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BILLIONAIRES, STILL: If anyone needed reminding that these are tough times for billionaires too, Forbes’ annual billionaire list, which has shrunk from 1,125 to 793, was released Wednesday evening. One of those left out this time? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, presumably because of shifting valuations of his company amid worries about monetizing social media.
Even those who kept a spot on the list saw their fortunes diminished, however. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s Bernard Arnault is number 15 on the list at $16.5 billion, versus the $25.5 billion Forbes estimated on the 2008 list. L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt placed 21st on the list, with estimated net worth of $13.4 billion. Last year, the magazine guessed her wealth at $22.9 billion. Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren tied for 224th on the list, with $2.8 billion each, down from $5 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively, according to the 2008 list.
Brothers Donald and S.I. Newhouse Jr., whose holdings include Condé Nast Publications (parent company of WWD), are jointly listed at the 132nd spot, with $4 billion in estimated net worth — half of what Forbes estimated last year. They tied with News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, whose fortune also declined by about 50 percent. William Randolph Hearst 3rd, whose family owns the Hearst Corp., was billionaire number 430, with an estimated $1.7 billion. (Last year, the magazine pegged his fortune at $2.4 billion.)
Gaining a spot in the top 10 was Spanish fashion entrepreneur Amancia Ortega, whose $18.3 billion fortune was partly made from Zara, and who was down only slightly (relatively speaking) from the $20.2 billion estimated in 2008.
— Irin Carmon