There’s a lot to see in the Forbes 400. Four hundred things, as it happens. Most of these things are names and numbers and little up or down arrows indicating whether that number got bigger or smaller over the past 12 months. One of them, however, is an exclamation point. A joyous exhalation of victory. A further data point, as if one were needed, that one of the signature events of our time is not only real, but spectacular.
You won’t find it at the top of the list, among the Bezoses and former Bezoses and Buffetts. It’s not that the Medallion fund continues to provide Jim Simons with a very comfortable retirement, indeed, or that the coronavirus pandemic has been a $2 billion pain for Ray Dalio. Nor is it that Ken Griffin is $2.3 billion richer, and richer than Steve Cohen at that, or that Carl Icahn, his COVID jollies notwithstanding, is $3.6 billion poorer.
Indeed, you’ll have to scroll past a lot of familiar names and fortunes: Chase Coleman’s is up by more than 50%, Revlon-owner Ron Perelman’s is down by $1.5 billion, Stan Druckenmiller has built a perfect parabolic curve over the last five years, Dan Loeb managed not to lose money last year, and Leon Cooperman is not taking retirement well. You’ll have to go beyond even Forbes’ latest lie about the dear leader, implying the Trump presidency has been even worse for the Trump business than Trump leading it was. You’ll have to go all the way to the bottom, to the 10-way tie for last place. Paupers, you might say, with a mere $2.1 billion apiece. Names you needn’t remember like Peter Thiel’s, because they won’t even be here next year. And perhaps that’s true. But among those names, for the first time since 2015, is one Bill Ackman, a man who just over a year ago was dangerously close to not even being a billionaire anymore. Yes, Virginia: The Ackmanaissance is very real, and poised to power its namesake straight up the Forbes 400 in the years to come.
The Forbes 400 [Forbes]