” A record 290 newcomers joined the Forbes billionaires list in the last year as world markets defied international turmoil. While wars, diseases and currency crises made headlines, tycoons from every continent but Antarctica managed to mint new 10-figure fortunes.
Nearly 25% of this year’s first-time billionaires hail from China, which produced a world-leading 71 newcomers. The United States came in second, with 57, followed by India, with 28, and Germany, with 23.
The most famous rookie on the billionaires list? Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player of all time and indisputably the best-paid athlete of all time. Forbes first outed Jordan as a billionaire last June. Most of his cash comes from Nike payouts on his iconic brand. The Jordan brand grossed an estimated $2.25 billion in 2013, earning his Airness some $90 million. But his most valuable asset is his stake in the Charlotte Hornets, worth more than $500 million. When ex-Microsoft MSFT +0.07% CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for a stunning $2 billion, values of all NBA teams skyrocketed, creating three new billionaires. Jordan’s old boss Jerry Reinsdorf, owner of the Chicago Bulls, joined the list with a fortune of $1.3 billion, and Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander boosted his net worth to $1.6 billion.
Aside from Jordan, the Silicon Valley kids are the stars of the incoming class. Garrett Camp, Travis Kalanick and Ryan Graves, the trio of early Uber members, have seen plenty of bad publicity over the last year. India temporarily banned their service, Spain shut it down entirely, and an Uber executive brought on a torrent of criticism when he suggested digging up dirt on the personal lives of journalists. None of the news has scared away investors, who have put over $4 billion into the company already, valuing it at $41.2 billion. Camp and Kalanick are now worth an estimated $5.3 billion, and first-employee Graves is worth $1.4 billion.
Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk and Joe Gebbia, the three Airbnb creators, are also facing regulatory concerns, with their couch-crashing business coming up against legal issues in New York City. No matter: The company has 1 million listings for places to stay and is worth more than Hyatt Hotels. Each of the cofounders have $1.9 billion fortunes.
The youngest newcomers to the list are Bobby Murphy and Evan Spiegel, the Snapchat founders who brazenly turned down $3 billion in cash from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for their disappearing photo app in 2013. Smart move: Snapchat is now reportedly getting offers that would value the company at $19 billion, and Forbes estimates Murphy and Spiegel are worth $1.5 billion apiece.”
Read more at Forbes and see the entire list of new billionaires here . For some the Obama economy is booming , just not for us peons .