Meanwhile, back in the global economy ...

Henry C.K. Liu hliu at
Sat Apr 3 10:44:20 PST 1999

The Times of London - April 3 1999 BUSINESS NEWS

Dow surge brings incredible wealth for US super-rich



MILLIONS of Americans cheered as the Dow

Jones industrial average finished above 10,000

points for the first time. To the vast majority,

the climb from 9,000 just a year ago signified a

tidy boost to their savings.

For a few lucky Americans, however, the rise

has meant an accumulation of unbelievable


Take Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder and

chief executive. His personal wealth reached

$92 billion when the Dow finished

above 10,000 points this week. By the end of

the week, he was worth a further $1 billion.

That means that, for every hour of the past year

Mr Gates made about $4,566,000.

Michael Dell, who has built his computer

company into one of the most profitable in the

world, celebrated his 34th birthday in February.

Since his last birthday, his paper wealth roared

from $5.7 billion to just over $15 billion this


The $9 billion climb came despite a 30 per cent

fall in shares last October as the Asian crisis hit

shares and another fall recently amid concerns

over the prospects for computer sales.

Not all the rapidly increasing fortunes have been

among high-tech wizards. The widow and four

children of Sam Walton, who founded the chain

of Wal-Mart discount stores, watched as their

shares rocketed.

The family's stake in the 3,400-store chain lifted

in value from about $45 billion last April to $81

billion now. If they sold up and divided the

spoils, the children - all in their 50s - would get

more than $16 billion each. That would still

leave $16 billion for Mr Walton's widow, Helen.

A year ago, Jeff Bezos barely made it into the

billionaires' club, despite his 48 per cent stake in

the now-famous Internet book store,

Since then, Mr Bezos has aggressively built his

online retailer, which still makes huge losses,

into a giant Internet concern. After annual

growth of 1,038 per cent in's

shares, Mr Bezos was this week worth $13.2

billion on paper.

Mr Bezos beat America Online's founder, Steve

Case, to billionaire status but Mr Case's

company grew at a similar rate to

in the past year and is worth five times as much.

Mr Case, a former pizza-topping developer with

Pizza Hut, holds $2.4 billion worth of his

company's shares. His personal wealth has risen

from about $300 million last year.

At 29, one might think it was time for Jerry

Yang, officially titled Chief Yahoo at his

Internet search site company, to start getting

serious about his career. But, with a paper

fortune approaching $5 billion in Yahoo!, he can

afford to kid around as long as he likes. Yahoo's

value rose again this week as it paid $5.7 billion

for the Internet audio and video specialist,

Also riding the bull market in the technology

sector over the past year was one of the

industry's veterans, Larry Ellison, who founded

Oracle, the database software company, in


The 54-year-old's fortune rose from $6.6 billion

to $8.5 billion, although he was worth $13

billion just a few weeks ago. The fickle nature

of the booming stock market recently trimmed

Oracle's share price and stripped Mr Ellison of

billions in the process. *****************************************

My question is where did all the money come from? Why is this not inflation? Doug, at 36,000, just multiply the above numbers by 3.6 and remeber, it's tax free unless shares are sold. Meanwhile, minimum wage remains unchanged.


Doug Henwood wrote:

> Jordan Hayes wrote:
> >... of course this went to press before this week's spectacular rise
> >in AMZN to a closing price of 171 ... not so stupid afterall?
> Wow, that settles it!
> Holding my breath for 36,000,
> Doug

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