back to article Gates dethroned as tech's richest get thumped

It seems that tech's billionaires are sharing the privations of ordinary citizens, whose savings are vanishing and pensions becoming worthless as stock markets tumble. Bill Gates' 15-year reign as America's richest person is reportedly over, as the value of his investments has shrunk, surrendering his crown to investor Warren …

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Flame

hysterical?

" the privations of ordinary citizens, whose savings are vanishing and pensions becoming worthless as stock markets tumble."

Wow, thought I was reading the Daily Mail for a moment there.

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Charity

We all can get tax deductions on charity donations, and Bill Gates is no different. He does give generously aswell and having started the Gate Foundation, he is the biggest single donor to charity in the world.

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Col
Unhappy

That is obscene

That is all

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Paris Hilton

Let me be the first

To offer my condolences to Bill on his sad lost. Capitalist pig dog!

Paris cos she don't charge to screw you.

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Col

Rich list

The top 31 richest individuals (that Forbes are allowed to tell us about [cos I know the tinfoil-hatters were thinking it]) in the world between them have >$700 billion. Just saying...

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Anonymous Coward

With all that money...

I know Gates et al donate to charity but it strikes me that with all that obscene amount of wealth, it could be transferred to those who actually need it right now.

If Gates and Ellison (and others) put their hands in their pockets, they'd be able to help save the economy, surely?

Then instead of them going down in infamy for their tech exploits, they could go down in history as helping end this crisis.

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We all hated...

The kid with the biggest toy box

Even if it was filled with BROKEN CRAP

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Happy

Hahahahaha

It's the beginning of the end of money ... hahaha ... fools, they should have invested in something worthwhile like people ... bring it on, we the enlightened are more than ready!

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Unhappy

Think of the children

Like gods they are, with their huge funding they could change the world but instead they ignore our peril and play dice with the stars (and coke and methamphetamine)

Or so I've been led to believe

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Re: Charity

The B&M Gates Foundation is a mainstream press darling for all the money that gets donated, but keep in mind a very, very selective process is involved on who gets that 'redistributed wealth'. For instance, when Bill Gates does a photo op for a donation to an AIDS clinic in Africa, the amount is in the headlines of all the newspapers, but what gets left out is the fact that the money goes to contracts with big pharmaceutical corporations for drugs with extremely high mark-up. Generics and/or alternative medicines are minimal players in the game, if at all. So yes, there's a big donation involved, but the results are diminished because so many people need to get their 'cut' first. I live in the Chicago, IL area and there are always headlines about money coming from the Gates Foundation for our schools, but again, the mainstream media leaves out the part that the focus is often charter schools over public schools, a situation where those who have the greatest need get the least. Then there's the hypothetical question -- taking into consideration Bill Gates previous public statements about philanthropy, his history with Microsoft, and a basic time line of law suits against Microsoft -- would he even be doing this if US tax laws didn't allow donations to be tax write-off/deductions?

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Gates Halo

well, well

I am sure the world has lost more bacause of the sad quality of Windows than Mr Gates will ever be able to repay through his "tax gimmic" charity.

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@jeremy

Three cheers for billg! Hip hip...

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Bronze badge

good job its not all in 1 bank in briton

you`d only get £50.000 back in insurance

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Bronze badge
Alert

So there are still two people

who could single handedly wipe out third world debt...

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the privations of ordinary citizens

with only having $55bn i suppose he'll have to start picking up bargains at charity shops.

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Alert

At least with Gates & Buffet

Their employees like them. Larry Ellison can't say that.

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Coat

Gates Foundation

I thought that was what Melinda had on her face, or was that.....eww enough of that thank you.

How does Bill who acquires money through bullying and stealing become a good guy because he gives some back to charities?

If I rob a bank, then donate some to Oxfam, would I be a better person than today?

Mine's the one with the arms tied to the back.

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perspective

55 billion dollars US you could buy 68 Freedom of the Seas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_Seas_(ship)

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It's not like the money's in liquid assets.

