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Forbes billionaire list: Trump loses $1bn as elite club gets 233 new members

Post-US election boom in stock markets and continued rise in oil price help bring global total of billionaires to nearly 2,300 individuals

US president Donald Trumps fortune has fallen by about $1bn to $3.5bn over the past year, as measured by Forbes magazine in its annual list of the worlds billionaires.

However, overall it has been a good 12 months for the worlds wealthiest individuals, with a record 233 moving into the billionaire bracket, taking the global number of people with nine-zero fortunes to 2,043 the most in the 31-year history of the list.

The billionaires in Forbes list are worth a combined $7.67tn (6.18tn) more than three times the UKs annual gross domestic product (GDP).

Kerry Dolan, co-editor of the Forbes billionaires list, published on Monday, said the gains are mostly the result of booming stock markets and the rising price of oil over the past 12 months.

Number of billionaires

Global markets have hit record highs due to the so-called Trump bump following Trumps election, with the Dow Jones soaring above 20,000 points for the first time and the UKs FTSE 100 closing at a record 7,415 points last week.

The fall in Trumps net worth is due to a drop in the value of office space in Midtown Manhattan, where the president owns about 10 buildings. Forbes said Trump had fallen from the worlds 324th-richest person to 544th.

Forty percent of Donald Trumps fortune is tied up in Trump Tower and eight buildings within one mile of it, Forbes said. Lately, the neighbourhood has been struggling (relatively speaking).

Trump has refused to publish his tax returns to show the true scale of his wealth, but during the campaign he claimed he was worth in excess of $10bn.

Dolan said that in previous years the real estate tycoon had challenged Forbes for underestimating his fortune. We contact everyone we can to give them the opportunity for feedback. Over the last 31 years we have been compiling this list Trump has given us a lot of feedback, believe me, You guys are too low I am worth far more than you say, she said. He didnt call back to dispute our estimate. I would hope that running the country is more important to him right now than Forbess value of his net worth.

The richest person in the world remains Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who saw his fortune grow by $11bn to $86bn. He is followed by investor Warren Buffett, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who was this years biggest gainer with a $27.6bn increase in his fortune to $72.8bn.

Top 10 richest

The US accounts for the biggest population of billionaires with 565, up 25 on last year. But China is catching up with 319 billionaires, and a further 68 if Hong Kong and Macau are included. Germany is third with 114 billionaires.

The number of UK billionaires increased from 50 to 54, with new entrants including Philip Day, the man behind Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and Simon Nixon, the co-founder of moneysupermarket.com.

The richest people in the UK are the Hinduja family, who control a conglomerate of businesses including cars and banks and are worth $15.4bn. Property and internet investors David and Simon Reuben come second with a $15.3bn fortune. The third richest, and among the biggest gainer, is Jim Ratcliffe the founder and chairman of chemicals group Ineos.

UK richest

Among the biggest British losers is Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley whose fortune dropped by 25% to $2.6bn. His wealth, which is largely held in Sports Direct shares, has roughly halved over the past two years as shares collapsed following the Guardian expos of Victorian workhouse-style conditions in its distribution warehouses.

Sir Philip Green and his wife, Tina, the owners of Arcadia, which owns Topshop and once owned BHS, also lost just over $1bn, with their fortune slumping to $4.8bn. They fell more than 100 places to 339th.

Oxfam said the creation of so many new billionaires in one year was a sign of economic sickness rather than health.

Our warped economic model leads to more unequal societies that trap millions of people in poverty – it allows an elite group to accrue extreme wealth while one in nine people go to bed hungry every night, Max Lawson, Oxfams head of inequality policy, said. We need to build a more human economy where the super-rich pay their fair share of tax, workers earn a living wage, and governments invest in decent healthcare and education to give everyone a good start in life.

The number of women on the list increased to 227, from 202 in 2016. A record 56 of the women are self-made billionaires the highest ever. All but one of the 15 newly self-made female billionaires came from the Asia-Pacfic region, including Vietnams first self-made female billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao who took her budget airline VietJet Air public last month.

