All the Money in the World: How the Forbes 400 Make--and Spend--Their Fortunes
Published to coincide with the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Forbes 400, All the Money in the World, the work of a team of prominent editors and business writers, goes behind the celebrated list to paint a vivid and revealing portrait of the wealthiest Americans of the past quarter century. Abundantly anecdotal, with insights gleaned from original research, interviews with Forbes 400 members, and never-before-compiled data, it is filled with illuminating “infographics”—tables, sidebars, factoids. The book shows how the superrich succeed, how fortunes are made in various industries, and how, once made, they are saved, enhanced, and sometimes squandered.
From Wall Street to the West Coast, from blue-collar billionaires to blue-blood fortunes, from the Google guys to hedge fund honchos, All the Money in the World gives us the lowdown on, among other things: the all-time richest Americans, who made and lost the most money in the past twenty-five years, the fields and industries that have produced the greatest wealth, the biggest risk takers, the most competitive players, the most wasteful family feuds, the trophy wives, the most conspicuous consumers, the biggest art collectors, the most and least generous philanthropists.
Produced in collaboration with Forbes magazine, All the Money in the World is a vastly entertaining, behind-the-scenes look at today’s Big Rich, a subject of enduring fascination to all Americans.
Seattle—and with fewer than eight hundred students in grades 5 to 12—is the clear winner. Bill Gates and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen (2006 combined net worth: $69 billion), its two most famous grads, got their start at the school on a computer provided partly by Lakeside’s Mothers’ Association. A 1968 grad, Craig McCaw (2006 net worth: $2.1 billion), subsequently turned a family business into a cell-phone empire before selling it to AT&T. And the Pigott family (1995 net worth: $777 million),
Mayo, simply “mitigates risks and opens doors.” Google CEO Eric Schmidt (2006 net worth: $5.2 billion) adds another beneﬁt to that mix. He believes that the United States’ high-tech economy demands the type of technical skills acquired through advanced education. “Intelligence and drive have always been basic requirements for success in this country,” he has said. “What’s 1983 different today is that it’s getting harder from the pages of Forbes to succeed if you are not extremely well Lamar Hunt,
represented 2.8 percent of the GDP. By 2006 that ﬁgure had risen to 9.5 percent. (The percentage actually reached 12.2 percent of the GDP in 2000, during the Internet boom.) More generally, in 2005 the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans claimed a percentage of the national income not equaled since 1928. Only the Gilded Age, the period from the Civil War to the 1890s, and the 1920s can withstand comparison to the last twenty-ﬁve years in terms of wealth accumulation. For many people (not least,
Twelve families who possess “old money”—bearing names such as Du Pont, Ford, Frick, Rockefeller, Harriman, Hunt, Hearst, and Whitney—represented 21.4 percent of the list in 1982. They had declined to 1.7 percent in 2006. In addition to the departing Du Ponts, there is only 1 Mellon (down from 6 in 1982), and only David Rockefeller remains to represent his clan (down from 14 in 1982). Inherited money is, as a rule, not invested particularly well and dwindles over generations, as more heirs make
state pension funds and big endowments before anyone else,” says a Wall Street insider, “and said, ‘We can get you outsize returns.’ ” Rather than 8 percent from blue-chip stocks and 3 to 4 percent from bonds (pension funds’ usual returns), Kohlberg, Kravis, and Roberts had a track record of 30 to 40 percent returns by the early 1980s. At ﬁrst KKR had ground out small margins with gritty manufacturing companies. But in 1979, after its ﬁrst LBO of New York Stock Exchange company Houdaille