If they tried to get at half of that money, the amount of stock being sold would probably start a market crash by itself.

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MJ
Stop

Think about it

If the big guys suddenly sold billions worth of investments and took the money out of the bank to redistribute it, what would happen?

The stock markets would show massive amounts of panic buying and the banks would show huge losses, promoting further collapse and chaos. There may be a few million, a tiny percentage of the population, who keep their houses. In comparison to the damage caused by the further collapse of stocks and banks, I cannot imagine it being worth it.

Redistribution of wealth isn't the answer right now. What seems to be needed before improvement can be seen is stability: 'we are as low as we are going to go, and now we can work on recovering'.

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Go

Gosh aren't we a bunch of mugs

We should just create a new currency and leave all the old ones behind. That's how they got all the power in the first place, we need to reverse that.

Let the markets crash into oblivion, screw them. Let them try and repossess most of the country's houses, there would be service men and police amongst that lot, as well as most of the able bodied men in the country. It would be interesting to see what they would do, but I imagine democracy would be kicked into touch, and dictatorship would be the new order of the day.

In fact the more affected the better, the more the ability to evenly distribute wealth. I think most of us we would end up a lot wealthier for it.

There is far more to go, this is just the first weekend, we ain't reached the bottom yet, you want to go faster?

And it is panic selling (not panic buying), but is it; will there even be stock markets by the end of this?

It's a wonderful life, anyone up for making a building society?

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Flame

@ Jeremy - re: charity

If I had $50 billion, I could afford to "give generously" too.

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@Michael

So it's only theirs if they don't spend it? I feel better already!

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Anonymous Coward

Buffet

I doubt he's going to be overly affected by the downturn. He's been building safe positions for the last 30 years in preparation for this correction. I doubt he's going to lose his position any time soon.

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@Jeremy

Bull might give large amounts of money, but the charity is little.

When Joe Sixpack gives $10, that has a far greater impact on Joe's financial well being than Bill giving away $100million.

Further, Joe does not do his giving on a stage wrapped in Microsoft advertising.

When Bill gave $20M to CMU to make the "Gates Center" he turned them into a bunch of pathetic sycophants. When you have billions then throwing down a few million to get an ego-rub is rather pathetic really.

Let's call Bill's "charity" what it is: buying ego-bling.

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Unhappy

US Gov. worse effect on Western civilization than terrorists?

With the crash in value of so much, has the US Gov. actually achieved that which the terrorists have been attempting - the steep decline of the Western way of living. Western economy has massive loss of jobs, loss of incomes, loss of savings, loss of personal freedom, collapse of banks. Entire countries are bankrupt. How could any terrorist group done better in such a short time? (Seemingly without direct loss of life.)

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Coat

Re-At least with Gates and Buffet

When I worked for a living and I found that I didn't like the Boss, I quickly buggered off , and told the Boss my opinion/before leaving.

Good luck to all you workers.

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Quite alarming..

...that some people seem to genuinely think they could solve third world debt or the economic cash crisis on their own.

Imagine the markets when the three of them cash everything in... i'm sure the instability that would cause would make the current situation seem like someone losing a tenner down the back of the sofa!

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Gates Horns

Missing Comma?

Should that title actually be: "Gates dethroned as tech's richest get, thumped"?

Hope so. All these rich gets deserve a good thumping if you ask me.

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Flame

Missing comma

@ Ralph: No, it shouldn't be that, because that would be grammatically incorrect. What you're trying to say (i.e., tech's richest get thumped) is what the headline already says. Perhaps you should give Bill G a ring and ask for a few grand to fund your education? ;)

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Gates Horns

Try this

boop@microsoft.com

Bill [the] Office Of [the] President - or maybe its now Ballmer, nevermind. I once got a cease and desist letter from there :)

Cheers.

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Ermmm

I noticed the gutter press releasing a lot of these "Billionaire loses money" stories lately. Sorry but I do find it hard to have sympathy because someone's paper fortune has dropped by $10bn or whatever, leaving them with only $15bn. Oh how will they survive with only 16 houses and their small meager collection of 54 top of the range sports cars!

