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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    David Einhorn

    Gracing this year's Forbes 400, the magazine's annual list of the richest Americans, are thirty hedge fund managers. 

    The newcomers to the rich list include hedge fund hot-shots Chase Coleman, Dan Loeb, David Einhorn and Paul Singer.

    Meanwhile, Phil Falcone, the founder of Harbinger Capital, has dropped off the list.  Last year, Falcone's estimated net-worth was $2.2 billion and now it's $1.05 billion

    We've combed through the Forbes 400 and have included the richest hedge funders in America.  

    Paul Singer

    Rank: 392

    Net-worth: $1.1 billion

    Age: 67

    Hedge Fund: Elliott Management

    Source: Forbes 400

    Henry Swieca

    Rank: 360

    Net-worth: $1.2 billion

    Age: 55

    Hedge Fund: Talpion Fund Management

    Source: Forbes 400

    Stephen Mandel Jr.

    Rank: 360

    Net-worth: $1.2 billion

    Age: 56

    Hedge Fund: Lone Pine Capital

    Source: Forbes 400

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    LeFrakForbes has revealed its highly anticipated list of the 400 Richest People in America.

    While law school grads certainly face a bleak future these days, many of the 400 wealthiest Americans do hold law degrees.

    But these wealthy law grads are not practicing law for the most part.

    15. David Rubenstein

    Co-CEO and co-founder of the Carlyle Group

    Forbes Rank: 250

    Net Worth: $1.9 billion

    Education: J.D., University of Chicago; B.A./B.S., Duke


    14. Michael Jaharis

    Founder of Kos Pharmaceuticals

    Forbes Rank: 250

    Net Worth: $1.9 billion

    Education: J.D., DePaul University; B.A., Carroll College Wisconsin


    13. Neil Bluhm

    Real estate and casino magnate

    Forbes Rank: 229

    Net Worth: $2.1 billion

    Education: J.D., Northwestern; B.A., University of Illinois at Urbana


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Forbes released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans today, and while there are familiar faces at the top, some billionaires had better years than others.

    We combed the list to see which billionaires on this year's list had the biggest gains and losses since September 2011.

    Biggest Losers:

    1. Mark Zuckerberg (-$8.1 billion) The Facebook founder and CEO saw his initial IPO fail, causing a massive loss in his fortune.

    2. John Paulson (-$4.5 billion) Double-digit losses at his firm has caused his hedge fund to lose a whopping $14 billion in assets.

    3. George Soros (-$3 billion) The hedge fund magnate saw a slight dip in production, but his charitable donations account for a majority of the drop-off.

    4. Harold Simmons (-$2.2 billion) His Valhi holdings company dropped 30 percent in value over the last year, costing him dearly.

    5. Anne Cox Chambers (-$1.3 billion) The media empress saw her net worth decline in part because of a decline in her public competitors.

    6. Mark Pincus (-$1.24 billion) The CEO of Zynga fell completely out of the Forbes 400 because of the decline of his company's games and the Facebook IPO flop.

    7. Philip Falcone (-$1.1 billion) The CEO of Harbinger Capital dropped out of the Forbes 400 in part due to an SEC investigation into his company.

    8. Robert Stiller (-$1.05 billion) The innovator behind Green Mountain Coffee was forced to liquidate many of his shares in the company, reducing his net worth to roughly $250 million.

    9. Sheldon Adelson (-$1 billion) Shares in his Las Vegas Sands casino decreased, causing the billion dollar loss.

    10. Sam Zell (-$900 million) A lowered estimate of the value of Zell's Equity International stake caused the decrease in estimated net worth.

    And now the gainers ...

    Biggest Winners:

    1. Larry Ellison (+$8 billion) The Oracle CEO has seen his company's stock increase by 20 percent since August 2011.

    2. Bill Gates (+$7 billion) Despite giving away billions, Microsoft's 20 percent bump in shares over the last year and Gates' private investments have led to the monetary gain.

    3. Warren Buffett (+$7 billion) Buffett is another billionaire who's seen his company's (Berkshire Hathaway) shares go up 20 percent over the last year.

    4. Charles Koch (+$6 billion) A rise in revenues for his chemical and Georgia Pacific properties greatly increased his net worth.

    5. David Koch (+$6 billion) Like his brother, the earnings made by Koch Industries ballooned his worth.

    6. Jim Walton (+$5.7 billion) An heir to the Walmart fortune, that company's growth and his role as the CEO of Arvest Bank contributed to his gains.

    7. S. Robson Walton (+$5.6 billion) Walmart's board chairman has received over $420 million in dividends alone over the last year.

    8. Michael Bloomberg (+$5.5 billion) When he's not busy being mayor of New York City, Bloomberg's eponymous company saw its earnings go up 20 percent since 2011.

    9. Alice Walton (+$5.4 billion) She also benefits from the Walmart empire, but her donations to a new art museum ensured she'd only be ninth on the list.

    10. Jeff Bezos (+$4.1 billion) The Amazon founder and CEO saw his company register over $48 billion in 2011 sales.

    Now meet the 10 wealthiest people in America >

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    tamara ecclestoneWith her £1 million bathtub and 100 (and counting) pairs of shoes, Tamara Ecclestone seems to want for nothing – well, nothing except the love of an honest man. Nigel Farndale meets an heiress in search of her happy-ever-after.

    Before I meet Tamara Ecclestone, I meet her dog, a small and, as it turns out, territorial long-haired chihuahua.

    He has tracked me down to her upstairs sitting-room in Chelsea and is yapping at me in a determined yet unintimidating fashion.

    I am waiting here while Ecclestone is downstairs finishing our photo-shoot. There are jars of sweets and novels on the shelves that are decidedly more chick than lit: Louise Bagshawe, Jodi Picoult and so on.

    On the coffee table are piles of Hello! magazine and Grazia. And taking up the whole of one wall, more or less, is a giant television.

    All this evidence of an unserious life is fair enough, because she is only 28, and she did drop out of university, twice.

    There are also dozens of framed photographs, mostly of Tamara with her mother, Slavica, and sister, Petra; Tamara with her father, Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One mogul; and Tamara with her boyfriend, a stockbroker called Omar (I know, I know, he’s not her boyfriend anymore. But the first part of this interview happens before all that business with him).

