Thursday, December 31, 2009

a visit to the Billionaires Car Club

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

America's Billionaire Moneymakers Of 2009

In Pictures: America's Billionaire Moneymakers Of 2009

Topping the ranking is Larry Page, last year's fifth biggest loser. The Google ( GOOG - news - people ) co-founder made $8.4 billion between January and mid-December 2009 after shedding $11.9 billion in 2008.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ex-wife (Ivana) of ex-billionaire (Donald Trump) booted off plane

Socialite Ivana Trump kicked off an airliner after 'foul-mouthed tirade at noisy children'

Socialite Ivana Trump had to be escorted off a plane after launching a foul-mouthed tirade at noisy children.

The former wife of billionaire property mogul Donald Trump started screaming the F-word as several excited youngsters ran up and down the first-class aisle.

The grandmother of one became even angrier as flight attendants tried to calm her down, allegedly rushing towards the cockpit.

When the pilot asked her to leave the New York-bound flight before take-off, the hysterical Miss Trump refused to budge.

Daily Mail article

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Zealand names its "Billionaire of the year"

Billionaire of the year

David Tepper made bucketloads of cash by betting that banks had been oversold early in 2009.

According to the story, Tepper has pocketed about US$2.5 billion of his hedge fund firm's profit this year. I suppose that explains the cheesy grin (but not the squint, the cheap PC in the background, the rumpled tieless shirt or the rolled up trousers - why is he dressed like a journalist?).


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Top 5 bad billionaires for the year 2009

Well, here we are at Think Billion$ at the end of 2009 and the end of the decade.

How do we close out the year with some sort of profound post? Well, once again we've been doing some thinking and serious research.

Last year The outcome of which is our First Annual "The Top 5 bad billionaires for the year 2008" list. How about that?

So here's the bad-boy list for this year, and let us know what you think:

Tiger Woods: while technically not a billionaire in net worth terms, everyone has been calling him that over the past couple of years because he has earned a billion from golf winnings and from personal endorsements. Why has Tiger been a bad billionaire for 2009? Come on, is this really a serious question???

Bernie Madoff: we found out about Bernie's badness in 2008, but was locked away in 2009.

Al Gore: we found out this year that Al is a "carbon Billionaire"

Allen Stanford: another convicted billionaire con.

Mark Cuban: for being Mark Cuban.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Warren Buffett dumps shares of Moody's

The billionaire investor who rarely sells, has sold 2.7 million shares of Moody's Corp. (MCO), according to a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB) sold the shares of Moody's Corp. (MCO), according to a filing Wednesday.

The credit scoring agency was once strongly backed by Buffett, in numerous comments over the years, has experienced all sorts of problems associated with the credit crunch and also due to poor internal controls. However, this seems to be a risk reduction move overall. Berkshire still owns 15% of Moody's outstanding stock after the recent sale, down from 20% in July.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Richard Branson Takes Reservations From Would-Be Astronauts

Sir Richard Branson shows off the SpaceShipTwo in a Mojave, California, hangar on Monday.

CNN article

Discover Magazine


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Investor Michael Price is bullish on Bank of America

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire investor Michael Price said he bought shares of Bank of America Corp. in its $19.3 billion equity sale yesterday after shunning large lenders.

Bank of America raised money in the biggest U.S. offering of stock or preferred shares since at least 2000 to free itself from government restrictions after accepting funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Charlotte, North Carolina- based company, the largest U.S. bank, sold securities at $15 each, or 4.8 percent less than its closing price yesterday.


stock quote

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Budapest cave-men become instant billionaires

There's rags to riches and then there's rags to mega-riches. Two brothers from Hungary definitely fall into the second category.

Until recently, Geza and Zslot Peladi lived in a cave near Budapest. Completely destitute, the two cave-brothers earned money by gathering scrap metal and selling candy they found on the street. That all changed the moment they heard that they stood to inherit a substantial portion of their maternal grandmother's $6.6 billion fortune. (That's billion, with a "B.")


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Back to the smartphone biz for Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie

NHL commish takes dim view of Canadian billionaire Balsillie

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman all but ruled out the prospect for Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie one day owning a team in the hockey league.

Balsillie, the co-CEO of BlackBerry wireless device maker Research in Motion, failed in a bid to move the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton, Ontario in September when a U.S. judge blocked the attempt.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Mrs. Woods tries to tame a Tiger

Tiger Woods --- the first billion-dollar earning sportsman in the world (estimated by Forbes magazine).

