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The latest news on Billionaires from Business Insider

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    warren buffett

    Business Insider recently released its list of the 50 most powerful people in the world, and almost half hail from the United States.

    Between political leaders, billionaires, CEOs, and entertainers, the world's top superpower is chock-full of people who possess the potent combination of money and influence that enables them to help shape the world.

    To determine our ranking, we considered more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, and entertainment, and evaluated their influence using metrics in four major areas: economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact — a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres. We then pulled the top-ranking Americans and re-ordered the list. You can read the full methodology here.

    US President Barack Obama topped the entire list. Business mogul Warren Buffett came in at No. 2 in the US, and fifth overall. Read on to see which other Americans command serious power.

    Editing by Alex Morrell with additional research by Andy Kiersz.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 most powerful people in the world

    DON'T MISS: The 50 most powerful companies in America

    24. Jay Z and Beyoncé

    Titles: Singer (Beyoncé), rapper and entrepreneur (Jay Z)

    Country: US

    Age: 34 (Beyoncé), 45 (Jay Z)

    Music's biggest power couple, Beyoncé and Jay Z turn nearly everything they touch into gold, which has helped them mint a combined fortune of $950 million.

    Beyoncé shocked the music industry in 2013 when she released an album on iTunes without promotion — it went on to sell over 5 million copies thanks to hits like "Drunk in Love" and "Partition."

    Jay Z is consistently one of the highest earners in music, reportedly raking in $56 million last year through his many ventures, including his Roc Nation music label and its sports division. Though his streaming service, Tidal, encountered some turbulencethe hip-hop mogul himself forgot he owned it— Jay Z is still just about everywhere in the entertainment industry.

    23. Sheldon Adelson

    Title: Chairman, CEO of Las Vegas Sands

    Country: US

    Age: 82

    The "King of Las Vegas" is expected to dole out millions by this time next year, taking a gamble on one of his favorite things: politics. The casino magnate, who owns 13 private jets, is a staunch supporter of the Republican party, famously donating tens of millions from his $25 billion fortune to past candidates such as Newt Gingrich.

    For his day job, he runs Las Vegas Sands — parent of the Venetian Resort and Casino and Sands China, a subsidiary that's planning to open its fifth casino in Macau next year. And while Adelson’s vision to make China the gambling capital of the world isn't outlandish considering his industry dominance, it may not pan out under political restrictions and President Xi Jinping's push to make Macau a family-friendly destination. Amid the flux, Sheldon’s fortune has reportedly lost several billions in the past year after a 25% decline in the price of Las Vegas Sands stock.

    22. Ginni Rometty

    Title: Chairman, CEO of IBM

    Country: US

    Age: 58

    Last year, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty had to break some tough news: The tech company would be abandoning its years-long promise to hit $20 earnings per share by 2015. But the company's top leader has hatched a new plan: IBM will invest $4 billion to grow $40 billion in revenue in areas such as cloud computing, mobile, and big data by 2018. The plan would nearly double what IBM is making in these markets now, though it also means straying from the hardware focus that's defined IBM for decades.

    Rometty's mandate is to keep one of tech's most iconic companies — which employs 380,000 people, on par in size with the population of New Orleans — relevant and profitable for the long haul, even if it means changing some of the most fundamental things about the company. The IBM lifer isn't apologizing for adapting. "Reinvention is not about protecting your past," she said at the Fortune Global Forum earlier this year.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Jeff Bezos

    Business Insider recently released its list of the most powerful people in the world, and 12 of our top 50 were innovators, CEOs, and influencers from the tech world.

    To determine the ranking, we considered more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, and entertainment and evaluated their influence using metrics in four major areas: economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact— a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres.

    We then narrowed down the list to just those in the tech industry, adding eight tech stars who narrowly missed our top 50. You can read the full methodology here.

    Read on to see the 20 most powerful people in tech.

    Editing by Alex Morrell with additional research by Andy Kiersz.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 most powerful people in the world

    DON'T MISS: The 15 most powerful tech companies in America

    20. Reed Hastings

    Title: Cofounder and CEO, Netflix

    Country: US

    Age: 55

    As the founder and CEO of Netflix— the streaming-media service that’s made over 100 million hours of movies and TV available to users and has produced a slew of award-winning original television series— Hastings has redefined what it means to watch and create TV in 2015.

    Although Netflix's stock has been a roller coaster since going public in 2002, its shares hit a record high of $126.45 in August — a more than eight-fold increase from its IPO — and the company today is worth more than $50 billion.

    Hastings, who has a net worth of more than $1.25 billion, isn’t only changing the experience for viewers — he’s also enhancing the lives of his employees. This summer, the company, which already offers unlimited vacation, instituted up to a year of paid maternity and paternity leave for its employees, paving the way for other forward-thinking companies to follow suit.