    Some are just of Tamara – which may or may not be odd, I can’t decide. After all, she does do a bit of modelling – push-up bras mostly – so perhaps such apparent vanity is not so unusual.

    A swimming-pool runs along one side of the room separated by a glass wall, which, compared with the £1 million crystal bath and the bowling alley she is having installed in her new £45 million house in Kensington Palace Gardens, doesn’t seem so decadent.

    When I head downstairs past some of her art collection – which includes pieces by Sam Taylor-Wood, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst – I find her in a long room next to her cinema.

    She is wearing jeans, has a Chelsea blow-dry and is friendly, polite and open. She is also slightly breathless and punctuates her sentences with a short clipped laugh, which could indicate a certain nervousness.

    She has that Sloaney 'like, totally’ way of talking and she raises her intonation at the end of statements to make them sound like questions? She is a little insecure, I find myself suspecting.

    Her father wasn’t wild about her reality show, Billion $$ Girl, on Channel 5 last year. At one point our heroine was rushed to hospital because she had a pimple.

    Was that self-parody? 'People don’t get my sense of humour. I knew it wasn’t a medical emergency, but the flip side of that is that I had bad skin growing up, and when one surfaces I’m, like, s—!

    'There was a time in my life where I didn’t even want to look at people because, like, I’d think that was all they could see. I didn’t feel confident and that’s not a nice feeling.’

    None the less, '[My father] told me that I would never change people’s perceptions of me. Somewhat annoyingly, he knew best. At the end of the day I’m not a bad person; I don’t hurt anyone. It didn’t reflect my personality.’

    Talk me through this personality then, I say. How would she describe herself?

    'I think I’m a very loyal friend, I think I’m honest and down to earth, I’m very true to my star sign because I’m a Cancerian and I’m a home body. My sister would say I’m a feeder because I like cooking for people. Sometimes I couldn’t be happier than with Chinese [food] in front of The X Factor.’

    When I ask her if she enjoys being photographed she says, 'I do enjoy it, but I am impatient with all the hair and make-up. I’m the sort of person who takes a camera to dinner or a nightclub because I enjoy taking pictures of people. I tweet all my pictures, which is bad.’

    Is she relaxed about others tweeting photographs of her? 'It is bizarre when it happens, like when we were on holiday in the Maldives and these photos appeared online of me on the beach bending over in my bikini. You feel a bit violated.’

    She doesn’t seem to mind being photographed in her underwear for modelling assignments, though. 'Well, when I pose for those I’ve always been on a diet and in the gym. And you are in control of those pictures. You can say, “Stop, I don’t feel comfortable with that.”’

    Well, at least there hasn’t been a sex tape of her going viral on the internet, à la Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton.

    'No. There will be no sex tape,’ she says. 'I don’t think it could happen to me because I trust the people I am with. I trust my boyfriend implicitly. If you are famous you must take extra precautions and not put yourself in a situation.’

    A few days after my interview Tamara Ecclestone is summoned to her father’s office where he shows her a video of her boyfriend in a 'sordid sex act’.

    Omar maintains that it was a one-off event at a stag do before they knew each other but Ecclestone insists she can see the two £30,000 Cartier love bangles she’d bought him on his wrist.

    She breaks up with him. Tweets about how she has broken up with him. Changes the locks on their gated house in Chelsea. Heads off to LA to stay with her sister, Petra.

    I’m sorry to hear about Omar, I say when I call her.

    'It was a really grim time. I’ve been mortified for my parents. They were both there and we looked on a laptop. I think it was better to find out now rather than a few years down the road when we had children.’

    A lucky escape. 'I suppose. I spent three and half years with someone and feel like I hardly knew him at all.’

    At our original meeting she said, 'If you burn me once, that’s it. I don’t believe in going back and giving people second chances, because I put so much into my relationship and friendships.’

    Her first boyfriend sold a story to the papers when she was 17. Has all this left her cynical about men?

    'I still believe there is someone out there. I do believe in happy-ever-after.’

    So she’s a romantic? 'Yes, even with my parents divorced, they were so happy for many years, and my sister recently got married and had a beautiful wedding, so I do believe in happy-ever-after.’

    She has a number of dogs. In her reality show she took them to be pampered at Harrods. Is it true the new house will have a dog spa?

    'No, and they haven’t been back to Harrods since. They were so unruly.’

    But, she says, 'they don’t require much in return for their love, apart from a bit of chicken.’ Pause. 'I need to cut Duke’s balls off [he’s the chihuahua I met]. But you can now get fake balls for dogs, cosmetic ones, so I’m going to get him those so he doesn’t feel emasculated.’

    So now that she no longer goes to the dog spa, what does her typical day entail?

    'Since January a lot of my time has been spent organising the Great Ormond Street party that has just been. And I’m launching my hair care [range] in November. So it’s charity and hair care this year.’

    And there’s her website,, on which she auctions three items of clothing for Great Ormond Street every 10 days. She seems to have a lot of spare stuff. 'Girls love to shop!’

    Indeed. How many shoes are we on at the moment? 'I don’t know, over a hundred, I guess, which is absurd, according to my mum.’

    Does she get tired of being labelled an heiress first, I say, rather than a charity organiser or a model.

    'Yes, and it really bothered me for the longest time. I wanted to change it and be my own person but now I’m OK with it. I could be lying around doing nothing all day but that’s not me.

    'For a while I was, like, “Why do people always want to judge me and put me in a box?” But I’m over that.’

    Presumably she is talking about the time an Australian politician called her 'pointless and stupid’ (he was lashing out about the cost to taxpayers of the Melbourne Grand Prix).

    'Yeah, that was bizarre. He used this word I’d never heard before, “bogan.” What’s a bogan? That seemed a low blow and really unnecessary. Why the hell was he watching my show?’

    She got good A-levels and a place at university, but then, well, 'I dropped out because I never really wanted to go anyway. I did a year reading psychology at UCL but it was all about statistics, which I didn’t like.

    'My parents said I couldn’t bum around so I went to work at Armani and then I started a social policy and sociology degree at the LSE, but I was, like, so desperate to leave. I did a year at both.’

    Hmm, psychology. Has she ever been to a therapist?

