back to article Bill Gates is BACK... as CHIEF RICH human of PLANET EARTH

Microsoft supremo Bill Gates is once again the richest person on the planet, after being relegated to second place for the last four years. Forbes said that Gates had forced Carlos Slim into the runner up position by amassing $4bn more in personal wealth in 2013 courtesy of MS shares performing well on Wall Street. The 58- …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Toilets

    Well, as long as Bill keeps pushing some of his loot down 3rd world toilets & similar - it is better spent than on what some of the other rich boys do with theirs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Toilets

      I reckon its easy to be philanthropic when it doesn't hit your lifestyle or bottom line in any meaningful way.

      1. Terry Barnes

        Re: Toilets

        It's also quite easy to sneer at other people who are doing good in the world from behind your keyboard.

      2. Snowy

        Re: Toilets

        Which is exactly what Bill said in the build up to the AMA on reddit.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZnmpDrjtDc, it is the first one he answers.

      3. Mikel

        Re: Toilets

        >I reckon its easy to be philanthropic when it doesn't hit your lifestyle or bottom line in any meaningful way.

        Bill Gates himself said the same thing in his Reddit AMA. That his efforts are not as significant as those of others who have to sacrifice to give. Imagine that: generous and humble too.

      4. NogginTheNog

        Re: Toilets

        "its easy to be philanthropic when it doesn't hit your lifestyle or bottom line in any meaningful way"

        I believe he said something similar himself in a recent interview. Still good on him for doing what he's doing, he could have very easily just spent the next 20 years on an island, yacht, private jet, beach...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's not doing a very good job of giving money away is he? just shows you it's a PR stunt.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't forget the strings to his gifts

      Namely 'you are going to buy MS software aren't you?'. If you don't, your lovely jubbly may not arrive.

    2. mark 63 Silver badge

      so you know how much he's given away?

      All i know is he didnt give me any :(

      1. cambsukguy

        If he didn't give you any, you are one of the relatively few lucky, lucky people on Earth in need of no assistance.

        Along with almost certainly all of the readers here.

        Thank your lucky stars you are not one of the targeted people, you don't have Malaria, TB, AIDS or, if you do have one of them, you can afford (or get for free), excellent treatment.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      You don't just give away all the money at once. You use it to build a fund which will support projects well into the future.That's why there is a Carnegie Institute and a Stanford university well after Mr Carnegie and Mr Stanford have gone.

      Additionally he doesn't have the money, he has MSFT stock. Imagine if he cashed in all his stock tomorrow - what would happen to the price?

      I would give him credit that he is doing something more directly useful than just founding a university in his name. But the foundation is a business, it is going to make some dodgy investments (just like Welcome, Children in Need did) and it needs to be very careful that there aren't any more "links to microsoft" deals

      1. Mikel

        Microsoft stock

        Bill Gates has been selling Microsoft stock and diversifying since the 1980's. It is nowhere near the majority of his holdings. He could divest completely now and the available stock would not cause a problem. The emotional issues might though.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Microsoft stock

          The richer he gets, the more he can give away. He is growing richer even after giving away $billions. Finding how to give away $50bn+ in an effective way to people who will use it wisely is not exactly an easy thing to do.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Microsoft stock

            Here's a tip, stop robbing it from people in the first place.

            Drop the price of Office and Windows to a fair price.

            1. cambsukguy

              Re: Microsoft stock

              As many, many people point out here, there are any number of alternatives to MS offerings, especially the ones that cost money.

              You do not have to buy, therefore he is not stealing, MS charge what they can in a fair market because, there are any number of free and not free alternatives.

              If a company chooses to pay a lot of money for MS Office etc. that is, literally, their business - they were not stolen from.

              If you use MS products at work then you didn't pay for it, if you did pay for it because it is your company for instance then you must feel it was worth the money not to use some free alternative - therefore, it was not stealing.

          2. cambsukguy

            Re: Microsoft stock

            It is, in fact, a full-time job for a large amount of people, including him.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Mikel

          Wow. It just goes to show you that some people are never satisfied. Someone gives 1+ billion every year to his charitable foundation and you still criticize him for not giving every penny. Put your money where your mouth is and lead by example and maybe Mr. Gates might do the same (very doubtful since he is a savvy business man).

          1. Mikel

            Re: @Mikel

            @AC - I was not being critical of the man there, nor the rate of his giving. I wrote above there that he is both generous and humble. I have praised him here before for his work. It is not being critical of the man to say he could divest from one of his many investments without causing serious turmoil - it is only an assessment of the market situation being responded to. I didn't say he should sell it all and gift the proceeds. It is not for me to say he should give or not at all, let alone how fast. It's his money.

            I am still not fond of his Beast. But that is a different thing.

          2. MR J

            Re: @Mikel

            He gave away 11% of his increase.

            This year our household value went up by -0.77%, or about a $600 drop

            So I am more than willing to give away -$66 (11%) this year to as many people as there are out there who want it!...