    19. Reid Hoffman

    Title: Cofounder and chairman, LinkedIn

    Country: US

    Age: 48

    Reid Hoffman has been involved with several of the world's most prominent tech firms. Hoffman started his career in 1994 as a product manager at Apple and later served on the board and as executive vice president for PayPal. In 2003, he cofounded LinkedIn, the professional-networking service that has more than 400 million members in over 200 countries and is worth $32 billion.

    Today, Hoffman's a partner at storied VC firm Greylock Partners, where he has advised and worked with tech stalwarts like Facebook and Airbnb. He's become one of the most well-connected and experienced investors in tech and young entrepreneurs and executives hang on his every word, whether he's offering management advice or sharing lessons he's learned from early career failures.

    Last year, the self-made billionaire — whose net worth is at least $5 billion, according to Wealth-X — coauthored the best-selling book “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age,” and this fall, between his work at Greylock and LinkedIn, he’s teaching a class on startup success at Stanford with Silicon Valley fixtures John Lilly, Allen Blue, and Chris Yeh.

    18. Peter Thiel

    Title: Cofounder and chairman, Palantir

    Country: US

    Age: 48

    Peter Thiel — PayPal cofounder, early Facebook investor, and best-selling author of "Zero to One" — has a fortune of over $2.3 billion and is one of the tech industry's most revered investors. Though he sold most of his Facebook stock following the social-media company's IPO in 2012, the billionaire still has his hand in several projects across Silicon Valley. Most notably, his secretive big-data company Palantir was valued at $20.2 billion after raising a $100 million round of funding in October.

    Thanks to Thiel and investments from his venture-capital firm Founders Fund, several other startups have come to fruition since 2005 as well, including home-rental site Airbnb, ride-hailing service Lyft, and music-streaming app Spotify.

    Thiel also runs the Thiel Foundation, which awards an annual crop of 20 young entrepreneurs $100,000 each to chase their business ideas. Ever unconventional — he notoriously hates suits and doesn't hire MBAs— one of Thiel's requirements for his fellows is that they forgo or drop out of college for two years to pursue the program.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Britain's government has raised the stamp duty tax rate on the country's most expensive properties and has slapped a foreign capital-gains tax on home ownership over the past year — and now it looks as if billionaires and millionaires have had enough.

    They are heading to New York City.

    According to a new Transatlantic Wealth Report by the London-based Beauchamp Estates, the New York-based Leslie J Garfield, and with statistical analysis by Dataloft, over the past 12 months there has been a 7% rise in London-based high-net-worth investors seeking to buy prime residential property in New York.

    "There has also been a 7%-10% rise in interest from London based buyers seeking luxury residential homes in Miami and Los Angeles," it added.

    There are now 140 billionaires and 191,000 millionaires living in London. This is more than the 103 billionaires and 389,100 millionaires living in New York. 

    The value of luxury homes in London's leading addresses, however, are twice as high as those in Manhattan on a price-per-square-foot basis, and Manhattan houses tend to be larger than those in London.

    For example, the cost of a large family home in the ultra-prime location of Knightsbridge in London is on average £2,194 ($3,615) per square foot, compared with £1,196 ($1,832) per square foot on the Upper East Side (South) in Manhattan.

    CresswellPlace,cinemaroomBeauchamp Estates and Leslie J Garfield teamed up for this report because they could see that they each need the other's help in terms of marketing and selling across both countries, since there is a change in the tide.

    The world's wealthiest may dominate London at the moment, but more people are looking to go to New York. More than 120,000 British expats are living in New York City, with more than 758,000 British expats living in the US.

    At the moment, more than 197,000 American expats are living in the UK, the majority of these living in Greater London or the Home Counties.

    According to the report, London-based purchasers spend £3.29 million ($5 million) to £3.95 million ($6 million) on an apartment in Manhattan. New York-based buyers, however, typically spend £4 million ($6 million) to £4.1 million ($6.23 million) on an apartment or family home in London. 

    So it's unsurprising that the world's wealthiest may be looking to move to New York. London is more expensive to buy a property, and you actually get a lot less space. Team this up with the fact that properties over the £1 million threshold are slapped with a colossal tax rate, and it's the prime time for the world's wealthiest to sell up and get out.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Jeff Sachs: Here's why the Middle East is going to get a lot worse

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    Some entrepreneurs who have made billions off of their tech ventures like to spend them in some pretty extravagant ways, whether it be on private planes, summer homes, or even an entire island.

    Others turn to more philanthropic efforts, choosing to donate their wealth to different causes through foundations and trusts.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the birth of his daughter Max on Tuesday afternoon.

    Along with the official announcement, he shared that he and wife Priscilla Chan plan to give away 99% of their Facebook shares — currently valued at about $45 billion — to charity.

    We've rounded up some of the other most generous people in tech, all of whom have decided to donate large portions of their wealth to charity rather than leave all of it to their children.

    SEE ALSO: Mark Zuckerberg to give away 99% of his Facebook shares, or $45 billion, to charity during his lifetime

    Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates

    Gates has been open about his decision not to leave his $84.9 billion fortune to his three children. They will reportedly inherit just a small slice, about $10 million each.

