Forbes billionare list: World’s 10 richest people

A photo of Carlos Slim Helu, from Mexico, who is number one on the Forbes billionaire list and the world's richest man.

Carlos Slim Helu, world's richest person. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The Forbes billionaire list names the 1,011 people in the world whose net worth is more than $1 billion. The people on the 2010 Forbes billionaire list aren’t worrying about getting the cheapest personal loans, obviously, but the list shows some interesting shifts in the world’s money supply. For instance, last year half the people on the Forbes billionaire list were from the U.S. This year, only 40 percent are from the U.S. And, unlike last year, the world’s richest man is not from the U.S. Here are the top 10: the richest people in the world.

1. Carlos Slim Helu, $53.5 billion

“Carlos Slim Helu and family” top  the Forbes Billionaire list. Helu lives in Mexico and is part-owner of Latin America’s largest corporation, mobile phone company America Movil. He also owns a construction conglomerate and owns stakes in several other companies, including the New York Times.

2. Bill Gates, $53 billion

The richest man in the United States, Bill Gates, slipped one spot on the Forbes Billionaire list this year, even though his net worth increased significantly. Last year the Microsoft chairman topped the list with $40 billion, and this year he is in the No. 2 spot with $53 billion.

3. Warren Buffett, $47 billion

Fun fact: the world’s third-richest man lives in Omaha, Nebraska. Investment tycoon and self-made billionaire Warren Buffett stayed in the top three this year thanks to a $10 billion increase in his wealth over the past year.

4. Mukesh Ambani, $29 billion

Mukesh Ambani, of India, inherited his father’s fortune and his oil business. He also owns a cricket team. If he wants to start handing out loans for people with bad credit, I have an idea for where he should start.

5. Lakshmi Mittal, $28.7 billion

Lakshmi Mittal inherited his fortune and ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker. He started out in the family business in India in the 1970s and branched out on his own in the ’90s. He now lives in London but still has Indian citizenship.

6. Lawrence Ellison, $28 billion

Lawrence Ellison founded Oracle, a database giant. Oracle bought 57 companies in the past five years, and the company’s stock has gone up 70 percent over the past 12 months. Along with Bill Gates, Lawrence Ellison is the second college dropout on the Forbes billionaire list. (Kids, don’t try this at home.)

7. Bernard Arnault, $27.5 billion

Bernard Arnault’s luxury goods company makes Louis Vuitton and Moet & Chandon products. The company, called LVMH, also is developing upscale commercial property in Shangai. Arnault lives in Paris, France.

8. Eike Batista, $27 billion

It was a big year for Eike Batista, from Brazil. He made $19.5 billion over the past year, mostly from his oil-and-gas exploration company. Last year on the Forbes’ billionaire list he was No. 61 with $7.5 billion.

9. Amancio Ortega, $25 billion

The Forbes billionaire list calls Amancio Ortega a “style maven.” The Spaniard owns Inditex fashion firm, which operates in 73 countries. He also owns real estate including the building that houses Bicardi USA.

10. Karl Albrecht, $23.5 billion

I had to reread this one a few times: The world’s 10th richest man owns a chain of discount supermarkets. Karl Albrecht, from Germany, owns Aldi Sud, one of Europe’s dominant grocers. He plans to open a store in New York City this year.

That wraps up the top 10 on the Forbes billionaire list. The good news that they all have more money than they did last year, which indicates that, overall, the global economy is recovering.