            I would love to see all "Corporations" Liquidated, but that doesn't make the people who earn the most off of them bad people, and it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be able to get paid for their Monopolistic Behaviour and Corrupt Government dealings.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        MS Stock

        interestingly, Ballmer is set to overtake Gates as the largest MS shareholder this year as Bill divests a large wad of shares each year to finance his philanthropic activities.

    4. Anomalous Cowturd

      Re: He's not doing a very good job of giving money away is he?

      I would personally take 100 million for myself and the family, and sign the rest over to "The Foundation".

      But it's not mine...

      1. NogginTheNog

        Re: He's not doing a very good job of giving money away is he?

        In which case you're still doing the same thing, since 100 mil is hardly putting yourself into poverty is it??

    5. Richard Altmann

      Polio

      Apart from almost single handly erradicating Polio YOU NUMB!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Polio

        What good is being able to walk if you then die of AIDS?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation#Criticism

        1. ok i'll sign up

          Re: Polio

          @Anonymous. What good is being able to walk if you're going to die of cancer, road crash, drugs, vomit, name your reason here?

          Personally I quite like being able to walk for now, even though i'm aware that i'm going to die in the future

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    Don't be so hard on Bill Gates

    I'm not fully onboard with various biz decisions he's made, but I have to credit him for doing more with his wealth than most billionaires do. (Even if that means he has to heat his home by burning Mac OS documentation, instead of bundles of $100 bills)

  4. Herby Silver badge
    Joke

    Now for the big question...

    What is that in BitCoins?

    Sorry, I couldn't resist!!!

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    With all that money and no need to lift a finger for it to continue to grow, maybe such charity donations are the only way his life has any meaning for him.

    1. Ted Treen
      Thumb Up

      Hmmm...

      "...maybe such charity donations are the only way his life has any meaning for him..."

      Possibly so, but I still consider his reasons or motivations are irrelevant. His foundation will, inevitably give life a lot more meaning (and, hopefully some ease) to some poor sods somewhere.

      That is what really counts.

      I'm no Microsoft fan (MacPro, iPhone & iPad mini) but I give Bill a thumbs-up here, and doff my metaphorical hat to him.

  6. W. Anderson

    It is interesting and insightful that the Western press, particularly Forbes Magazine continues to grossly emphasize and glamorize the exorbitant wealth of people like Bill Gates, without hardly or ever mentioning that as part of his philanthropic endeavours around the world, particularly regarding in agriculture subsidies, his donations are inextricably tied to those receiving countries being forced to accept and purchase Monsanto products, reported toxic and health threatening.

    Sort of like a donor offering badly needed school supplies ,but part of the package is requirement to pay for the "cancer" causing leaded pencils.

    How great thou art - the adored very wealthy! - an especially American sickness.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      "his donations are inextricably tied to those receiving countries being forced to accept and purchase Monsanto products"

      [citation needed] (Difficulty: may not reference naturalnews.com)

    2. westlake

      Farming is a business.

      Let ne introduce you to the farmer.

      He buys seeds from companies Monsanto because his fields are more productive, his crops consistently sell for a very good price and his labor costs and other expenses are much lower than the alternatives ---

      including harvesting his own seeds.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Farming is a business.

        not to mention using less pesticide

  7. W. Anderson

    Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

    It is interesting and insightful that the Western press, particularly Forbes Magazine continues to grossly emphasize and glamorize the exorbitant wealth of people like Bill Gates, without hardly or ever mentioning that as part of his philanthropic endeavours around the world, particularly regarding in agriculture subsidies, his donations are inextricably tied to those receiving countries being forced to accept and probably purchase Monsanto products, widely reported as toxic and health threatening.

    Sort of like a donor offering badly needed school supplies to a desperate school, but part of the package is requirement to pay for the "cancer" causing leaded pencils.

    How great thou art - the adored very wealthy! - an especially American sickness.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

      Proof please.

      1. W. Anderson

        Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

        Every year Forbes and several other publications , organizations and pundits wax eloquent and incessantly - ad nauseam - on the "wealthy" for no other reason that that they are rich. Proof enough that the sickness of wealth worship is stronger here in USA than in most other developed nations.

        Furthermore, if Bill Gates pushing Monsanto and it's proven unhealthy agricultural products onto poor nations as part of his philanthropy gets little rightful criticism, then it is reasonably concluded that his give-a-ways compensate for probable bad deeds in the eyes of Americans, simply and only because of his wealth.

        $28 billion, $30 billion, what-ever amounts in donations can never compensate for wrong doings.

        What about all the companies unethically (and proven illegally) destroyed along the way in Microsoft and Bill Gates becoming wealthy, Money and Money alone buys justice and Power in USA.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

      When somebody replies to your post with [Citation needed], repeating the post with an added title doesn't count as a citation.

  8. NormDP

    I guess Bill's charitable work didn't cost him much, then.

    1. Tim99 Silver badge
      Trollface

      @NormDP

      Perhaps not, but it probably cost you plenty. MS charge like a rentier service supplier. You never own it.