    "I definitely think leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them,"he said in a Reddit AMA.

    He founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 1994, and it currently has more than $38 billion in assets. Gates also teamed up with longtime friend Warren Buffett to start a campaign called "The Giving Pledge," which encourages other billionaires to donate at least half of their fortune to charity.

    AOL cofounder Steve Case

    Case helped millions of Americans get online, and now he's donating much of his wealth to developing other technologies.

    He founded the Case Foundation in 1997, which focuses on using technology to make philanthropy more effective. He also started an investment firm called Revolution, which invests in startups outside of Silicon Valley, and signed the Giving Pledge.

    "We share the view that those to whom much is given, much is expected. We realize we have been given a unique platform and opportunity, and we are committed to doing the best we can with it," he and wife Jean wrote."We do not believe our assets are 'ours' but rather we try to be the responsible stewards of these resources."

    Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

    Benioff recently launched a campaign called SF Gives, which challenged tech companies to raise $10 million for San Francisco-based nonprofit programs in just 60 days.

    He's encouraged other corporations to follow his 1/1/1 model, which says that a company should donate 1% of its equity, 1% of its employees' time, and 1% of its resources to philanthropic efforts.

    He and wife Lynne have also personally given a total of $200 million to the children's hospital at UCSF.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    peter warren buffett

    Peter Buffett, the youngest of Warren Buffett's three kids, grew up in a modest five-bedroom home in Omaha, walked to public school every day, and even had the same English teacher that his mother had.

    Life was surprisingly normal for a kid raised by a billionaire who is today's third richest man in the world.

    What may have helped preserve a sense of normalcy in such an extraordinary situation was the fact that the Buffett children were completely oblivious to their dad's career and successes.

    "Growing up, we really didn't know what my dad did. It was quite mysterious," Peter told Stephen Dubner on a 2011 Freakonomics podcast.

    "In fact, when my sister filled out a form, in fourth or fifth grade, about what our parents did, she put 'security analysis,' and it was assumed that what he did was check alarm systems. To a kid, it was like, 'What do all the numbers on the page mean? And what exactly is the New York Stock Exchange, and buying and selling and all that?' So we really didn't know."

    It took a quarter century until Peter fully grasped what his father did: "[Finding out] was very gradual ... I was probably about 25. The truth is, it just wasn't around ... We didn't grow up around the exposition of wealth."

    The air of mystery — around his wealth and career — that Buffett chose to maintain in his household may have lifted any pressures his children felt to follow in their father's footsteps.

    While Peter did consider getting involved with Buffett's company when he realized his dad wasn't checking alarm systems and was doing quite well for himself — "I thought, 'Well it's dumb not to at least explore this a little bit'"— it wasn't for him.

    "I knew it and he knew it, and he wasn't pushing it at all," Peter tells Dubner of the time he was flirting with the idea of working with his dad and Berkshire Hathaway. "I grew up to him saying, 'Do what you love. There's nothing more important than that.' And we both knew that this wasn't something I was passionate about."

    Today, Peter is a composer, musician, and author — and his dad maintains his modest lifestyle, residing in the same $31,500 Omaha home, using a flip phone over a smart phone, and choosing reading or bridge over any other pastime.

    SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett's youngest son describes what it was like being raised by a billionaire

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Guo GuangchangThe ‘Warren Buffet of China’

    China is home to fifty individuals with a net worth of one billion US dollars or more. One of China’s most high-profile entrepreneurs has disappeared. Guo Guangchang has an estimated net worth of $7 billion, and is an owner and investor in many Chinese industries. Through his investment vehicle the Fosun Group, the Chinese tycoon has interests in diverse fields from financial services, to mining, retail and many others. These endeavours allowed his company to become one the largest private enterprises in China, a country where state-run businesses still reign supreme. Guo Guangchang’s disappearance is just the most recent suspicious circumstance to befall China’s business class.

    Missing magnates

    China’s business executives and high-profile members of the financial elite have been vanishing. Yim Fung, the CEO of Guotai Yunan International was reported missing just two weeks before Guo Guangchang. 2015 has seen a total of five Chinese business figures disappear. Often, unsurprisingly, the financial effects of this on the companies is catastrophic. When Lei Heijun, the chairman of Hanenergy failed to attend a shareholder meeting in May 2015, the effect was dramatic. The value of shares plummeted 47%, resulting in an astonishing $18.6bn wiped from the company’s share values. Upon announcement of Guo Guangchang’s disappearance, share trading for Fosun International was suspended. These disappearances are more than mere coincidence.

