I was just finishing up some research on Oprah Winfrey for my book when I came across this startling little nugget from Forbes.com: Microsoft maven Bill Gates no longer is the richest person in the world. He's ceded the throne to über-investor Warren Buffett, after 13 gilded years at the top. Actually, he's slipped to number three, one notch below telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helú.
Before you go shedding any tears over Mr. Gates' fall from grace (or from the top of the Forbes list, at any rate), be sure to keep this tidbit in mind: the guy's still worth $58 billion, which is $2 billion more than he was worth this time last year. He's clearly not hurting.
And for those of you keeping track of the concentration of wealth, here's some depressing news. According to Forbes.com, there are 1,125 billionaires on the planet whose "total net worth...is $4.4 trillion, up $900 billion from last year." Yes, that's right--at a time when real wages are falling for the rest of us, the wealthiest people in the world got about 25% richer. So why not put that in your pipe and smoke it? They sure do.