If I had a net worth of one billion dollars today, I’d be depressed. What’s the use of having all that moolah if I can’t lord it over mere mortals by adding fame to that forturne?
But I only have one billion dollars. And folks, that’s no longer enough to get me on the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans.
This year it took $1.3 billion, up $300 million from last year. For cryin’ out loud, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner III â€” one of 21 tied for 380th, last on the list â€” beat me out. What’s a money-grubbin’ capitalist like me gots to do to make that damn list?
I guess I should have been smarter and anticipated the collapse of the subprime mortgage market and sold subprime credit short like money manager John Paulson did. That made him a cool billion even and put him on the list at No. 165 with $2.5 billion.
Or I could have sweetened my pot o’ gold by $9 billion like Kirk Kerkorian did â€” as shares of his MGM Mirage casino rose 135 percent over the past year. He’s No. 7 at $18.5 billion.
Sheesh. Even those whackos who run Ultimate Fighting Championship â€” brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta â€” got onto the list, tied at No. 380 with $1.3 billion.
And, course, the usual suspects are on the list â€” Bill and Warren and Sheldon and Lawrence and Sergey and Larry.
Heck, seven people on last year’s list died, and I couldn’t make it. At least my decision to stop paying a gazillion bucks each morning to buy double lattes at Starbucks paid off; CEO Howie Shultz fell off the list.
So I don’t get to add my billion-dollar pittance to the collective net worth of those 400 rich folks â€” it’s up $290 billion from last year, or almost 21 percent, to $1.54 trillion.
That’s equal to the combined gross domestic product of Columbia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Israel, Romania, the Philippines, Algeria, Nigeria, Hungary, Egypt, Ukraine, New Zealand, Peru, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Morocco and the Slovak Republic.
Well, screw ‘em all. I’m gonna do a mega sulk and drink an extremely rare jeroboam of Mouton Rothschild 1945 â€“ considered one of the great vintages of the 20th century that I bought at Christieâ€™s in London in 1997 for $114,614 â€” all while soaking in my Jacuzzi more than 1,000 feet under the surface of the Mediterranean in my $80 million Phoenix 1000.
And I’ll invite along 82 of my billionaire pals didn’t make the list, either.