    Corruption questioning

    Frequently, the business figures have been reported missing after being approached by the Chinese authorities to purportedly aid in an investigation of some variety. Central to these theories, is the Chinese government’s supposed anti-corruption battle. Since 2013, under the charge of Premier Xi Jinping, and anti-corruption chief Wang Quishan, a number of China’s leading businessmen have been questioned under suspicion of corruption. The investigations began investigating officials at a local level, but soon increased in scope. The net expanded to cover state-owned companies, and, crucially, those involved in the financial sector. It is suspected that Guo Guangchang has been targeted by the Chinese government for this very reason.

    An economic witch-hunt

    The anti-corruption campaign, however, may not be as substantive as it seems. What at first seemed to be a genuine attempt to pursue those involved in unscrupulous dealings, soon morphed into a basic witch-hunt. The Chinese economy underwent substantial shocks in 2015. After a fall in exports, the Chinese government devalued the yuan in order to stimulate international trade. However, the damage had already been done. In addition to causing havoc on China’s stock markets, the export slump, coupled with the yuan devaluation saw stock markets take a plunge worldwide. The Chinese authorities are searching for a scapegoat for the year’s economic troubles. In China’s billionaires it seems they have found a target.

    SEE ALSO: 5 Muslims who helped make America great

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Jaguar revealed its first SUV ever — and it's the most beautiful SUV on the planet

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    Xanadu 2.0 Bill Gates house

    With a net worth of $78.9 billion, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is the richest man in America.

    It shouldn't be too surprising that one of the wealthiest people in the world also has an insanely extravagant home.

    It took Gates seven years and $63 million to build his Medina, Washington, estate, named "Xanadu 2.0" after the fictional home of Charles Foster Kane, the title character of "Citizen Kane."

    At 66,000 square feet, the home is absolutely massive, and it's loaded to the brim with high-tech details.

    We've rounded up some of Xanadu 2.0's most over-the-top features here.

    SEE ALSO: Take a tour of Bill Gates' new 228-acre ranch, complete with a horse-racing track

    DON'T MISS: The 13 biggest tech shockers of 2015

    It's worth at least $123 million today.

    According to the King County public assessor's office, the property is worth $123.54 million as of this year. Gates purchased the lot for $2 million in 1988.

    He reportedly pays around $1 million in property taxes each year.

    Half a million board-feet of lumber was needed to complete the project.

    The house was built with 500-year-old Douglas fir trees, and 300 construction workers labored on the home — 100 of whom were electricians.

    A high-tech sensor system helps guests monitor a room's climate and lighting.

    When guests arrive, they're given a pin that interacts with sensors located all over the house. Guests enter their temperature and lighting preferences so that the settings change as they move throughout the home. Speakers hidden behind wallpaper allow music to follow you from room to room.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    supercar gift guide

    Even those who seem to have it all deserve a Christmas gift. 

    But what do you buy someone for whom money is no object? 

    We have a collection of 11 gifts that are completely over-the-top, ranging from the world's largest tin of caviar to a private jet tour around the globe.

    They're just as lavish as the millionaire in your life. 

    SEE ALSO: 10 gifts guys REALLY want for the holidays this year

    Set them up on a ride with Keanu Reeves.

    The KRGT-1 is the first bike made by Arch Motorcycle, the company founded by Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger in 2014. The limited-edition performance bike comes with a 124-cubic-inch twin engine, special racing-inspired trim, and performance suspension.

    This package, which we saw on Neiman Marcus' Fantasy Gifts guide, comes with a two-day ride down the California coast, hotel and airfare included. Joining you will be Reeves and Hollinger themselves. 

    Price: $150,000

    Get them their own billionaire toy.

    The Quadski XL is an all-terrain vehicle that can instantly transform into a watercraft and can travel up to 45 miles per hour on both water and land. 

    Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff reportedly plays around with one while vacationing at his $12.5 million Hawaiian estate. He also recently gave two Quadskis to the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments as a gift, apparently because he thought they would be helpful for water rescues. 

    Price: $50,000

    Splurge on the world's largest tin of caviar.

    French caviar purveyors Petrossian have created only 50 of these 22-pound tins of caviar. Each tin, which is about the size of a tire, is filled with Ossetra caviar, which is the most expensive variety of the delicacy. 

    The caviar is hand-selected by a member of the Petrossian family, generally considered to be the worldwide leader in caviar distribution.


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    brad friedmutter

    Sometimes the biggest power players are the ones who stay behind the scenes. 

    Architect Brad Friemutter may not be a household name, but together with the firm he founded in 1992, the Friedmutter Group, he has provided the design muscle behind some of the most expensive integrated resorts and casinos in the world: the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Harrah's in Atlantic City, and the recently opened Studio City in Macau, just to name a few.

    His projects are often worth billions — Studio City (where he designed the casino, lobby, and porte-cochère) publishes at $3.2 billion — and the resort owners he works with are usually billionaires. 

    "They know all of the nicest things in the world. They’ve been to the nicest hotels, and restaurants, and places in the world," Friedmutter told Business Insider. "We as designers have to have seen those places as well, so that we understand."

    We recently caught up with Friedmutter and his wife Kimberly to hear a bit more about their jet-setting lifestyle.

