FORBES @ 100: NINE ZE­ROES—OCT. 9, 2006

Eleven years ago it took an even billion to make The Forbes 400. Now it’s dou­ble that.

Forbes - - CONTENTS -

For the First time, ev­ery­one on The Forbes 400 was a bil­lion­aire.

In all, the 400 rich­est Amer­i­cans con­trolled $1.25 tril­lion in wealth, up about 10% from a year ear­lier. The top of the list looked much as it does to­day: Bill Gates re­mains the rich­est man in the coun­try; War­ren Buf­fett and Larry El­li­son are still in the top five. Miss­ing in 2006: Mark Zucker­berg, now the na­tion’s fourth-rich­est per­son, who had launched Face­book from his Har­vard dorm room two years ear­lier.

The storm clouds that would soon drench Amer­ica’s econ­omy were a lit­tle way off yet, but we had a hunch the fore­cast was gloomy. As we put it in a piece about the coun­try’s big­gest prop­erty for­tunes: “A real es­tate col­lapse may be on the hori­zon, but for now it’s clear skies for the land barons of The Forbes 400.” By 2009, 9 of the 32 real es­tate bil­lion­aires on the 2006 list (28% of them) had gone M.I.A. Only one of those dropouts, Mi­ami condo king Jorge Perez, ap­pears on this year’s Forbes 400.

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