In September of this year, he won the prized FedEx Cup. Besides winning golf tournaments, Tiger has incredible endorsement contracts with companies such as Gatorade, Gillette and Rolex. The most lucrative is with Nike.

Now, as the whole world knows, he is in a Tiger-sized mess. Mrs. Tiger Woods was allegedly trying to brain him with a golf club!

Tiger Woods is probably embarrassed that his wife beat the crap out of him. Police investigation, certainly. TMZ and entertainment shows, heck no!

BTW, by law, Florida law enforcement is required by law in FL to investigate the potential spousal abuse by either party. Could get more interesting.

See you on the course next year Tiger!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Billionaire John Malone tames his shareholders

'Hey, just buy stock in Liberty and become a billionaire just like me!'

At Liberty Media's special meeting Nov. 19 in New York to approve the spinoff of Liberty Entertainment, Malone fielded a question from an obviously disgruntled shareholder who complained the company was not redeeming fractional shares in the transaction.

Malone at first tried to appease the man by telling him that he would take up his proposal of holding a separate "odd-lot" tender offer with counsel. But the questioner persisted.

So Malone told him that if he had bought Liberty stock when he said he bought it - the questioner he said he originally owned Liberty Satellite stock, which was retired several years ago - and held onto his shares, then he had done "extremely well." The man continued to complain.

"Let me put it this way," Malone said. "I started broke and I'm now a billionaire. And I never sold any shares."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Facebook strategizes pre-IPO


Facebook Inc. took steps to solidify the control of founder Mark Zuckerberg and other existing shareholders in the event the social-networking company goes public.

The closely held Silicon Valley firm, emulating one of Google Inc.'s well-known strategies, established a dual-class stock structure that would increase the voting power of Mr. Zuckerberg, who is the company's chief executive, and other existing shareholders if they hold onto their shares during an IPO.

WSJ article

Thursday, November 19, 2009

India remains billionaire friendly

India’s billionaire list doubles

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is once again the wealthiest person in India. The net worth of the promoter of the largest listed Indian company is put at $32 billion, an increase of 54 per cent from nearly $21 billion last year, according to a Forbes report.

“Trailing behind him are Lakshmi Mittal (Arcelor Mittal) with a net worth of $30 billion, up 46 per cent from $20.5 billion, and Mukesh’s estranged brother, Anil Ambani, whose net worth of $17.5 billion, 40 per cent, higher than before, put him in third place,” it said. A rebounding stock market that gained two-thirds in the past year and an economy growing at 6 per cent have boosted the net worth of India's richest people. The combined net worth of India’s 100 richest people is $276 billion, almost a quarter of the country’s GDP.

“Last year, there were only 27 billionaires on the India Rich List. This year, the number has almost doubled to 52 — just two short of what India had at the peak of the stock market boom in 2007,” according to the Forbes report.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warren Buffett gets bullish on select stocks

Still heavy with billions in corporate cash, Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett have added the following positions to the portfolio:



Friday, November 6, 2009

New York City tries to steal millions in "back taxes" from hedge fund manager


What a difference four days can make.

Billionaire Julian Robertson won a $27 million tax case after he successfully argued that he wasn't a New York City resident for the year 2000 and didn't owe city taxes.

At issue was Mr. Robertson's whereabouts on four days during that leap year: April 15, July 23, July 31 and Nov. 16. The other 362 days were accounted for, with documentary proof of 183 days spent in the city and 179 spent outside. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance argued that because he didn't have documentary proof for the four days, he was therefore a resident and owed city taxes of $26,792,341.

WSJ article

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Carl Icahn continues to mint money

Icahn Enterprises 3rd-quarter profit quintuples

NEW YORK — Billionaire Carl Icahn's investing vehicle Icahn Enterprises LP on Thursday said its third-quarter profit nearly quintupled as revenue shot higher and expenses declined.

The company reported profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 of $110 million, or $1.39 per unit, up from $23 million, or 32 cents per unit, in the year-ago period.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Warren Buffett adds a railroad to the portfolio

You may not be ready to bet on the U.S. economic recovery, but Warren Buffett sure is.

The billionaire made a splash Tuesday when his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK - news - people ), announced a deal to take over railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe ( BNI - news - people ). The cash-and-stock deal is worth $100 a share for the 77.4% of the company Berkshire didn't already own, for a price tag near $34 billion.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Al Gore: Is he a carbon billionaire???

Al Gore
, founder of the internet, former vice-president of the United States, and now green (monetarily) beyond belief.....

