Monday, October 12, 2009

Didn't Make the Forbes 400. Again.

Just finished reading through the Forbes 400, the annual look at the Richest Americans. The one with Oprah, Warren Buffet, Jerry Jones and Sandy Weill on the cover, and the headline: "What a year! Fortunes Made. Fortunes Lost."

Here's something that didn't make the cover: I didn't make the Forbes 400. Again.

I think there might be some who would prefer not to be highlighted in such a list this year. It's too over the top when unemployment is up, when so many people have lost their homes, and when conspicuous consumption looks, well, tacky.

Actually, 32 people who made the list last year, didn't make it this year. I don't know how many of those decided this was a year not to make the list. (Could not being on the Forbes 400 be the new black this year?) An additional six didn't make the list because they had died. But that's going a bit too far, if you ask me.

It was a tough year for a lot of us, of course, but I don't know if I can say I had a better year than Warren Buffett, who lost $10 billion or about $1.1 million per hour. Kirk Kerkorian lost $8.2 billion ($940,000 per hour) while Bill Gates lost $7 billion ($800,000 per hour) -- so their losses pretty much eclipsed mine over the past year.

Yet I still didn't make the list in a year when what Forbes calls "the price of admission" dropped from a networth of
$1.3 billion to $950 million. That's a significant discount.

In 2007, there were 82 billionaires who didn't have enough to make the Fobres 400 -- the number 400 refers to the 400 guests who were invited to Mrs William Astor's grand ball in 1892. So making the Forbes 482 didn't really count. But this year, having a billion finally gets you something -- on the Forbes 400.

Still, I have never been closer this decade to making the Forbes 400. Just $951 million!

If there's any good news it's that I know my 2010 will be better than it will be for a couple of members of the Forbes 400:
  • Donald Fisher, founder of Gap, worth $1.3 billion, recently died, so he won't be on the 2010 list.
  • R. Allen Stanford, who made the list in 2008, has been arrested on charges alleging he committed a $7 billion fraud.
But I'm a bit bummed by the Sept./Oct. quintuple whammy.

  1. I covered not making the Forbes 400.
  2. I wasn't named a MacArthur Genius this year, either. (Are they saying my blog posts and tweets are not pure genius?)
  3. I wasn't nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Just because I can't sing?)
  4. I did not win an Emmy. (The Academy didn't even recognize my work with a nomination!)
  5. And I did not win a Nobel.
I just hope the rest of the year doesn't suck as much as the last 45 days.

Perhaps they won't: I've just an email (actually about 100 of 'em, so it must be true) that I can be nonimated for the degree I want: Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate. So perhaps things are turning up.

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