reset which almost took place in late 2008, but was deferred with a last ditch (and ongoing) effort by all of the world's central banks (as even JPM showed yesterday) to boost the wealth of the wealthiest with the biggest asset reflation experiment in history. The question of who will bail out the bail-outers when this, too, grand experiment in central planning fails, remains unanswered.

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Hippocratic Oaf's picture

The great divide.

There will be no more middle class.

And if you're rich and value your life, you better not flaunt it.

flacon's picture

Fission Accompliced.  

"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." ~ Irving Fisher

pods's picture

So they added roughly half of what Ben printed.  


Xibalba's picture

PNC website under sttack by Anon

_SILENCER's picture

I agree. Just like us white folks here in Southern California, we're an endagered species.

Al Huxley's picture

I'm pretty sure the rich and super rich will be able to flaunt it - they'll just build better barriers to keep the poor in their proper place, and make sure not to travel there.  Rest assured, the violence and social disintegration will pit the poor against the soon-to-be-poor, the top end of the scale will barely notice the collapse, when it finally happens.

Liquid Courage's picture

Long Motte & Bailey

Saw a headline somewhere just last week about the return of the moat to high-end arcitecture. Too disgusted to read the actual article, but it's not a bit surprising, is it?

Sire! The peasants are revolting!

MeBizarro's picture

It already does especially if you travel to countries like India or Russia.  Even in the US, it already is starting to happen with more and more private and gated communities. 

As a black kid, try walking with 2-3 friends around Rittenhouse Square in Philly and see what happens.  Not wearing hoodies or goofing around. Just walking.  See how fast the private security responds by following you if the cops don't.   

Lordflin's picture

I doubt you have a full appreciation for chaos... It is one thing to talk about a society where people have had next to nothing for generations, and have been schooled to accept their lot in life... Quite another when rampent theft has left a large sector of the population with nothing left as a result of their toil, and no hope for the future, while an equal or greater proportion have been told they are entitled to feed of the scraps.

War... external or internal will be the result.

666's picture

I can't wait to see the updated chart of real disposable income after everyone starts paying their monthly ObummerCare tax.

Pizza man's picture

Haven't we beat this dead horse 1,000 times? The wealthy own assets, QE boosts assets. So what does that have to do with the plight of the middle and poor classes? Almost nothing!

Instead blame 80K pages of tax code, regs thru the roof and entitlements which KO investment/job ctreation and kill enthusiasm to work.

There has to be a return when reading ZH. The depression has to be balanced with useful info. Crap like this is useles.

pods's picture

Money flows uphill, shit runs downhill.

Same as it ever was.


kurzdump's picture

"White rich men bleed a lot."

GeorgeHayduke's picture

That's how this whole system is set up to operate, so no surprises there. However, the part that's hard to understand is why the slaves will fight and die to keep this system intact. They'll salute flags, fight faked wars, etc, etc, etc... That's just beyond my comprehension.

I am Jobe's picture

Worshipping the rich is a Amerikan Lifestyle- Kardashians, Fuckbook, Fuck Dynasty and many more coming. 

Colonel Klink's picture

The whole Amerikan "culture" makes me want to PUKE!

Skateboarder's picture

It's not a culture, it's an organized religion. The missionaires have done a fine job infecting the rest of the world also.

Saro's picture

Have you accepted the government into your heart?

Skateboarder's picture

Of course comrade. Have you journeyed to your local DMV yet?


PrecipiceWatching's picture

Same with many if not MOST of us Americans.

Do what we do.  Don't consume, or even pay attention to it.

It is NOT representative of the values of the Americans I know.

Blankenstein's picture

If the herd would turn off their boob tubes, a lot of this idiocy would stop.  

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

What's to worship about this crew? Most are inbred old money cunts. Many of the rest are new money, NSA funded internet aspergers syndrome having cunts. Enjoy it assholes! I like my life just fine.......

_SILENCER's picture

No goddamn shit...and people put money in the Ponzi 401ks and shit like that, allowing these fat fucks even MORE unrestricted access to their dough. The system loves to subvert reality and lead people down the merry path of self destruction. When you have everything, and can nearly print your own goddamn money, the only thrill left is manipulating the slaves.


It'll be interesting to see how far they push the envelope in 2014. The Pentagon is getting ready to take on Americans. The NSA has us all on a short leash.

yogibear's picture

The very wealth setup the wars, profit from it and have the 99% fight them.

What did someone say about the wealthy watching out when flaunting it?

The 99% die to make the 1% more money.


MeBizarro's picture

Often a lot of times they end up losers too depending upon the conflict and who emergeson the 'winning side.' 

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

That's right. Did you see how fast Vietnam ended after the rich started getting drafted?

Musashi Miyamoto's picture

None of those 10 are producers.


Well, so long as I can still jerk off the dog to feed the cat, I don't mind.

When the dog runs dry, i got a problem with concentration of wealth at the expense of quality of life for all the rest of us.

order66's picture

By the time this is all said and done, the movie Elysium with Matt Damon will be looked back on as a Documentary.