Has everyone asking: is he a carbon billionaire and are you ok with that???

article: Al Gore denies he is 'carbon billionaire'

Monday, November 2, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Life is just a circus for Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte

Canadian space tourist Guy Laliberté gives a thumbs up after landing with the Soyuz spacecraft crew in Kazakhstan. Photograph: Yuri Kochetkov/AFP/Getty Images


Friday, October 23, 2009

Mark Cuban: I'm not so against steroids

Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban on the NBA's steroid policy:

"I'm not so against steroids," Cuban said, pausing to a roomful of laughter, "if it's administered under the proper supervision."


Well, here is another Wharton School alum being carted off by police. Why can't these guys stay out of trouble???

Yes, this is (former?) billionaire Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon Group, who allegedly is in big, big trouble. Our question is this: how fat is Raj??? 250, 300, 350, or 400 pounds??? He looks like he has eaten several Manhattan restaurants.

update: article

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eike Batista: the Brazillian billionaire hits another gusher

Brazilian Billionaire Strikes Oil
Keren Blankfeld, 10.07.09, 08:00 PM EDT
Eike Batista's OGX announces first discovery of crude in offshore field.

Some guys have all the luck. Take Eike Batista.

Forbes pegged Batista's fortune at $7.5 billion in March, placing him 61st on our list of the world's richest people. Today, he's worth more than $20 billion, courtesy of a 64% run-up in the stock of his oil and gas company, OGX Petroleo e Gas, as well as valuation gains in other holdings. And that was before he struck oil on Wednesday.

Forbes article

Think Billion$ article

Self help lessons for prospective billionaires

Wanna be a billionaire? Drop out and get your maths right

Want to become a tech titan or hedge fund tycoon? Up your chances by dropping out of college or going to Harvard and working at Goldman Sachs.

Are billionaires born or made? What are the common attributes among the uber-wealthy? Are there any true secrets of the self-made?


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch interviews Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on September 24, 2009.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

(former billionaire) Donald Trump cries Racism

Donald Trump Aide Accuses Scottish Councillor Of Racism
Telegraph(UK) | October 03rd 2009

Donald Trump Aide Accuses Scottish Councillor Of Racism

An aide to tycoon Donald Trump has accused Scottish councillor Sam Coull of making a racist remark after he was sent a letter mocking his New Jersey accent.

Mr Trump’s development director, George Sorial, said Mr Coull, a Peterhead councillor, had sent a letter on council-headed paper in which had written “Noo Joysee” instead of “New Jersey”.

Mr Sorial, who was born in the UK, said he was “insulted personally” and claimed it was racist.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bill Gates remains king of the billionaires

The winner, for the 16th straight year, as the richest man in the U.S.A. is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Congratulations, once gain, Bill.

Warren Buffett, second-richest, dropped $10 billion over the last from his personal balance sheet as shares of Berkshire Hathaway fell 20% in 12 months. He is now worth just $40 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 on The Forbes 400: Oracle founder Larry Ellison ($27 billion); Wal-Mart heirs Christy Walton ($21.5 billion), Jim C. Walton ($19.6 billion), Alice Walton ($19.3 billion), and S. Robson Walton ($19 billion); media maven Michael Bloomberg ($17.5 billion) and energy titans Charles and David Koch ($16 billion each).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Peter Thiel stays bearish on the markets

Clarium Capital is a well known "global macro" hedge fund, run by Peter Thiel. They have a great long term record which means they should be listened to, despite their recent short term performance.

The following articles seem to explain what is going on:

WSJ: Pessimism Exacts a Price on the Skeptics

WSJ: PayPal Co-Founder's Fund Struggles

Peter Thiel Profile

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tiger Woods, Billionaire

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, today’s $10 million purse for winning the Fed Ex Cup has brought Tiger Woods closer to crossing over the billion dollar threshold for career earnings. He’s still a ways off from the $6 billion that ESPN Magazine once predicted he’d net for his career, but still, not a bad haul, all things considered.

SBNation article

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Madeleine Pickens does not want to re-pot her plants!

Madeleine Pickens, the loving wife of oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, does not want to re-pot her plants in her beachfront California home.

So, she has filed a lawsuit against the city of Del Mar for $25,000. She claims Del Mar is violating her property rights.

Her neighbors complain they can't see the coastline.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

BIll Gates gets political

Normally, we here at Think Billions, we don't get involved in politics. We talk business and celebrity billionaires. Things like that.

Exception: last year we questioned Michael Bloomberg, the King/Mayor of New York City, and his incredibly insensitive treatment of pregnant women during his not so recent past.