    'Yes, when my parents got divorced, but it wasn’t for me. They didn’t say anything; they just listened.’

    That’s what they are supposed to do! 'Yes, but I could have been talking to one of my dogs and saving myself the money. I'm a talker. I talk to everyone. But I wanted answers. I could find the answers myself in the bath, or running round the park.’

    She wouldn’t describe herself as contemplative, then? 'Sometimes it’s best not to be. Sometimes it’s good not to over-think things.’

    It has been reported that her father is worth about £2.5 billion. Is that about right? 'I don’t know. I don’t think so.’ So is it more or less? 'I don’t know. I don’t really like talking about money.’

    Is she a reader? 'I’ve just finished reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.’

    Shame on her! 'I know, but it was great. I don’t know what to do with myself now. It made my life sound so dull. I thought: really? This is what other people’s relationships are like?’

    And as to her own happy-ever-after? You wouldn’t imagine that a lingerie model who drives a Ferrari, is smart enough to be offered a place at the LSE and lives in a house worth £45 million would struggle to find a new suitor.

    But perhaps that is me being cynical. Ecclestone seems to have a kind and guileless nature and is surprisingly unaffected by her wealth, all things considered.

    And just because you are rich it doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt. I hope she does find the right man and lives happily ever after, like one of the heroines in those novels she likes to read.

    Now meet the hottest billionaire offspring >

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    yuan renminbi

    EACH year around this time, the Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based luxury publishing and events group, releases its compiled list of China’s wealthiest people. The report not only satisfies the prurient interest of those fascinated with the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but also reflects important trends underlying success and failure in the world of Chinese business.

    The latest edition, “China’s Rich List 2012”, released September 24th, was no exception. It revealed that a drinks tycoon, Zong Qinghong of the Wahaha Group, regained the top spot he had occupied in 2010 but lost last year. With wealth reported to be equal in value to $12.6 billion this year, Mr Zong finished well ahead of his closest rival, Wang Jianlin of the Dalian Wanda Group, a property developer and operator of cinemas. Mr Wang, poor chap, is worth a mere $10.3 billion.

    With its elaborate itemisations and cross-referenced information, the report includes a wide range of intriguing titbits, beyond the crude headline figures. Perhaps most significant is the fact that manufacturing has usurped the property sector as the leading source of wealth for the 1,000 people listed. Most surprising might be that, for the first time since 2005, the number of dollar-billionaires in China has declined, dropping by 20 in the past year, to a total of 251. Nearly half the people who made the list this time round did so despite losing wealth in the past year—including 37 who saw their wealth cut in half.

    Some of the trivia are eye-catching too. Observe that a media entrepreneur, Yang Lan, and Pan Shiyi, a property developer, are the most popular microbloggers on the list, with more than 10m followers each. Or that seven of the list’s members have been named as delegates to the upcoming 18th Communist Party Congress. Or that there were significant differentials correlated to different birth signs in the Chinese zodiac. Those born in the year of the rabbit accounted for 12.8% of the list’s members. With only 6% representation, those born in the year of the ox finished last. According to Hurun, rabbits have dominated the list almost every year since its inception in 1999. Jump for joy if you were born in any of the Chinese years that began in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 itself, or even last year, for that matter.

    It may be a blessing to have the kind of money it takes to make the grade. But some also consider it a curse. This is not a new idea. In a 2009 novel, “The Curse of Forbes”, Wang Gang described the problems likely to befall anyone in China who ends up on the China Forbes List, a competitor to Hurun’s. These include extra scrutiny not just from tax collectors but also from anti-corruption regulators and from the public at large. “If you get onto the Forbes list, you’ll be dead meat in no time,” his protagonist predicts.

    A new academic study provides a more methodological look at the same issue, and comes to a similar conclusion, albeit in more measured language. In “The Price of Being a Billionaire in China: Evidence Based on Hurun Rich List”, several scholars, Oliver Rui, Xianjie He and Xiao Tusheng, found that among the listed companies that are controlled by entrepreneurs whose names appear on the Hurun list, share values dropped significantly within three years.

    Basing their analysis on the 1999-2007 editions of the Hurun list, the authors observed that both the individuals and the companies they controlled came in for greater governmental scrutiny. Government subsidies to companies affiliated with the people on the Hurun list declined. The companies also had a higher tendency to engage in negative earnings management, to conceal their profits.

    “Investors in China,” the authors concluded, “regard entrepreneurs being included on the Rich List as bad news.”

    There is worse news still for the entrepreneurs themselves. According to the these scholars, the proportion of those who are charged, investigated or arrested after appearing on the Rich List stands at 16.95%, compared to only 6.84% of other, non-Rich-Listed entrepreneurs, over the same period.

    Now see who made this year's China 'Rich List' >

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    Zong Qinghou

    It was a rough year for China's richest individuals, who collectively saw their wealth shrink in a year when the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 23 percent.

    According to the brand new 2012 HuRun Rich List, 469 of China's 1,000 wealthiest people saw their wealth decrease, while just 291 saw their wealth increase. And there were just 251 billionaires (in U.S. dollars) on this year's list, 20 fewer than there were last year.

    The average wealth of the 1,000 wealthiest people in China was $860 million, down 9 percent from the previous year. But to put that in perspective, the average wealth was still nearly double what it was in 2008.

    For the first time in 13 years, manufacturing topped property as the key source of wealth.

    And one other notable observation from HuRunpeople born in the Year of the Rabbit make the best entrepreneurs. A full 12.8 percent of people on this year's Rich List were born in the Year of the Rabbit, outnumbering people born in the Years of the Pig and Ox combined.

    #11 Yang Huiyan is worth $5.2 billion

    Change from 2011: -$.4 billion

    How she made her fortune: Yang, one of the richest woman in China, is the majority shareholder in Country Garden Holdings, a property development firm based in Guangdong province. The value of the company dropped slightly in the past year, decreasing Yang's wealth.

    She graduated Ohio State University in 2003.

    Source: HuRun Report

    #10 Chen Lihua is worth $5.4 billion

    Change from 2011: n/a

    How she made her fortune: The 71-year-old, a self-made millionaire, founded Fu Wah International group, a firm that owns commercial property in Beijing.

