Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in America for the 21st straight year, says Forbes magazine. Gates is worth $81 billion, up $9 billion. According to the latest Forbes 400 rankings, the average net worth of each member is $5.7 billion, the highest to date, up from $5 billion last year. Warren Buffett is No. 2 on the list, at $67 billion, up $8.5 billion from last year. At No. 3, Larry Ellison is worth $50 billion, up $9 billion from last year. The combined wealth of the Forbes 400 is $2.29 trillion, compared with $2.02 trillion in 2013 and the highest ever, partly resulting from to the strength of the U.S. stock market. Net worth increased for 303 members, and decreased for 36 members. Cost of admission to the 2014 list is the highest ever at $1.55 billion, up from $1.3 billion a year ago. Twenty-seven newcomers made it into the ranks, including Jan Koum (No. 62) of WhatsApp at $7.6 billion, Russ Weiner (No. 249) of Rockstar Energy at $2.5 billion, Travis Kalanick (No. 190) of Uber Technologies at $3 billion and David Walentas (No. 368), a real estate developer who made his fortune by rebuilding the Dumbo area in Brooklyn, New York, at $1.7 billion. The biggest gainer is Mark Zuckerberg (No. 11), whose net worth grew $15 billion since last year. He is worth $34 billion. Twenty years ago, more than half of the Forbes 400 came via inherited wealth. This year, more than two-thirds are self-made.
Americans boosted spending in August, with about half the increase coming from auto sales. Income rose by a modest amount. The Commerce Department today says consumer spending rose 0.5 percent last month after showing no gain in July. It was the best result since spending also expanded 0.5 percent in June. Helped by strength in wages and salaries, income rose 0.3 percent in August. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity, and the slowdown in July had raised concerns about whether the economy would retain the momentum it showed in the spring after a harsh winter.
A new survey finds banks are cashing in on fees even more than before. The survey released today by Bankrate.com finds the average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed 5 percent over the past year to a new high of $4.35 per transaction. The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM has jumped 23 percent over the past five years. Overdraft fees also surged, rising on average over the past 12 months to $32.74. That’s the 16th consecutive record high.
Billions of dollars are flying out the door at Pimco investments after the firm’s co-founder Bill Gross resigned, saying he would join rival Janus Capital. Before being pushed out by management at the California-based firm he co-founded, the man who has been called the “bond king” made a sudden exit. Pimco “suffered roughly $10 billion of withdrawals” after the Gross announcement, reports The Wall Street Journal. “Pimco is bracing for more outflows on the heels of the veteran investor’s departure after months of internal strife over his leadership,” the paper said. Pimco executives are said to have called their top clients, reassuring them that they have a first-class team of investment experts at the company.
The chairman of Lenovo Group says the company has received U.S. government approval to complete its acquisition of IBM’s low-end server business and plans to use it to grow faster outside its personal computer business. He says the IBM assets will add a “growth engine” to a growing array of businesses that include computers, mobile devices and services. Also this year, Lenovo bought the Motorola Mobility smartphone business from Google.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow!!!,-) #thanksRICH