In spite of (or because of?) his protestations last year, Forbes continues to insist that His Royal Highness is worth 50% less than the prince insists he is, thereby denying him his rightful place alongside (and preferably ahead of) Mark Zuckerberg (#21 with $28.5 billion). Instead, Alwaleed (#30 with $20.4 billion) has again been put with the losers who inherited the Mars candy fortune (numbers 31 with about $20 billion each), a few billion behind Carl Icahn (#25 with $24.5 billion) and George Soros (#26 with $23 billion).
The Private Office of His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Kingdom Holding Company announce that they have ended their long-standing relationship with the Forbes Billionaires List. The relationship was severed in a letter from His Royal Highness, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, to Mr. Steve Forbes the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, requesting that the Prince be removed from the list and informing Forbes that KHC officials would no longer work with the Forbes valuation teams. Prince Alwaleed has taken this step as he felt he could no longer participate in a process which resulted in the use of incorrect data and seemed designed to disadvantage Middle Eastern investors and institutions. [FT Alphaville, related]
Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, who started raising hens when he was nine years old, still owns poultry farms as part of his retailing and telecommunication empire. He also raises them for sport. “I never get bored of watching the elegant way they move and their beauty,” Dhanin said during a visit to Chachoengsao province in eastern Thailand in January. Cockfighting “isn’t a game that tortures the animal because chickens can’t be forced to fight. They fight when they want to fight. If they don’t want to fight, they walk away.” [Bloomberg]
By the time that Obama ran for President, in 2008, his relations with the financial industry had grown warmer, and he attracted more donations from Wall Street leaders than John McCain, his Republican opponent, did. Yet this good feeling did not last, despite the government’s bailout of the banking sector. Many financial titans felt that the President’s attitude toward the “one per cent” was insufficiently admiring, even hostile…When George Soros wanted to meet with Obama in Washington to discuss global economic problems, Obama’s staff failed to respond. Eventually, they arranged not a White House interview but, rather, a low-profile, private meeting in New York, when the President was in town for other business. Soros found this back-door treatment confounding. “He feels hurt,” a Democratic donor says. “They pissed on him,” a confidant says. “He didn’t want a fucking thing! He didn’t want a state dinner, or a White House party—he just wanted to be taken seriously.” [New Yorker]
Want To Get Your Body Ready For The Boardroom And The Beach? Strap A Saddle To Your Back And You’re Good To GoBy Bess Levin
Throughout the week, we’ve been exploring the workout regimens of various billionaires. George Soros gets his elliptical on at Sitaras Fitness, alongside fellow members like Jack Welch and former Amex chairman James D. Robinson III, who can leg-press 900 pounds). Paul Tudor Jones’s wife forces him to practice Ashtanga yoga, though he’s allowed to take the summer off. While the practitioners of these routines may have found them to be enjoyable and effective, they contain the rigor of lifting one’s hand to stuff another chip in one’s mouth when compared to the new workout regimen pioneered by Jesse Itzler, which, we’re calling it now, is poised to take the upper echelons of Wall Street by storm. Read more »
How Many More Billionaires Have To Die By Tainted Cat Before The Ultra-Rich Start Taking The Threat Of Poisoning Seriously?By Bess Levin
The sudden death of a billionaire in southern China is causing police to ask: Was it murder by cat meat? Long Liyuan, 49, died on Dec. 23 in wealthy Guangdong province after sharing a dish of slow boiled cat meat stew, a southern delicacy, with two men over a business lunch. One of the men, local official Huang Guang, was arrested by police on Friday on suspicion of poisoning the hotpot with a toxic herb. Police say Huang and Long had economic disputes. Huang, deputy director of agriculture in Guangdong’s Bajia township, is suspected of poisoning the hotpot with the herb Gelsemium elegans, according to a statement on the microblog of the investigating police. The poisonous plant is found in forests in parts of China…Long and Huang had met for lunch to discuss a business contract. Long, who ran a forestry company in Guangdong, wanted to lease a piece of woodland and develop it, the Nanfang Daily, the mouthpiece of the Guangdong Communist Party, reported Tuesday. They had eaten at the hotpot restaurant before, but this time the cat meat dish tasted a little different, the report said…Long, who ate more than the others, soon felt dizzy and sick and was taken to a hospital where he went into cardiac arrest and died, according to the Nanfang Daily. [AP]