Perhaps a thought for most of us, who breath a sigh of relief every month when we just about manage to make all our payments on pay day, without the bank throwing us out on the street?

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@John Robson

>> So there are still two people who could single handedly wipe out third world debt...

It *might* be enough to wipeout third world debt, but it wouldn't even make a dent on the US national debt - heck it probably wouldn't even cover a year's interest.

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Anonymous Coward

heh

If I had $50 I wouldn't give any of you f--ks any of it, I'd buy a volcano base and an airship stocked with cute oriental maids and a kick ass pirate captain!

Why don't people do cool shit with their money anymore??

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Anonymous Coward

Warren Buffet

From what little I know, I understand that Buffet uses the Stock Market in the way it was intended: to invest in worthwhile commercial endeavours, with the (fair and understandable) expectaion of a payback for the use of his money. He's always decried the "speculative" traders as short-termist and bad for the economy, and he's done pretty well at backing successful horses.

Which isn't to say that he won't pick up a few billions of dollars worth of perfectly viable companies (if there's that much to buy) at 10 cents on the dollar during the current panic, and make out like a bandit when sanity returns (or that he will be immune to a general collapse that undermines the economic basis of the world at large and destroys even previously stable and effective concerns).

Mr Buffet is one of the few Wall Street operators who can hold themselves largely blameless for the current fiasco.

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Paris Hilton

why all the crying?

the guys are rich, far richer than you or me could ever dream of.

let them live their life, they aren't required to give away their money that they've earnt because some other twat in the banking industry has clucked up.

i know bill gives away far more than i would ever would if worth $55billion, in fact I'd give none of it away quite content in the knowledge that I had earnt it.

you sad monkeys need to get off their backs.

can we have a dead penguin icon please.

paris because the people whinging here seem to share the same IQ levels.

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Gates Halo

Blame the rich guy?

Don't be bitter because someone's good idea/marketing/skill at some task netted them a fortune. Redistribution of wealth mechanisms only drive down the human spirit. Imagine you having developed or invented a product that made you $1 million, only to have the government surmise that since you can "afford" to give away most of it, helps you do just that by redistrubting your wealth (through a series of taxes and hand-outs) to people who didn't have good ideas or skills.

How motivated to create new things only to see the fruits of your labour vanish? Conversely, how motivated would you be to work if you were handed a lump sum every year to subsidize your non-working lifestyle?

Whether Gates is ego-buying or not, the fact still stands that his foudation has the capability and will to give more than any other charity in the world, even if chunks of it still go to middle-men or administrative purposes (like it happens in all charities--Red Cross, PETA, name your cause). And, with the endowment from Buffett, that can continue for quite some time to come. Anyone interested in learning how Gates has spent his money can check out this month's Esquire magazine (75 most influential people) or head over to http://www.gatesfoundation.org/nr/public/media/annualreports/annualreport07/AR2007GrantsPaid.html or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_and_Melinda_Gates_Foundation.

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Oh the stress

If Bill is finding losing 3 billion and being left with 55 too much to bear I'm more than happy to take it off his hands and pay him 5 thousand a month which I'm sure is enough to live on as that is the sort of financial headache I'd love to have rather than soaring gas and 'leccy bills.

I'm sure that El reg would be happy to put you in touch with me.

I'll take a cheque (or sorry you spell it check don't you) as I wont be providing my bank details and 55 bill is a bit heavy to collect from Western Union (in case the lads from lagos are reading)

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Coat

Missing comma(s)

No I think Ralph B is half right. What it should say to be grammatically correct, albeit with an unusual sentence construction, is "Gates, dethroned as tech's richest get, thumped"

Note: "get" noun, derog slang a stupid or contemptible person;

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re: Why all the crying

I don't think anyone is saying that these people should be giving away their money.

What they are saying is that these people don't get to be good just for giving away a tiny amount of the money that they don't need.

What money Bill does give away is for power play, not for true charity.

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