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Gates Tops 'Forbes' List Of 400 Wealthiest Americans

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Gates Tops 'Forbes' List Of 400 Wealthiest Americans

America

Gates Tops 'Forbes' List Of 400 Wealthiest Americans

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

NPR's business news starts with billionaires getting richer.

(Soundbite of music)

WERTHEIMER: Forbes magazine has come out with its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. Their combined wealth is $1.4 trillion dollars - that's trillion with a T 1.4 trillion. So you take that gigantic financial bailout of a couple of years ago, $700 billion, double it, and that's how much these 400 people are worth.

Luisa Kroll edited this list.

Ms. LUISA KROLL (Forbes Magazine): They're up eight percent versus last year, which means they did much better than the rest of us. You know, the S&P 500 was up one percent over the same period of time when we measured the net worth.

INSKEEP: Now, the usual suspects topped the Forbes 400: Bill Gates is there, Warren Buffett, and the Walton family, which founded Wal-Mart. In terms of their sources of wealth, no surprises either.

Ms. KROLL: There are a couple of industries that have done well. In terms of the biggest representation, finance and investments have done very well.

INSKEEP: News has not been quite as rosy for those who are less well-off. The number of Americans living in poverty is well over 40 million now and unemployment is still close to 10 percent.

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