    Source: HuRun Report

    #9 Xu Jiayin is worth $5.5 billion

    Change from 2011: -$1.7 billion

    How he made his fortune: Jiayin, of Evergrande Property, fell four places on HuRun's rich list this year after a drop in his company's share price.

    The company is one of the 10 largest developers in mainland China.

    Source: HuRun Report

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Top Emerging Philanthropists

    Not every billionaire is a Scrooge—just think of Andrew Carnegie or Bill Gates.

    And while some of the 1% still aren't prepared to part with chunks of their massive wealth, there is a growing rank of the richest people in the world who are.

    Wealth-Xa wealth intelligence firm—has just released a list of billionaire philanthropists from around the globe who are bound to be the next legendary givers to rival even Carnegie or Gates.

    These charitable tycoons come from all different industries, including oil, retail, manufacturing, banking, real estate, and pharmaceuticals. They also hail from all around the globe, and together have a net worth just shy of $70 billion.

    #20 Indu Jain, India

    Net worth: $2.2 billion

    % annual income given to charity*: 0.13%

    Jain is the current Chairperson of India's largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., which owns the Times of India and other large newspapers.

    She is the founder and President of the Times Foundation, which gives primarily to educational causes.

    *Annual average based on the last 3 1/2 years

    Source: Wealth-X

    #19 Philip Niarchos, Greece

    Net worth: $2.6 billion

    % annual income given to charity*: 0.30%

    Philip Niarchos is the son of Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos.

    He is the Co-President and member of the Board of Directors at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation; a member of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; and an International Council Member of London's Tate Gallery.

    *Annual average based on the last 3 1/2 years

    Source: Wealth-X

    #18 Solomon Lew, Australia

    Net worth: $1.2 billion

    % annual income given to charity*: 0.32%

    Lew is an Australian businessman who is the Chairman of Premier Investments, which primarily deals with importing apparel, toys, and other retail goods from China.

    He donates largely to art and healthcare causes, and he and his wife are huge supporters of Opera Australia.

    *Annual average based on the last 3 1/2 years

    Source: Wealth-X

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    hong kong

    One of Hong Kong's wealthiest men has placed a "marriage bounty" on his lesbian daughter's head, offering nearly £40 million to the man who successfully woos her.

    Property magnate Cecil Chao Sze-tsung announced the HK$500 million reward this week after reports that his 33-year-old daughter Gigi Chao, a University of Manchester graduate, had married her long-term female partner in France.

    "I don't mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted," Mr Chao told the South China Morning Post, describing reports about his daughter's marriage as "false".

    The extravagant tycoon's offer blended Blind Date and The Apprentice with Mr Chao claiming he hoped to help the successful suitor kick-start a business.

    He told the South China Morning Post the prize money was "an inducement to attract someone who has the talent but not the capital to start his own business".

    "Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work," he added.

    According to the report however, Ms Chao married Sean Eav, her girlfriend of seven years, in France on April 4.

    A photograph posted on Ms Chao's public Facebook page confirmed that she and her partner were Paris-bound in April this year. "Going to Paris to buy a few businesses," read the caption to a picture apparently taken in the first class section of a plane.

    The Facebook profile of Ms Chao, who is a University of Manchester architecture graduate, reads: "Helicopter Pilot. Social entrepreneur. Creator of expressions in colour and emotion."

    It also describes her as an executive director at her father's Hong Kong-based property firm, Cheuk Nang.

    Ms Chao's LinkedIn profile says she worked with British architect Sir Terry Farrell for two years.

    Mr Chao's controversial move to recruit a husband for his lesbian daughter appeared to contradict a description Ms Chao gave of her father in a 2007 interview.

    "My father took a hands-off approach in parenting. I see him as a friend more than a father," she told HK Magazine. "My parents never pressure me with high expectations."

    Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Mr Chao denied he would force his daughter to marry a man against her will.

    But comments posted on the website of the Hong Kong newspaper were widely hostile to his "marriage bounty".

    "How humiliating for this poor girl," wrote one reader. "Mr Chao needs to come out of denial and just be happy that he has such a beautiful daughter who appears to have found happiness with a partner whom she loves.

    "Cecil, you sound like you're selling your daughter," commented another.

    "Get with the times."

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    gigi chao

    The gay daughter of one of the richest men in Hong Kong has laughed off her father's plan to offer nearly £40 million to any man who can charm her into a heterosexual marriage.

    Gigi Chao, 33, said she thought the HKD500 million (£39.8 million) offer was "quite entertaining". She told the South China Morning Post: "He [her father] has an interesting interpretation of me."

    Asked if her father was upset at her reported civil partnership with her partner of seven years, Sean Eav, she said: "He loves the attention".

    But she declined to confirm if she wed in France on April 4, or if she was gay, simply saying: "I'm not afraid to admit anything. But I do want to respect my parents.

    "Sometimes people just refuse to accept what they are told. Let time be the witness," she added.

    Her father, 76-year-old Sze-tsung Chao, made his fortune in shipping and property, and claims to have had some 10,000 girlfriends.

    He said that his daughter was still single, and eligible, and insisted he would not force her into marriage with an unsuitable groom.

    He said his offer was "an inducement to attract someone who has the talent but not the capital to start his own business".

    "I do not mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted. Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work," he told the SCMP.

    As news of her father's offer went viral, Ms Chao was deluged with attempts at courtship over social media.

    "I would like to announce that I suddenly received a whole bunch of followers on my twitter account which I never use," she posted on her Facebook page. Followed shortly by: "No longer accepting Facebook friend requests - sorry" Some admirers, meanwhile, have left comments on the bottom of an interview she gave to HK Magazine in 2007.

    "Allow me to show wat can bring u happiness that is everlasting [sic]," wrote "Brings Kelvin", the "General Manager at Doctororak International Limited".

    "Hi Gigi Chao I desire to marry you if I married you I was in vendiin your will find happiness by ndimuar people in the world on this team with you, and there you can find your happiness [sic]," offered Sazan Gusha, a "friend" from Albania.

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    lanai island

    Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has at last explained why he bought a big chunk of the state of Hawaii when he purchased the island of Lanai this summer.

    He's going to turn Lanai into a "model for sustainable enterprise" using all the latest, eco-friendly technology for power and organic farming. This includes electric cars, turning seawater into fresh water, and using solar power.