    SEE ALSO: Meet the 19-year-old whose 80-person company is taking the fashion, film, and publishing worlds by storm

    Friedmutter is originally from Queens, in New York City, but eventually made his way out to the West Coast after landing a job with Bank of America in San Francisco. After starting work with a designer who focused on casinos, he became acquainted with Steve Wynn, who took a liking to Friedmutter's work and eventually promoted him to VP of design and construction on the Golden Nugget. In 1992, Friedmutter started his own firm, which has worked on a number of projects in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Macau. The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas is one of their biggest and most expensive projects to date.

    But when you're working on integrated resorts and casinos, every project is big, as competition along the Las Vegas Strip can be fierce.

    The way to survive in such a competitive and loud environment, Friedmutter says, is to know your customer. "What the business traveler is looking for, what the gaming traveler is looking for — it's all different," he said. "It's a very interesting business because they’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And they have to figure out how to fill those rooms and get people to come there in different seasons. It even varies during the day."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    george soros

    Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros warned in a Monday op-ed that Republican presidential candidates were following a belief that endangers "open society" with how they frame the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

    Writing in The Guardian, Soros singled out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and real-estate mogul Donald Trump, a fellow billionaire. Trump and Cruz are the leading two candidates in nationwide polls of the GOP primary.

    "Abandoning the values and principles underlying open societies and giving in to an anti-Muslim impulse dictated by fear certainly is not the answer, though it may be difficult to resist the temptation," Soros wrote. "I experienced this personally when I watched the last Republican presidential debate; I could stop myself only by remembering that it must be irrational to follow the wishes of your enemies."

    Soros, a Democratic mega-donor, accused Republicans of discussing the terrorism issue as a broader war against Islam. Much of the GOP field, including Trump and Cruz, has chided President Barack Obama for not using the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism."

    Additionally, all of the Republican contenders have called on the US to temporarily halt its acceptance of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war there. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has seized swathes of territory in Syria, and Republicans argue that the terrorists may be able to slip in among the refugees. Trump even warned that the refugees could be a "Trojan horse" capable of instigating "one of the greatest coups of all time."

    Soros suggested such statements stir anti-Western resentment among Muslims, which he said helps radicalize those living in the US and elsewhere.

    "The hysterical anti-Muslim reaction to terrorism is generating fear and resentment among Muslims living in Europe and America," he wrote. "The older generation reacts with fear, the younger one with resentment; the result is a breeding ground for potential terrorists. This is a mutually reinforcing, reflexive process."

    The high-profile investor concluded:

    Of course, the outlook for Syria remains highly uncertain, and the conflict there cannot be understood or tackled in isolation. But one idea shines through crystal clear: it is an egregious mistake to do what the terrorists want us to do. That is why, as 2016 gets underway, we must reaffirm our commitment to the principles of open society and resist the siren song of the likes of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, however hard that may be.

    Read Soros' full op-ed here >

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump attacks Hillary Clinton by blasting Bill's 'terrible record of women abuse'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Jeb Bush reviews the Apple Watch and reveals his favorite iPhone apps

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    warren buffett

    Business Insider recently released its list of the most powerful people in the world, and 10 of the top 50 included hedge fund managers, bank CEOs, and other magnates in the finance industry.

    To determine the ranking, we considered more than 100 of the most influential players in business, politics, and entertainment and evaluated their influence using metrics in four major areas: economic power, command, newsworthiness, and impact— a subjective measure that captures how important they are in their respective spheres.

    We then narrowed down the list to just those in the finance industry, adding six finance heavyweights who narrowly missed our top 50. You can read the full methodology here.

    Read on to see the 16 most powerful people in finance in the world. 

    Editing by Alex Morrell with additional research by Andy Kiersz.

    SEE ALSO: The 50 most powerful people in the world

    DON'T MISS: The 20 most powerful people in tech

    16. George Soros

    Title: Chairman, Soros Fund Management and Open Society Foundations

    Country: US

    Age: 85

    Born in Budapest, George Soros lived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary during WWII before fleeing to England and later settling in the US. He remains actively interested in politics today and recently made news for supporting the refugees flooding into Europe, a move Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban saw as an attempt to undermine the authority of European nations. Soros is also seen as a friend to liberals and an enemy of conservatives in the US, and he donated $2 million to super PACs supporting Hillary Clinton earlier this year.

    Touted as "the man who broke the bank of England," Soros is best known in the finance world for the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he launched in 1973 under his Soros Fund Management company. In 1992 he shorted the British pound, a risky move that ended up earning the fund $1 billion in a single day and solidifying Soros’ place in finance. Quantum Fund also generated annual returns over 30% under Soros' leadership, making it one of the most successful hedge funds of all time.

    Today, Soros, who has a personal net worth upwards of at least $23.3 billion, remains chairman of Soros Fund Management, which manages more than $25 billion in assets. He’s also the chairman of Open Society, an organization he founded in 1979 that operates as a network of foundations and partners across the globe who promote the values of open society and human rights.

