As the global media industry struggles around the world, many commentators have expressed concern that a weak media might allow the influence of the wealthy to grow unchecked and investigated.
But in one area of the media at least, the opposite seems to be true. As the rich get richer and more powerful, the number of rich lists produced around the world is also on the rise.
The heaviest hitter to enter this market is Bloomberg, the financial data and publishing giant which is itself owned by a billionaire, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last week the company released its first 200-person rich list, which will be the cover story in the December issue of its Bloomberg Markets magazine.
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The list is seen as a great rival to the annual list produced by Forbes magazine. While Forbes tries to find every billionaire in the world, it is not surprising that there are plenty of similarities among the top 200 names on both lists, including:
- Carlos Slim is on top of both lists, with Bill Gates a distant second.
- Retailers dominate both lists, with members of the Walton family (the owners of the Walmart empire) featuring prominently in the top 15.
- Gina Rinehart is the richest Australian on the list with a fortune of $19.1 billion, down 5.4% this year according to Bloomberg.
- Ivan Glasenberg is the other Australian citizen on the list. The chief executive of commodities trading giant Glencore has a fortune of $6 billion, down 9.6% during the year.
But as well as similarities, there are some differences too.
One of the most notable is that Michael Bloomberg – who appears on the Forbes list with a fortune of $25 billion, is missing from the Bloomberg list; the company says it will not put its owner on its list. That said, Forbes magazine owner Steve Forbes does not appear on the Forbes list, despite regularly appearing as a billionaire.
The other notable differences are Bloomberg’s inclusion of two female billionaires who have not appeared before on the Forbes list. With a combined fortune of more than $25 billion, let’s meet the two newest additions to the ranks of the global female billionaire club.
Brazil’s ageless empire builder
If you’ve never heard of Brazilian billionaire Dirce Navarro de Camargo, don’t worry – it appears that even in her homeland she is one of the more discreet industrialists you are likely to come across. Bloomberg has been unable to locate her birth date, so at this stage at least even her age is unknown.
But her empire is vast and impressive. Her Sao Paulo-based conglomerate Camargo Correa, generates annual revenue of $8.6 billion and has interests in everything from electricity, construction, cement and the company behind the world-famous Havaianas thongs.
Bloomberg puts her fortune at a stunning $US13.1 billion, making her the 60th richest person in the world according to its new list.
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