So we find ourselves bending our reporting policy stance once again regarding politics in the interest of informing our fans and just plain fun.

The fun part is that - Bill Gates is running for political office! Yes, Bill Gates! But, not that Bill Gates. Bill Gates of Phoenix Arizona is running for Phoenix City Council. We will let you know how he does. And, no, he is not related to that Bill Gates.

Good luck to Bill Gates of Phoenix!


Bill Gates for Phoenix

Friday, September 18, 2009

Russian billionaire Prokhorov brings his game to the NBA

Mikhail Prokhorov may help fund the construction of an arena for the New Jersey Nets, a spokesman for the billionaire’s holding company said Thursday.

Prokhorov, Russia’s wealthiest man and an avid basketball fan, is considering funding the stadium after being approached by someone involved in building Barclays Center, which is planned to go up in Brooklyn, Onexim spokesman Igor Petrov told The Moscow Times.

“The possibility exists” that Prokhorov will participate in the project, Petrov said, declining to say how much he would contribute.

Though Barclays has never disclosed the cost of the project, reports have said the stadium’s construction will cost around $800 million.

Prokhorov was rumored to have been in talks with Nets management in July to acquire a piece of the franchise.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

TV billionaire Oprah Winfrey hits the ratings skids

Oprah Winfrey's reign as chat show queen may be coming to an end

After a year in which she angered Republicans and Hillary Clinton fans by backing Barack Obama, and infuriated Christian ones by promoting a New Age religion book, Winfrey has been punished by declining ratings which fell to a record low.

The average audience for The Oprah Winfrey Show fell under seven million last season – a seven per cent slip on the previous year and its fourth straight year of decline.

read:::full article

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lawrence Ellison wants Everybody to pay and pay and pay

Illustration by Jack Unruh, based on a photograph by Joe Pugliese/Corbisoutline


Oracle Extorting Its Corporate Customers?

Oracle has customers over a barrel

Mark, Dinos and the Dallas Mavericks

Separated at birth? Mark Cuban and Dinos Trigonis

see article and pictures

Friday, September 11, 2009

Russian billionaires: nyet on commodities, yes on golf

Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Oleg Deripaska isn’t letting $20 billion of debt handicap his golf game.

Like fellow Russian billionaires Roman Abramovich and Vladimir Potanin, the 41-year-old golf enthusiast amassed, and then lost billions of dollars on commodities. They now are turning to their hobbies as one way to help rebuild fortunes ravaged by Russia’s worst economic decline on record.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Of UFO's and Google billionaires

The UFO in today's Google logo that is grabbing onto the second “o” is not all that mysterious. And it is certainly more than a temporary PR tactic related to a cultural event, product announcement, or movie. It is just a reflection of the cosmic vision that has made Google founders multi-billionaires.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

The $8-billion Caribbean confidence game of Allen Stanford

Book review of the former Texas billionaire and accused Ponzi schemer and scammer, Allen Stanford:

ST CROIX, USVI -- Texas billionaire and accused Ponzi scammer, Allen Stanford, is the focus of a new book written by a former Stanford executive. Sir Allen & Me: An Insider’s Look at R Allen Stanford and the Island of Antigua peers into the private and business life of the flamboyant financier, whom the federal government claims operated a “massive” $8-billion confidence game from his bank in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.


Sir Allen & Me: An Insider's Look at R. Allen Stanford and the Island of Antigua

Friday, September 4, 2009

Football's Billionaires

Read all about Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys) and & friends and how they make and increase their respective net worth's in the pursuit of football and monetary excellence. Jerry Jones' football ROI??? (Return on investment net of debt): 865%.

Go. Fight. Win!

read::: Forbes article

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mark Cuban to Feds: Pay MY Damn Legal Fees

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wants the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay his legal fees stemming from the agency’s insider trading case against him.

In recent court filings, Mr. Cuban cites alleged misconduct by the governmental agency and requests that it be sanctioned for its “bad faith.”

The SEC will appeal the original case.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bill Gates' charity blows $258 million in India

[an excerpt] Gates announced the ten-year, $100 million Avahan during his much-publicized visit to the country in 2002. This was, and still is, the largest-ever initiative in India for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

[and then, it went south from there.....]

read:::Bill Gates' Indian Education

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Begging for Billionaires (the movie)

On the heels of screenings at film festivals in Minnesota, California and Texas; "Begging for Billionaires: The Attack on Property Rights in America" will debut in the Kansas City metro area where much of the film was shot. The once-time, public screening is 5:30 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 19 at the Glenwood Arts Theater, 9575 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan. Tickets are available on the festival’s Web site ( for $8.