1stepcloser's picture

Don't forget hunger games and idiocracy 

SgtShaftoe's picture

And the NSA tells it's employees and families that it doesn't do anything wrong.

"Friends and family: Talking Points for use by NSA Employees"



GreatUncle's picture

I do not doubt this for one second and it will continue YOY just like it always has even in a recession.

At some point they will own 100% if they did not achieve this in 2008.

Then the game that comes into play is how exactly do 99% exist (living is better) as a minimum.

We do seem to have accelerated in this direction at the rate of 85 billion a month, slowed slightly to 75 billion.


Just takes a little longer using the smaller value the outcome is the same.

muleskinner's picture

Whoever cast Leo in the Great Gatsby should be keelhauled.

Didn't Country Joe McDonald write and sing a song about Wall Street, war, and money? Seems as though I can remember the song.

Didn't the Beverly Hillbillies poke fun at the rich?

CaptainSpaulding's picture

Nice pic. Is that Arnie Grape? To salute Arnie Grape

moneybots's picture

"The question of who will bail out the bail-outers when this, too, grand experiment in central planning fails, remains unanswered."


The bail-iners?

Musashi Miyamoto's picture

Throwing out an idea here.

What if free market capitalism was a subtle social movement to motivate the people of world to settle the frontiers. Now that everything is built up they (the old money) are simply pulling everything back into their folds.

Certainly if there is open land start homesteading but if we think we are any more than serfs we need to be "reeducated".

falak pema's picture

lol, with headlined posts like this one to define the current zeitgeist as organised by the FED and partners in Oligarchy scam, how can anyone seriously aware of historical perspective use the word Marxist to define what is happening in all of the World; not only in first world.

If this is MArxism then I'm a Dominican monk who loves the Inquisition.

ZH may be a good financial site but the words that are bandied here are not an indication of that state of exceptionalism.


Zero Hung's picture

This makes a mockery of all those claims made on ZH about how 'socialism' is killing capitalism etc, when the reality is that the 1% keep ass fucking the lower castes, and never have more people been on food stamps, real wages stagnating etc.

'Socialism' is not killing modern economies, but rather rentier capitalism is. That is, the FIRE sector and their monopolist buddies stealing more publicly generated economic rent (in the classical sense) and the continual shifting of taxes upon labour and off of capital. It is well documented the rich cunts get all their money through capital gains NOT income. Further, the billionaire bitchez own the parliaments around the world, meaning tax laws etc are continually written to fuck over the 99%.

Not rocket science people. Those bankster ass-reamers even have a word for it - 'Plutonomy'. Look it up.

So, the 1% own the pollies, the law, everything of value, and no doubt use the National Stasi Authority to win all their contracts and steal anything of worth from competitors, keeping them on top e.g. explaining why companies with no revenue or fucking clue are somehow valued in the stratosphere.

And for some reason we are meant to drink the sweat that drips from their grey and saggy billionaire balls like it is manna from heaven because they are just so fucking innovative and smarter than the rest of us? Puh-fucking-lease....

Blankenstein's picture

If true capitalism had been allowed to work; the banks, AIG, the squid, etc., would have been allowed to fail and not been bailed out by the taxpayers.  All the players that had a hand in creating the crisis, would be in jail and broke.  Instead, our government has bailed out this top class of leeches and also all the housing specuvestors and overpayers, and has charged the tab to the citizens.  The responsible get nothing but the bill to pay for ALL of the parasites at the top and bottom.  

TDoS's picture

Those who control the most capital all got their way, and ended up richer.  Sounds like capitalism is working just perfectly to me.  The state isn't the enemy of capitalists.  The state is their tool.  Capitalism exists at all because the owner class engineered and controls the state apparatus.  Notice how good war is for the owner class?  Notice how police and courts and prisons are all focused on the poor?

Blankenstein's picture

If we had true capitalism and a free market, all those people and entities would have been allowed to fail and lose all their money.  What we have and what are you are describing is crony capitalism - where the government and banks, Wall Street, etc. work together to enrich themselves.  In a free market, there would be downside risk for all of these groups, but currently there is none.  Taxpayer bailouts for these leeches is not capitalism.

fijisailor's picture

The more funny money in the system the more expensive everything becomes in fiat (fiat loses value).  All those billionaires are investing in high priced physical items.  They KNOW fiat is becoming more worthless.  The only physical items not going up in fiat value are physical PMs.  Get em before they go up.

yogibear's picture

Assets go up double or triple digits while the government reports 1 or 2% inflation.

Expect the lies to continue.

verbot's picture

Bill Gates,,, the Thomas Edison of the 21st century. Linus Torvald is Nicola Tesla in this mental exercise.whose discoveries we use far more than edisons... so who is the real value? same for the rest of the list..everybody listed can run their own affairs? Really? Get all their own tax forms right first time huh? And my final point is "CashOut" tell me what you got in hand then.. I love the "perfect valuation" mathematics in all modern finance.. its called SLICERMATH in the real world..

Hi all of ZH! Firstposting!!!!