How humiliating is it to be dropped off Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires? Just ask Jimmy Cayne and Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld. Cayne, who stepped down from Bear Stearns earlier this year, and Fuld, who it was just announced raked in a paltry $40 million in 2007, were notably absent from this year’s list, which was released yesterday. Does this mean they will be turned away from Steve Schwarzman’s next birthday party? Will it be like, I’m sorry, sirs. Only billionaires are allowed here? If that’s the case, it’s going to be a pretty small crowd, unless Schwarzie plans to hold his fiesta in Moscow. This year, the Russian capital eclipsed New York in the amount of billionaires per capita: We have only 71, with an average net worth of $3.3 billion each, whereas in Russia, 74 billionaires, with an average net worth of $5.9 billion each, are whooping it up with the caviar blini. So other than deadbeats Fuld and Cayne, who else is keeping us down?
Former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg and former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill, for starters, since the credit crunch has caused their stock to drop and their fortunes to dwindle to $1.9 and $1.4 billion, respectively. That’s practically pocket change to the guys who are keeping us afloat: industrialist David Koch ($17 bil), hostile-takeover king Carl Icahn ($14 bil), and Chanel head Gerard Wertheimer ($12.9 bil). Mayor Bloomberg, too, has a healthy $11.5 billion in his pocket, no doubt due in part to his ability to run for office without ever spending a cent. Ron Perelman has managed to hang on to $9.5 billion that Ellen Barkin will never see, and S.I. Newhouse edges out Rupert Murdoch, with $8.5 billion to Ol’ Soft Fingers’ $8.3. As for Schwarzman, he can lord over rival Henry Kravis for a while: He has $6.5 billion, while Kravis has only $5.5. Feud-happy real-estate scion Paul Milstein rounds out the list, coming in at $4.5 billion, after legal fees. Oh, and Donald Trump, who is worth around $3 billion, is also on the list. But he “doesn’t need more publicity,” an editor at Forbes rather awesomely told the Sun.