“Kansas Citizens have heard about this project for years, and a lot of them are anxious to finally see it,” says Begging for Billionaires director Phil Klein. “We filmed for four years in Kansas City, St. Louis, Sugar Creek and Arnold, Missouri.” The Kansas City scenes depict family-owned businesses displaced by the controversial land grabs devised to clear space the Sprint Arena (still without a permanent tenant) and the privately-owned Power & Light District.

read:::full article

Friday, August 21, 2009

Book review: The Accidental Billionaires

A book review excerpt:

Witness The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding Of Facebook—A Tale Of Sex, Money, Genius, And Betrayal, Ben Mezrich’s attempt to cash in on the Facebook phenomenon...........Mining his Harvard background once again, he weaves the story of Facebook’s origins as an idea for a dating website—but exclusive to the campus, like the university’s elite social clubs—into a hyperbolic techno-capitalist romance novel, complete with faithless lovers, spurned suitors, and jilted spouses.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Harvard: #1 in billionaire alums

The Top Billionaire Universities

No. 1 Harvard University

Number of billionaire alumni: 54

Harvard has churned out more 10-figure titans than any other school on the planet (counting both undergraduate and graduate degrees). The school's roster of billionaire alumni includes Michael Bloomberg, Sumner Redstone, David Rockefeller, Sr. and William Randolph Hearst III.

No. 2 Stanford University

Number of billionaire alumni: 25
Stanford has the second-highest number of billionaire grads in the world, including Charles Schwab. Still, the Harvard of the West is probably better known for its billionaire dropouts. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page earned master's degrees in computer science from Stanford before leaving Stanford doctorate programs to start the famously profitable search engine. Another (very rich) quitter: Microsoft Chief Exec Steve Ballmer.

No. 3 University of Pennsylvania

Number of billionaire alumni: 18
Early last year, U. Penn had 27 billionaire graduates, thanks to its famous business school, Wharton. But the financial meltdown last year shaved off almost a third of that list, including hedge fund tycoon Peter Briger Jr. and money maven Marc Rowan. Amongst the school's remaining billionaire grads: Ronald and Leonard Lauder, and Michael Milken.

No. 4 Columbia University (tie)

Number of billionaire alumni: 16
Amongst Columbia's grads is affable billionaire Warren Buffett, the world's second-richest man. While studying in New York (class of 1951), the Berkshire Hathaway chief learned from value-investing legend Benjamin Graham. Other rich alum: Wal-Mart Chairman S. Robson Walton and Henry Kravis.

No. 4 Yale University (tie)

Number of billionaire alumni: 16
Yale is alma mater to a slew of billionaire clans, including the Mars chocolate fortune (Forrest Mars Jr. and John Mars) and Cargill agricultural fortune (Cargill MacMillan Jr. and Whitney MacMillan). Investor Eddie Lampert and Blackstone Group co-founder Stephen Schwarzman also graduated from Yale; both were members of the infamous secret society Skull & Bones.

Forbes article

Copyrighted, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

86 that T. Boone Pickens Wind Farm

Plans for the world's largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle have been scrapped, energy baron T. Boone Pickens said Tuesday, and he's looking for a home for 687 giant wind turbines. Pickens has already ordered the turbines, which can stand 400 feet tall—taller than most 30-story buildings.

CNBC article

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Carl Icahn wants more of Biogen

Billionaire investor Icahn targets Biogen Idec again

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is continuing to put pressure on Cambridge biotechnology giant Biogen Idec.

For the second year in a row, Icahn nominated several directors to sit on Biogen Idec's board. This year, he nominated directors to fill four of the board's 13 slots, the company announced this morning.

If successful, the slots would give Icahn a powerful platform to push for changes in the company, including a possible sale of the firm.

Boston Globe article

Friday, January 9, 2009

Billionaires and sports

Well, we have written about billionaires and sports from time to time here at Think Billion$.

So just today, we bumped into an interesting article about mostly NFL and NBA billionaires and how they got to where they are today. For instance, the NFL's Malcolm Glazer got started as an owner of Florida trailer parks.

read>>> How to be a billionaire sports team owner

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Billionaire Family Shares its Rules

The 3 Investing Rules of a Billionaire Family

James Tisch, the current CEO, recently discussed the guiding principles on which Loews was built in a Motley Fool article.

No, the first rule isn't to avoid giving money to Bernie Madoff.