    "It is going to be a little, if you will, laboratory for sustainability in businesses of small scale," he said yesterday during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC.

    Here's the full explanation:

    I love Hawaii and Lanai is a very interesting project. There, what we are going to do is turn Lanai into a model for sustainable enterprise. And what I mean by that is—in Lanai, I own the water utility, I own the electric utility, and the electric utility is all going to be solar photovoltaic and solar thermal where it can convert sea water into fresh water. And then we have drip irrigation where we are going to have organic farms all over the island. Hopefully we are going to export produce—really the best, organic produce to Japan and elsewhere. And ... we are going to support the local people and help them start these businesses. We will have electric cars. So it is going to be a little, if you will, laboratory for sustainability in businesses of small scale.

    Ellison isn't the only one interested in eco-friendly power on Lanai. The island's previous owner, billionaire, David Murdock, held onto an assortment of Lanai's assets. These included rights to a controversial wind power plant that residents opposed.

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    Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard University. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College. They are all iconic billionaires. So if you want to be a billionaire, you don’t need to go to college, right?

    Well, not exactly. But of course it depends on who you are.

    In a recent Forbes article—The scary smart are the scary rich: Examining tech’s richest on the Forbes 400—I examined whether the 48 American tech billionaires on that list were also in the top 1% in brains.  It turns out the majority of them were, and 47 of them had gone to college demonstrating that they were nearly all highly educated.  The one person who did not attend college, Sean Parker, was a child programming prodigy.

    What about the brainpower and education level of the American billionaires outside of the technology sector?

    Using the same methodology and the Forbes Billionaires database, I examined the link between billionaire status and brainpower/education level across American sectors that had sample sizes larger than 25.

    Here is the methodology:

    “I have assessed whether the following people are in the top 1% of intellectual ability simply based on the school that they were admitted to as an undergraduate or graduate student. Attending an elite undergraduate or graduate institution requires a certain test score level, which according to Charles Murray in his book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, translates into an IQ score well within the top 1% if the institution has high enough median scores. According to Murray, “the average graduate of an elite college is at the 99th [per]centile of IQ of the entire population of 17-year-olds.” As a reasonably select cut, any school within the top 12 national universities or liberal arts colleges according to U.S. News & World Report rankings were categorized as “elite” and in the top 1%. In addition, Oxford and the Indian Institutes of Technology are among the most selective universities in the world, so they were also included as elite. Any school not in the elite category was labeled “excellent” as these schools are obviously quite good but likely do not have quite as high average standardized test scores. (For more on how a standardized test score can be translated into an IQ score, visit here.)”

    IQ Chart

    In the figure above (which includes data on 332 American billionaires), attendance at “Elite Schools” (blue) indicates top 1% in brains status. The designation of “Graduate” (red) indicates a graduate degree and likely top 1% in brains status. “Bachelors” (green) indicates college attendance. “No College” (purple) indicates no college attendance.

    Brainpower was greatest for Technology and Investments and least for Food and Beverage and Fashion and Retail. This illustrates that you don’t have to be quite as smart and/or educated to become a billionaire in the latter compared to the former sectors.

    However, the major take home message is this: Nearly all American billionaires attended at least some college with the vast majority of them graduating from college. So if you want to be a billionaire, this analysis would suggest that to maximize your chances you should not drop out of college.

    Unless, of course, 1. you have a Thiel Fellowship, or 2. you are the next Gates, Zuckerberg, or Jobs and the opportunities presented to you are simply too good to resist.

    © 2012 by Jonathan Wai.

    You can follow me on TwitterFacebook, or G+. For more of Finding the Next Einstein: Why Smart is Relative go here.

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    white rabbit hotot

    LAST month we published a chart showing that a disproportionate number of China’s billionaires were born in the year of the rabbit, according to the Chinese zodiac. We did not attempt to argue why this is so. Hurun, a Shanghai-based luxury publishing and events group, has spotted a similar anomaly in almost all the years since 1999, when it first began publishing its annual list of China’s richest people.

    The chart was, of course, silly, as many of our readers pointed out. To John Wagner Givens of the University of Louisville, it was “thoughtlessly silly”. Fortunately, he has offered a thoughtfully sensible explanation for the rabbit anomaly on the Huffington Post website. Echoing a point made by a number of our commenters, he shows that in 1963, a rabbit year, birth rates surged in China as it recovered from the devastating famine that followed Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Thus, he argues, there is not a surprising number of rabbit billionaires, but a disproportionate number of rabbits among Chinese aged 40-60, the prime age group for billionaires in China.

    It might be added that those born around 1960 are also in the prime age for taking over China’s most powerful political posts in a decade’s time. The two politicians most commonly tipped for positions at the very top after Xi Jinping steps down in 2022 (if all goes to plan) are Hu Chunhua, who is party chief of Inner Mongolia, and Sun Zhengcai, who heads the party in Jilin province. (See this description in the Financial Times of how they are being groomed.) Both, as it happens, were born in the year of the rabbit.

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    The latest in luxury toys for billionaires is the Quadski, an amped-up ATV from Gibbs Sports Amphibians Inc.

    Hailed "The World's First Amphiquad" on the company website, the Quadski can reach speeds of 45 mph on both land and water, and can transition between the two in under five seconds.

    The Quadski can race across land with 80 horsepower or, with the press of a button, its four wheels will effortlessly fold into the vehicle and the Quadski can speed across the water with 140 horsepower.

    This is the first commercially available sports amphibian to exceed 10 mph and retail on the U.S. market. The all-terrain vehicle is 10.5 feet long, and weighs approximately 1,300 pounds.

    The Quadski is built with a BMW Motorrad K-1300 engine that is coupled with the company's own patented water jet propulsion system. Its lower center of gravity is partly why it remains so balanced on land and water.

    This incredible amphibious sports vehicle has a starting price of $40,000 for the first 1,000 production units, according to a report by Popular Mechanics.



    See it in action below.

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    Warren Buffet

    What would you do with $1 billion dollars?

    Aside from upgrading your home and car and finally paying off those debts, you could make a huge effect on many of the world’s problems.

    From addressing problems in public-school education to helping to find a cancer cure, a billion dollars can go a long way.