    15. Ding Xuedong

    Title: Chairman and CEO, China Investment Corporation

    Country: China

    Age: 55

    As the chairman and CEO of China Investment Corporation, the world’s fourth-largest sovereign wealth fund, Ding Xuedong manages over $700 billion in assets. A longtime employee of China’s finance ministry, Ding was appointed as chairman in 2013, following the exit of Lou Jiwei months prior.

    The fund, founded in 2007, oversees China’s foreign exchange holdings. CIC has branched out into countries all over the globe, from Canada to Russia to Australia, and in November it expressed interest in purchasing a development site near Sydney Olympic Park, a deal worth about $660 million.

    In addition to managing CIC, Ding also oversees China International Capital Corp, a huge investment bank that went public in November— the first Chinese company to do so in months. China curbed IPOs during a market plunge, but CICC’s IPO built confidence that the market had stabilized. 

    14. Lloyd Blankfein

    Title: CEO, Goldman Sachs

    Country: US

    Age: 61

    As the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein oversees the company’s $880 billion in total assets. Goldman is one of the strongest banks on Wall Street, ranking in the top two (alongside rival JPMorgan) in global investment-bank revenue across fixed income, equities, and banks for the first nine months of the year.  

    With a personal net worth topping $1.1 billion, Blankfein officially became a billionaire this summer as well. Most of his wealth is tied up in Goldman stock, but the CEO also owns a significant amount of real estate, including a duplex on Central Park West.

    In September, Blankfein announced that he is battling cancer — a “highly curable” form of lymphoma, as he described it — but the banker isn’t slowing down. Blankfein continues to run the company as usual, coming into the office every day and keeping GS on top of Wall Street.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    On January 17, the highly anticipated television series, "Billions," will premiere on Showtime.

    The complex hedge fund drama is "a 'pissing contest' between the high-flying hedge fund billionaire and the US Attorney with a perfect track record of insider trading convictions who's trying to take him down,"writes Business Insider in a review of the pilot episode.

    Accurately portraying hedge fund billionaires meant sitting down with, interviewing, and getting into the heads of several billionaires — which is exactly what producers David Levien and Brian Koppelman did. 

    As they interviewed more and more billionaires, they started to pick up on common attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

    One such attitude first manifested itself during a particularly pricey dinner, they tell James Altucher on a recent episode of his podcast: "For many of these people, each exchange has a winnerand a loser."

    Even something as simple and habitual as dinner can be "won" or "lost," they learned during one particular interview.

    They told Altucher:

    We're at dinner with a billionaire and it's clear that he's doing us the favor by sitting with us. He has a lot of things he could be doing and we asked the favor to spend the time ... So it was sort of understood that we were going to pay.

    First he said we should pick the restaurant, so we picked our restaurant — a top notch restaurant. Suddenly, five minutes before the dinner, he changed the place to where he always goes, which is a much more expensive and incredibly fancy restaurant.

    When it was time to order the wine, he said to the maitre d's, "Just bring me what I always have." There were four of us, and we drank it, and it was unbelievable — and then of course, if you're thirsty for even a sip more, he just stuck his finger in the air and a second bottle appeared. And then the check came, and it was more than any human could put on any kind of expense account.

    It cost them more than $2,000.

    What is likely chump change for the billionaire was more of a burden to Levien and Koppelman, who didn't have a studio backing their television show or even an expense form to fill out at the time.

    wealthy man binoculars

    They got more out of it than incredible wine. "This is a guy smart enough to not do anything by accident," they explained. "There was clearly a power dynamic going on there ... He was showing us that he was doing us the favor, but that he was no sucker, and we were."

    The dinner was some sort of game, or playing field, to the man. It could be won or lost. 

    "He couldn't live with the idea that we won the dinner by going away with information," the producers explained. "So he had to win, too, by hurting us with a dinner check the price of a trip to Florida ... Most of us don't think about a dinner that way. I had never thought about a dinner — in all the dinners I’ve had, and I've had many dinners — I had never thought, 'Oh, who’s going to win the dinner?'"

    While the natural, and immediate, reaction to their experience may be to judge the billionaire harshly, Levien and Koppelman encourage listeners not to jump to conclusions.

    "Don't take it like we found something about that off-putting," they told Altucher. "You can stop and say that's negative, or you can stop and say, What makes somebody that way? What were the formative experiences? Where is that person broken? What good has this attitude done?

    Much of rich people's success may be due to a competitive nature.

    As self-made millionaire and author of "How Rich People Think," Steve Siebold, explains: Rich people are obsessed with success. "The truth is wealthy people have a healthy obsession with getting what they want, which includes money,"he writes. "The wealthy see business and life as a game, and it's a game they love to win."

