As you were struggling to recover from the recession that started in 2008, you might have been worried about how the top 10 world billionaires were faring. But rest easy; Forbes magazine, which ranks the world's richest people every year, reported in 2010 that most of the top 10 world billionaires had significantly increased their worth.
- Carlos Slim Helu, the Mexican businessman known for lending the struggling New York Times $250 million in 2009, tops the 2010 list. One of his biggest holdings is the telecom company America Movil, whose shares increased in value by 35 percent in one year. At the time the list was written, he was worth $53.5 billion, a 53 percent increase over the previous year.
- Poor Bill Gates. The top world billionaire for fourteen out of fifteen years was deposed and now trails in second place with a worth of $53 million. Microsoft's cofounder saw his holdings rise by $13 billion in the year leading up to the billionaire list.
- When everyone else was panicking about Goldman Sachs and General Electric, Warren Buffet was investing. Thanks to these prudent financial moves, his fortune increased by 27 percent to $47 billion.
- Mukesh Ambani takes fourth place with a net worth of $29 billion. This Indian is involved mostly in petrochemicals, oil and gas, particularly Reliance Industries, the biggest company in India. He also owns a cricket team.
- Lakshmi Mittal, an Indian living in London, is head of the world's biggest steel producer, ArcelorMittal. Despite the company's huge drop in profits in 2009, Mittal still ranks among the top ten world billionaires with a fortune of $28.7 billion.
- Lawrence Ellison's baby, Oracle, had a 70 percent increase in share prices in the year before the Forbes list. The Californian records a fortune of $28 billion.
- Bernard Arnault is the very rich Frenchman who isn't married to Salma Hayek. As the boss at LVMH, whose luxury brands thrived during the recession, he's worth $27.5 billion.
- Eike Batista has said he wants to be the world's richest man; so far, he has to settle for being the richest in South America. This Brazilian entrepreneur in oil and gas has assets worth $27 billion.
- The main source of Amancio Ortega's $25 billion is Inditex, a huge company that is the parent of numerous brands including Zara and Stradivarius. The Spaniard is looking to expand in untapped markets, signing a joint venture last year with a subsidiary of one of the biggest conglomerates in India, Tata Group.
- The bottom of the list of the top ten world billionaires really isn't a bad place to be. Ask Karl Albrecht, the owner of the huge German supermarket company Aldi Sud. His $23.5 billion probably helps soothe the bite of being in tenth place.
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