    Warren Buffett and Bill Gates wanted to put their own multi-billion fortunes to good use–and they thought that many other billionaires would feel the same way.

    So, in 2010, Buffett, the world’s third-richest man with a net worth of $45 billion, and Gates, the second-richest man, with $63 billion to his name, went public with the Giving Pledge.

    The Giving Pledge aims to get the super-rich—beginning with Fortune’s list of the 400 wealthiest Americans—to pledge at least 50% of their net worth to charitable organizations during their lives or upon their deaths.

    Today, we’ll look at how this pledge will affect philanthropy in the United States, and whether so many billionaires pledging to do good has a downside.

    Who Has Taken the Pledge—and Why

    Since the Giving Pledge is relatively new, we haven’t seen anything close to its true impact yet. But if all of the Fortune 400 joined the Giving Pledge, philanthropic organizations would see an influx of at least $600 billion. These donations, given by only 400 people, would double the amount donated by the entire United States annually–and dramatically change the landscape for many philanthropic organizations.

    So far, 92 families have committed to the pledge, which means $216 billion stands to go to charity–a number that will increase as more billionaires pledge. Buffett and Gates have been joined by Mark Zuckerberg, who has already given $100 million to Newark public schools; Charles F. Feeney, the founder of Duty Free Shops, who had previously donated $5.5 billion to his foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies; and Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., the father of the one-time Republican presidential hopeful Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. and a prolific philanthropist who has donated more than $1 billion, primarily to the fight against cancer.

    The Giving Pledge website names those who have joined the pledge and publishes their personal letters, in which they detail their philanthropic motivations as well as their chosen causes.

    In the letters, many of the donors (especially those on the younger side) cite their desire to start giving back now, rather than waiting to leave money after their deaths. John D. Arnold, who made his fortune as a hedge fund manager, and his wife Lisa wrote, “We are blessed to embark on this critical endeavor at a relatively early stage in our lives and with a great sense of urgency. We will donate the majority of our wealth, time and resources to philanthropy in the coming years, and we fully intend to achieve transformative results during our lifetime. There is no more worthwhile work and no greater mission. And there is no reason for delay in making a difference.”

    Donors also delve into more personal motivations. Some are frank about not wanting to spoil their children and grandchildren with an obscene amount of inherited wealth, while others recount their personal climbs to fortune from modest beginnings and how they learned the importance of charity personally.

    Leon G. Cooperman, who also made his money in hedge funds, wrote, “I am the son of a plumber who practiced his trade in the South Bronx, I am the first generation American born in my family as well as the first to get a college degree. My education is largely public school based–public grade school, high school and college all in the Bronx … it was written in the Talmud that ‘A man’s worth is measured not by what he earns but by what he gives away.’ It is in this spirit that [my wife and I] enthusiastically agree to take the Giving Pledge.”

    Where the Money Will Go, a website created by the Foundation Center to bring transparency to philanthropy, has a great infographic showing the areas which stand to gain the most from the Giving Pledge: Health, education, human services, arts and culture, the environment, technology, economic development and religion are the largest sectors.

    More specifically, the following donors have cited these as a few of their favored causes:

    • Disparities in health care (Michele Chan and Patrick Soon-Shiong, who made his fortune as a biotech entrepreneur)
    • Jewish education (Edgar M. Bronfman, the former CEO of Warner Music Group, whose father created The Seagram Company)
    • Childhood obesity (Arthur M. Blank, the co-founder of The Home Depot)
    • Preventing tobacco- and traffic accident-related deaths (Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg L.P. and the current mayor of New York City)
    • Public school education; human genomics, stem cell research and inflammatory bowel disease (Eli and Edythe Broad, founder of KB Home)
    • HIV/AIDS, malaria, rotavirus, tuberculosis and other preventable or infectious diseases (Bill and Melinda Gates)

    And the list goes on. As you can see here, the list of favored causes runs the gamut from the very specific to the broad and overarching. Thanks to the generosity of the billionaires who have taken the Giving Pledge, the charities and foundations funded or started by the donors on the list stand to make serious headway on their goals.

    Less than a year ago, for example, Charles F. Feeney (mentioned above) donated $350 million to build a new Cornell graduate school for technology in New York City. The school, which will be built on Roosevelt Island, is expected to help provide math and science education support for 10,000 children in New York City as well as create 20,000 construction jobs, 30,000 other jobs, 600 new, related businesses and up to $1.4 billion in tax revenue. 

    Are There Any Downsides to Billionaire Philanthropy?

    The positives of the Giving Pledge are obvious: more money from the wealthiest of individuals goes to worthy causes that may otherwise go unfunded. However, some are cautious about the effect of the Giving Pledge.

    By donating millions or billions to specific causes, billionaires have the ability to effectively set the goals or drive policy in a specific sector. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg announced in 2010 that he was donating $100 million to help fix the failing public schools in Newark, New Jersey. Since then, nearly $17 million has been spent, in part to promote school choice options and to fund three charter schools in the district.

    Daily Kos writer Laura Clawson refers to this as “policy-by-billionaires“; she worries about the effect that donations like Zuckerberg’s will have on institutions in the public sphere. Though many education activists are fans of charter schools and school choice options, a growing number of studies show that charter schools are often worse than traditional schools. But because Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark who advocates for school choice, engineered the donation through his relationship with Zuckerberg, the donation is being used in part for charter school funding.

    As a result, by donating $100 million to Newark’s school system, Zuckerberg has effectively set the goals and the agenda in that sphere. Voicing the concerns of those who are wary of billionaires determining policy David Callahan writes in The Huffington Post, “When deep-pocketed activists share your beliefs, they can seem like heroes. When they don’t, it is hard to believe that it is legal for wealthy individuals to have so much clout in the world’s oldest democracy, where policy outcomes are [not] supposed to reflect the ideal of one person, one vote.”

    What do you think: Is the Giving Pledge positive for the United States, or will it have negative, unforeseen effects down the road?

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    Hopes are high for a proposed second bridge between Canada and Michigan. The bridge itself, fully funded by Canada, is one part of a wider plan to improve trade between the partners, and should take the load off the one bridge currently standing between the two areas.

    However there's a hitch. On November 6, Michigan will vote on "Proposal 6", which would require all “international bridges” to win a vote from the majority of Michigan residents.