    Listen to the full podcast episode here »

    SEE ALSO: A man who spent $650,000 to have lunch with Warren Buffett says it changed his life in 2 big ways

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    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is no stranger to the Mercer Island, Washington, real estate market. 

    Allen, whose net worth is estimated at $18 billion, is believed to own as many as 11 homes in this ritzy enclave just east of Seattle.

    And according to, he just added yet another Mercer Island property to his extensive collection.

    Allen reportedly purchased a roughly 3,320-square-foot home for $5.4 million in December. The property is a bungalow that dates back to 1948 and has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. 

    paul allen mercer island

    Allen's primary residence is a 10,000-square-foot waterfront home that has its own helipad and concert hall. The rest of his Mercer Island homes are used to house guests, including one that's reserved just for his mother.

    Allen also owns property in Beverly Hills, Hawaii, New York City, and the French Riviera, in addition to two superyachts.

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen is sponsoring a massive fair to get more tech billionaires interested in collecting art

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    Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen lives a pretty fabulous life. With an estimated net worth of $18 billion, he's the 26th wealthiest man in the world, and he has the fancy yachts, planes, and lifestyle to prove it.

    Allen also collects a ridiculous amount of properties across the globe. 

    From a hilltop mansion on the French Riviera to an entire island off the coast of Washington, Allen has made his fair share of blockbuster purchases over the years.

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen reportedly just bought another home for $5.4 million

    Allen's primary residence is a 10,000-square-foot waterfront home on Mercer Island, a ritzy enclave of Seattle. He owns a total of 11 mansions on the island, including one that's just for his mother and another that houses a full-size basketball court, swimming pool, and fitness center.

    Source: Curbed Seattle, Variety

    Allen's most recent purchase on Mercer Island was a 3,000-square-foot bungalow that he reportedly paid $5.4 million for.


    He bought Allan Island, off the coast of Washington, in 1992. Though he initially had plans to build a dream home on the island, its secluded nature and lack of electricity made construction difficult. He sold the island in 2013 for a discounted $8 million.

    Source: Curbed Seattle

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Billionaire Marc Lasry, CEO of the $14 billion hedge fund Avenue Capital and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, will be playing in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. 

    Lasry, a member of Team USA, will be coached by four-time celebrity game MVP Kevin Hart.

    His teammates include Jason Sudeikis ("Race"); Michael B. Jordan ("Creed"); Anthony Anderson (ABC's "Blackish"); Bryshere "Yazz" Gray (FOX's "Empire"); Nick Cannon ("America's Got Talent"); five-time NBA All-Star and ESPN analyst Chauncey Billups; NBA legend Muggsy Bogues; and WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky.

    He'll be going up against the Canadian team coached by Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist and Toronto Raptors Global Ambassador Drake.  Drake will be assisted by NBA MVP Steve Nash and Toronto Blue Jays All-Star right fielder José Bautista.

    The Canadian team includes Arcade Fire's Win Butler; Drew and Jonathan Scott (HGTV's "Property Brothers"); professional tennis player Milos Raonic; actor and singer Kris Wu; seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady; NBA TV analyst Rick Fox; and Natalie Achonwa of the Indiana Fever.

    The game, which is being held in Toronto, airs on ESPN on Friday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. ET.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The world's leaders figures, many of them billionaires, have descended on Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum this week. 

    While some billionaires, like Bill Gates, have held the title of the richest in their country for years, others are just now entering the top spot.

    With the help of Forbes' Billionaires List, we've rounded up the biggest earners in 33 countries around the world.

    The current rankings and net worth are based on real-time data and are subject to change.

    Max Rosenberg and Paige Cooperstein contributed to an earlier version of this list. 

    SEE ALSO: How luxury shoppers are changing the face of retail

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    The richest person in Ukraine: Rinat Akhmetov

    Net worth: $4.9 billion

    Forbes rank:270

    Background: Akhmetov's net worth is composed of DTEK, his energy company, and Metinvest, his steel producer. Recently, his wealth has suffered from weak demand and slumping prices for his steel and iron-ore assets. The ongoing fighting in Ukraine has also hurt his net worth.

    The richest person in New Zealand: Graeme Hart

    Net worth: $6.1 billion

    Forbes rank:201

    Background: Hart's company, Reynolds Group holdings, manufactures packaging material. In 2014, he sold the subsidiary SIG to Canadian billionaire Gerald Schwartz’ Onex Group for $4.7 billion. Hart dropped out of school when he was 16, and once worked as a truck driver.


    The richest person in South Africa: Nicky Oppenheimer

    Net worth: $6.5 billion

    Forbes rank:183

    Background: Oppenheimer inherited his family's portion of the De Beers diamond company. He left in 2012, selling his 40% stake to mining conglomerate Anglo American for $5.1 billion. Oppenheimer also helped launch the Diamond Route, which set aside 250,000 hectares of land around diamond mines.

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    The highly anticipated television series, "Billions," premiered last week and became Showtime's best-performing premiere ever.