      "I had lunch with our MS Rep (No, I am not Mike Cox), over coffee we gave him a bad time about Windows 286 and some of the 2-steps-forward-one-step-back "upgrades" to MS-DOS. Someone around the table asked what MS slogan was. The Rep was baffled. We said, you know, like DEC's is "Honesty and respect for customers and employees"; or IBM's "Think". He blurted out "Bill said $100 a year from everybody, for ever". Laughter all around the table ". (Trying hard for up-votes by linking to my own post).

      So in my case, my personal (not business) spend is: (20 years x 2-4 PCs x$100) $4,000 - $8,000. MS's margin used to be >85% so roughly $3,000 to $7,000. Bill currently still owns "only" 6.4% of the stock compared to perhaps 2x3 times that amount in the early days, so to be generous - He only got about $500 of my money. Admittedly because I was the majority shareholder and chief techy type for a company that wrote software that could run on a Windows stack I made rather a lot more money than I gave to Bill...

      1. westlake

        Re: @NormDP

        <<Admittedly because I was the majority shareholder and chief techy type for a company that wrote software that could run on a Windows stack I made rather a lot more money than I gave to Bill...<<

        In plain English, your company saw a very good return on its investment in the Microsoft OS. Installed on the cheap commodity PCs designed for the MSDOS and Windows markets.

        1. Tim99 Silver badge

          Re: @NormDP

          @westlake

          Yep. I would also have made money (and did) from most of the commercial OSs (or even later FLOSS stuff) that were available.

          As I was around at the time, I am pretty sure that the cheap commodity PCs originally designed to run CP/M would have done the job without QDOS/MS/PC-DOS if IBM had inegotiated a $30 licence with Digital Research. Cheap commodity PCs were going to happen anyway courtesy of Dr. Moore et al.

    2. James Hughes 1

      As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

      I think that is a worthy sum and he is to be congratulated for it.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

        It would be interesting to see Forbes Rich List enhanced with the level of charitable donation for each billionaire. Has Lounge Lizard Larry spent money on anything more praiseworthy than a boat, for example?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

          "In August 2010, it was reported that Ellison is one of the 40 billionaires who has signed "The Giving Pledge".[58][59] Ellison wrote: "Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95 percent of my wealth to charitable causes. I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter."[60]

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If I had more money than I could ever possibly spend I would give it away too.

        People would have plenty of money if it wasn't for expensive Microsoft licences.

        1. midcapwarrior

          People would have plenty of money if

          If they didn't spend it on smoking.

          If they didn't spend it on drinking.

          If they didn't spend it on gambling.

          If they didn't spend on many other activities.

          Not sure anyone is poverty based on their voluntary software purchase decisions.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > People would have plenty of money if it wasn't for expensive Microsoft licences.

          Stealing from the rich, giving to the poor. Bill's a bit of a Robin Hood, you see.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's just part of the interest on his bank balance. At this rate he'll have given away his fortune in the year 2999.

  9. All names Taken
    Paris Hilton

    Sorry. Rant interruption

    I know it is sorta, well, ... a bit gauche of me but ...

    There always has been a richest person in the world as we know it.

    It sorta depends upon the qualifying criteria, access to that criteria and making the information available to the public before/after/in spite of scrutiny innit?

    So while it may not have been publicised well in the past (if not, why not?) it sorta existed for like centuries dude?

  10. IGnatius T Foobar
    FAIL

    Gates FAIL

    Any "philanthropy" by the Gates Foundation is 100% irrelevant. It does not legitimize how Gates made his money: by lying, cheating, stealing, and basically destroying anything and anybody who got in Microsoft's way. Gates is a BAD PERSON. Nothing will change that.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Richest family?

    I see that Bill Gates and Carlos Slim are very rich indeed. They have built up their fortune in a life time. How about the richest family that has built their wealth for centuries? Which is the richest family?

    Well, Rockenfeller (yes, they come from Germany) had a little company in 1900s which was split into 28 smaller companies. One of the small parts, is called Exxon - the worlds largest company. JP Morgan is Rockenfeller's bank and Rockenfeller have great power over the bank. One of the rockenfellers, is said to have been one of the ten richest persons in _history_.

    One of Guggenheim's (also Germany) investment banks, control $110 billion, according to wikipedia, but rockenfeller is far richer.

    But of course, Rockenfeller is poor compared to the Rotschilds. Read on wikipedia and historical books to see _real_ power. They funded Napoleon Bonaparte, and his enemies and collected collateral from both sides, no matter who won, they got richer. They have saved England from bankruptcy which is the reason he is Baron Rotschild in London. The reason London is always ranked as finance city no 1, above New York - is because Rotschild is in London. Conservativee estimates show that Rotschilds alone, control/own $600.000 billion (six hundred thousand). These twelve german families, own almost everything on earth, and they inbreed. It is said that a tiny few, own almost everything on earth - and that is true. Read history books on Rotschilds, and see their power, it is truly amazing! Start at wikipedia and read links.

    Curiously though, new mathematical research shows that only a few companies, own/control every other company. Large financial databases where analyzed on who own who, etc, and each time, only a few companies came up at the end of the chain: JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc. A human can not see this, but a computer can see this. Read more on this ground breaking research, here is a math PhD dissertation on this:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html#.UxX7s30o8dg

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019