    A wide ranging advertisement campaign clearly links the vote to the new bridge, and clearly implies that the "free" bridge will not really be free for Michigan residents, despite some good evidence to the contrary:

    Yesterday the Canadian newspaper the National Post published a widely read article on the fate of the bridge, pointing to a wealthy Michigan family, headed by self-made billionaire Manuel (Matty) Moroun, who has spearheaded the movement behind Proposal 6.

    According to National Post journalist Joe O'Conner, the Moroun family are thought to have spent around $10 million on the campaign, including "door-to-door flier campaigns, robocalls and their ubiquitous television spots".

    What motive would Moroun have to get involved in the fight? Moroun is one of the largest shareholders of the Ambassador Bridge, currently the only privately owned border crossing between the US and Canada, and, more importantly, the only current link between Michigan and Canada. Critics believe that Moroun's family are worried about the losses they would incur in toll fees and other income (notably from his duty-free gasoline stations) if traffic levels over the Ambassador Bridge drop.

    “The new bridge will be a great benefit for our state, and we shouldn’t let one billionaire and his special interest monopoly get in the way,” Michigan Governer Rick Snyder said in a statement.

    With Canadian press and big names like the Daily Beast's David Frum stepping in on the issue, it looks like November 6 may end up being a big day in national and international news.

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    george lucas

    On Tuesday, George Lucas announced Disney purchased his Lucasfilm production company for a whopping $4 billion.

    But don't expect Lucas to make any extravagant purchases in the immediate future.

    Instead, the creator of the "Star Wars" franchise has plans for a major "Bill Gates-style philanthropic initiative" focusing on education and health issues, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    But Lucas is no stranger to charitable giving, as he currently serves as chairman of the George Lucas Educational Foundation and in 2006 gave $175 million to his alma mater, USC. He also supports charities such as Make-A-Wish, Stand Up To Cancer, Film Foundation, among others.

    In September, even before the new Disney deal, Forbes estimated the divorced, 68-year-old filmmaker's net worth at $3.3 billion, making him the 36th richest celebrity in the world.

    In 2010, Lucas signed The Giving Pledge, the effort by Gates and Warren Buffett to get America's wealthiest individuals and families "to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death."

    "I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education," explained Lucas in a public letter at the time of the pledge. "It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future -- and the first step begins with the social, emotional and intellectual tools we provide to our children."

    Read the rest of the letter below in which Lucas explains his philanthropic beliefs and future plans (via

    Storytellers are teachers and communicators who speak a universal language.  That was Homer’s primary role, and both Plato and Aristotle used narratives and dialogues as a means of educating.  Good storytelling is based on truths and insights, and a good storyteller is ultimately a teacher – using the arts as a means of making education emotionally meaningful.  These are all tools at our educational system’s disposal, but too often we aren’t making use of them.

    When I was in high school, I felt like I was in a vacuum, biding time.  I was curious, but bored.  It was not an atmosphere conducive to learning.  I was fortunate that I found my path and my language. 

    It’s scary to think of our education system as little better than an assembly line with producing diplomas as its only goal.  Once I had the means to effect change in this arena, it became my passion to do so – to promote active, life-long learning.  I believe in the artisan school of learning, through apprenticeships and Aristotelian questions and discussion.  This level of engagement dates back to the beginning of human life, but it’s still the best way of doing things.  There have to be universal standards – particularly in education – and while it seems unwieldy, there is a willingness among educators to share their best practices.

    Ultimately, that is why I created Edutopia and the George Lucas Educational Foundation.

    The focus of GLEF has been to share educational innovations – cooperative and project learning, mentorship, parental involvement, and technological advances.  This all comes straight from those on the front lines, from teachers who are putting these methods into practice.  We are the facilitators.  Our goal has been to showcase bold successes and inspire others to further increase the appetite for education.  Our hope is that administrators, teachers, and parents will see the power of these collective efforts and join the fight for wider reforms.

    But reform is just the beginning.  We need to build new foundations, fostering independent thought and a desire to keep learning.  Our students need to come away with more than just survival skills, and more than just what is required to complete the program.  We need to promote critical thinking and emotional intelligence.  We need to focus on building an education system that promotes different types of learning, different types of development, and different types of assessment.  We have an opportunity and an obligation to prepare our children for the real world, for dealing with others in practical, project-based environments.  It’s about working together and building character – being compassionate, empathetic, and civil as a means to a greater end.

    As technology changes, so do students.  So should classrooms, and so should our methods of teaching.  In a few short years, connectivity has gone from a technological novelty to a daily necessity.  It’s how our culture communicates, and our children are at the forefront of its use.  Understanding those tools – and how to integrate them into learning – is an integral step in defining our future.  

    My pledge is to the process; as long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages.

    I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.  It is the key to the survival of the human race.  We have to plan for our collective future – and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children.  As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt – as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.

    George Lucas

    SEE ALSO: A new Star Wars is coming in 2015 >

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    paris france $92 million

    A historic mansion in Paris has just hit the market for a mid-blowing $92 million.

    The home is currently owned by an unnamed Russian billionaire, according to the listing. The current owner has completely restored the turn-of-the century mansion

    The house is actually gigantic at 34,400 square feet. The home has five bedrooms, and plenty of additional staff quarters. Most have ensuite bathrooms. 

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    naguib sawiris

    Egyptian telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris, worth $2.5 billion, says all he really needs is $1 billion.

    This excerpt come from Plutocrats: The Rise Of The Global Super-Rich And The Fall Of Everyone Else by former Financial Times deputy editor Chrystia Freeland:

    Sawiris, who supported the rebels on Tahrir Square, was sharing with me (and a dinner audience at Toronto's Four Seasons hotel) his mystification at the rapacious ways of autocrats: "I've never understood in my life why all these dictators, when they stole, why didn't they just steal a billion and spend the rest on the people."

    What was interesting to me was his choice of $1 billion as the appropriate cap on dictatorial looting. In his world, I wondered, was $1 billion the size of fortune to aim for?

    "Yes, to cover the fringe benefits, the plane, the boat, it takes a billion," Sawiris told me. "I mean, that's my number for the minimum I want to go down—if I go down."