Yoshiko Shinohara, who started her temp agency in her one-bedroom Tokyo apartment, became Japans first self-made female billionaire. She enters the list due to a 50% surge in the stock price of her company Temp Holdings, which is designed to get more women into the workforce.

The richest woman on the list is Frances Liliane Bettencourt, who inherited a stake in LOreal from her father. Shes worth $39.5bn.

There are just 10 black people on the list, a drop of two from last year. The richest black person is Nigerian cement tycoon Aliko Dangote with an estimated fortune of $12.2bn. There are only three black women on the list, including Oprah Winfrey who has a $3bn fortune.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/20/forbes-billionaire-list-trump-loses-1bn-as-elite-club-welcomes-233-new-members


Jewish employee of Trump’s son-in-law writes open letter over antisemitism row

Writer says New York Observer owner Jared Kushner should do something to break up what she calls a culture of antisemitic hatred surrounding Trump

A Jewish employee of a newspaper owned by Jared Kushner, Donald Trumps son-in-law, has written an open letter to Kushner accusing him of tacit approval for a culture of antisemitic hatred surrounding Trump and challenging Kushner to do something to break it up.

Dana Schwartz, an entertainment writer at the Observer, wrote An Open Letter to Jared Kushner, From One of Your Jewish Employees on Tuesday. The Observer is a New York City-based paper that Kushner, the billionaire scion of a real estate family, bought in 2006.

Schwartz writes that she became a target of antisemitic hate speech after she took issue with a Trump tweet posted Saturday that included an image that House speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday called antisemitic. Schwartz challenges Kushner as a fellow Jewish member of the media to face what is happening in the barely concealed underbelly of his father-in-laws campaign.

Im asking you, not as a gotcha journalist or as a liberal but as a human being: how do you allow this? writes Schwartz:

Because, Mr. Kushner, you are allowing this. […] But when you stand silent and smiling in the background, his Jewish son-in-law, youre giving his most hateful supporters tacit approval. Because maybe Donald Trump isnt anti-Semitic. To be perfectly honest, I dont think he is. But I know many of his supporters are, and they believe for whatever reason that Trump is the candidate for them.

Trumps eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, converted to Judaism to marry Kushner in 2009. Kushner has played an increasingly high-profile role in Trumps campaign, participating at a high level in the decision last month to fire campaign manager Corey Lewandowski among other decisions.

The controversy sprouted when Trump tweeted an image of Clinton with a rain of cash behind her and the words most corrupt candidate ever appeared inside a six-pointed star. A short time later, the tweet was deleted and reposted with a circle replacing the star.

Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) July 2, 2016

Trump changed his Star of David to a circle. I took a screenshot of the original. pic.twitter.com/TkBxTaAORc

Though the original image was deleted, Trump did not apologize for it, or admit that it was derogatory, instead claiming that the star was a sheriffs star, or plain star.

Trump campaigns social media director Dan Scavino also tried his hand at cleaning up the mess, saying that he had lifted the image from an online source but it wasnt hate speech and he would never offend anyone. ( The image in Trumps original tweet was traced by Mic to a white supremacist message board.)

The explanations, wrote Schwartz in her public letter, were inane and condescending.

Look at that image and tell me, honestly, that you just saw a Sheriffs star, writes Schwartz. I didnt see a sheriff star, Mr. Kushner, and Im a smart person. After all, I work for your paper.

She continued:

The worst people in this country saw your father-in-laws message and took it as they saw fit. And yet Donald Trump in his response chose not to condemn them, the anti-Semites who, by his argument were obviously misinterpreting the image, but the media.

In the letter, Schwartz shares screen grabs of antisemitic hate speech that confronted her after she objected to the image online. They referred to ovens, invited Schwartz to kill herself, used images of Anne Frank and other Jewish caricatures.

Schwartz notes that Trumps campaign has a way of attracting hateful individuals, and challenges Kushner to imagine his own family as the target:

Mr. Kushner, I invite you to look through all of those images in the slideshow above, the vast majority sent in your father-in-laws name. Right now, this hate is directed to one of your employees, but the message applies equally to your wife and daughter.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/05/jared-kushner-new-york-observer-jewish-antisemitism


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