    See also: Why Carlos Slim is richer than anyone in history >

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    15 central park west drivewayNew York City is becoming a place where you're either very rich or very poor.

    And in the coming years, the super rich will be moving to Midtown — the city's up-and-coming "Billionaire's Belt," as author Michael Gross calls it.

    Gross, the author of 740 Park and Unreal Estate, said he had seen an uptick in the number of billionaires flocking to luxury buildings in the 57th Street and 59th Street corridors to the southern corner of Central Park, along to the Bloomberg building and 432 Park Avenue.

    "This neighborhood never really defined itself before," Gross told Business Insider. "Now, it's becoming the new 'billionaire's belt.'"

    Luxury towers of note in the neighborhood include One57 (made famous by the "dangling crane" during Hurricane Sandy), 15 Central Park West, the Timer Warner Center, and the Metropolitan Tower. And it will soon be home to Nordstrom's flagship NYC department store. Fifty-seventh Street and Central Park South form the “spine” of this belt.

    "It's not uptown, but it's not downtown," Gross said, which prompted him to nickname the region.

    "This area has the potential, in the next few years, to become the richest neighborhood in the country," he added. 

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    Sheldon Adelson

    This is the most expensive U.S. election in history with a total price tag of around $6 billion spent.

    That wouldn't be possible if not for the billionaires and the super PACS who gave and gave and gave some more.

    So which rich donors got the most bang out of their buck?

    (Hint: it's not Sheldon Adelson.)

    Figures of Romney/Obama donors are from this AP report unless otherwise noted.

    Romney's Top Donors:

    Sheldon Adelson, Owner of Las Vegas Sands

    Net Worth: $25 Billion
    The Bill: He spent somewhere between $70 million and $100 million, which is no more than 0.4 percent of his net worth.

    • $34.2 Million to Romney/super PACs supporting Romney 
    • $10 million to Restore our Future
    • $24 million to committees backing one-time Republican hopeful Newt Gingrich
    • $10 million promised to Karl Rove's American Crossroads
    • $5 million to Boehner super PACs
    • $5 million to Cantor super PACs

    Why He Said He Spent It

    • He's Likes to Win: "I suppose you could say that I live on Vince Lombardi’s belief: ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.’ So, I do whatever it takes, as long as it’s moral, ethical, principled, legal." Adelson was quoted as saying in a profile by Politico
    • He Really Liked Newt Gingrich and Wanted to Use the Word "Islamofacism": "I’m in favor of Newt Gingrich, because I like people who make decisions. He’s a decision-maker. You don’t have to worry about using the word ‘Islamofascism’ or ‘Islamoterrorist’ when that’s what they are,"Adelson said at a Las Vegas event back in March. 
    • He Thinks Obama Dissed Las Vegas: Obama, had said something to the effect that Wall Streeters shouldn't be taking free trips to Vegas on taxpayer's dime around three weeks after his inauguration. This did not go over well with Adelson. "From that point on, Vegas started to go down ...And he’s got the nerve, the chutzpah, to come here and raise money here. He should follow his own advice and not come to Vegas. He hurt me. He hurt 200,000 people working in the hospitality industry in this town."Adelson said in the Politico profile. 

    The Payoff: If Adelson likes to win, he obviously is not going to be happy sinking close to $60 million on two losers. His money didn't even help Romney win Nevada, which probably made him more mad. 

    Harold "The Ice Man" Simmons, owner of Contran Corp, a Dallas-based waste/chemical management company

    Net Worth: $9 Billion
    The Bill : Between $30 million and $50 million which is between 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent of his net worth.

    Why He Said He Spent It: 

    Karl Rove Told Him To: In February, Simmons saw the Santorum surge. And then he called Karl Rove, and it was a done-deal from there, as per The Wall Street Journal's Monica Langley:

    Watching a TV news report that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was rising in polls last month, Mr. Simmons wondered about the prospects of the former Pennsylvania senator. He called his personal political muse, Republican strategist Karl Rove.

    He Believed/ Believes Obama Was/Is a Socialist: "Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama ... Obama is the most dangerous American alive…because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country." Simmons told the Langley

    He Didn't Care, He Just Wanted Obama Out: "That helps explain why the biggest chunk of his political contributions in this election cycle have gone not to individual candidates but to Mr. Rove-advised super PAC American Crossroads—its stated mission to defeat Mr. Obama and elect "majorities in both the House and the Senate'" writes Langley. 

    The Payoff: Well, the Republicans retained power in the House. That's something to hang your hat on right? 

    The Koch Brothers

    Net Worth: William ("Bill")- $4 Billion, Charles and David-$31 Billion
    The Bill: ????

    Why They Said They Did It:

    They're Libertarians: "The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation."wrote The New Yorker's Jane Mayer in 2010.

    They're In It for Themselves: "Rather, they are giving to support what they see as being in their business or personal financial interest: lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government," wrote the Washington Post's Carter Eskew.

    The Payoff: Well, Republicans kept control of the House. And Scott Walker, who the AFP backed during his recall, kept his gubernatorial seat. So that's good right? But Obama is still in office and whatnot, which is a total $400,000 million bummer. 

    The Top Four Obama Donors:

    Jeffrey Katzenberg: $2.566 million

    Irwin Jacobs: $2.122 million

    Fred Eychaner: $2.066 million

    Jon Stryker: $2.066 million

    Combined Total: $8.82 million (about a quarter  of what Adelson gave Romney and Romney-affiliated super PACs)

    The Payoff: Well, obviously.

    "I don't believe that there's ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years," Romney said in concession speech last night referring to "the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates." And he's right, on the last part at least. As the Sunlight Foundation reported on November 1, $213 million has been spent on "dark money" groups to influence election—$172 million of which was spent to help Republicans and just $35.7 million to help Democrats. Taking those numbers into account, Romney's concession speech might be the nicest way to gloss over the fact that outside conservative groups spent so much and tried so hard and couldn't even manage to get a Senate majority—a massive fail. 

    Now, this isn't to say the Obama campaign didn't spend a ton of money on its own. It did. As our John Hudson reported, $874.6 million went toward the Obama campaign this season "with the Obama campaign burning through $553.2 million, the DNC spending $263.2 million, and the biggest Obama Super PACS spending $58 million." It's just, that, well, some money is just better spent than others.

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