    The show centers around a hedge fund billionaire and the US attorney with a perfect track record of insider trading convictions.

    "These guys are sort of like kings in their own worlds," explain the producers of the show, David Levien and Brian Koppelman, on a recent podcast with James Altucher. "They come into conflict with each other and cross swords, so they have to manage their own kingdoms, while doing this battle with each other that is sort of akin to what we've seen play out over the last several years in the financial papers."

    Accurately portraying hedge fund billionaires meant sitting down with, interviewing, and getting into the heads of several billionaires — which is exactly what Levien and Koppelman did.

    As they interviewed more and more billionaires, they started to pick up on common attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. They also started to understand what it's like to lead a life as the wealthiest of the wealthy.

    Here, we've rounded up five insights into the lives of billionaires that the producers noticed and discussed with Altucher:

    SEE ALSO: Here's the psychological insight the producers of new TV drama 'Billions' took away from a $2,000 dinner with a billionaire

    They govern their own small worlds.

    "Billionaires, we realized a long time ago, are like nation states — American oligarchs in a way," the producers told Altucher.

    The analogy first started to emerge when Koppelman got the chance to spend a few weekends with a billionaire in a "behind the curtain" way. "Someone I knew, knew this person, and so I ended up being at this person's house. And then Dave and I met many billionaires [for the show], and together we came up with this idea: They're like nation states! They have their own flotillas, armadas, military people ..."

    They're competitive ... with everything.

    "For many of these people, each exchange has a winner and a loser," Levien and Koppelman explained to Altucher. Even something as simple and habitual as dinner can be "won" or "lost,"they learned during one particular interview.

    They told Altucher:

    We're at dinner with a billionaire and it's clear that he's doing us the favor by sitting with us. He has a lot of things he could be doing and we asked the favor to spend the time ... So it was sort of understood that we were going to pay.

    When it was time to order the wine, he said to the maitre d's, "Just bring me what I always have." There were four of us, and we drank it, and it was unbelievable — and then of course, if you're thirsty for even a sip more, he just stuck his finger in the air and a second bottle appeared. And then the check came, and it was more than any human could put on any kind of expense account.

    It cost them more than $2,000.

    The dinner was some sort of game, or playing field, to the billionaire. It could be won or lost. "He couldn't live with the idea that we won the dinner by going away with information," the producers explained. "So he had to win, too, by hurting us with a dinner check the price of a trip to Florida."

    They never admit defeat.

    Not only is every exchange something that can be won or lost, but the richest of the rich are always on the winning side. The competitive mindset held true as Levien and Koppelman continued to interview billionaires.

    Another example is billionaire Donald Trump, who told The Wall Street Journal: "I've never lost in my life."His businesses have gone bankrupt, he launched a few companies that ultimately flopped, and has had two failed marriages, yet he still claims to have never lost — and that bravado could be precisely what makes him so successful.

    "This is psychology 101 of the self-made rich," Steve Siebold, self-made millionaire and author of "How Rich People Think," tells Business Insider. "They don't recognize failure like the rest of us. They only see it as a stepping stone to their success. These people are professional comeback artists, so when they fail, they frame the setback as a bump in the road as opposed to an outright failure."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Real-estate developer Donald Trump repeatedly said over the weekend that he would "love" for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) to enter the 2016 fray.

    "I mean, I love the competition," Trump said Saturday night on Fox News when asked about the fellow New York billionaire's potential presidential campaign.

    "I understand Michael," he added. "I know Michael. And I could see him doing it. And I would love to have Michael run. Honestly, I love the competition."

    The New York Times reported earlier that day that Bloomberg was seriously considering a third-party bid for the White House.

    According to the report, Bloomberg sees an opening for a centrist candidate like himself if Republicans nominate Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Democrats went with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), a self-described democratic socialist. And the billionaire media mogul is reportedly willing to spend at least $1 billion to fund his own campaign.

    Trump, the current Republican front-runner, said on Fox News that he would do well in a three-way race.

    "I think I'd do very well against Michael. And I think I'd do very well frankly in a three-person race. It would be fine. But I would love to see Michael do that," he said.

    Trump also predicted that Bloomberg would take more votes away from the Democratic nominee than himself. He pointed out that Bloomberg is known for his advocacy for stricter gun-control policies.

    "He could very well hurt the Democrats," he said. "He's very, very anti-Second Amendment — very. And he's got a lot of other things. I think he'd hurt the Democrats, personally, but I'd love to see him in the race."

    Melania Knauss michael bloomberg donald trump

    Trump had a similar message Sunday when he was asked about Bloomberg's potential campaign on CBS' "Face the Nation."

    "I would love it. I know Michael very well. I would love to compete against Michael. And I know him very well," Trump said, according to the show's transcript. "And I think he might very well get in the race. And I would love to have him get in the race. ... He's very opposite on me with guns, and he's opposite on pro-life, and he's opposite on lot of things. So, I would love to have Michael get in the race."

    Trump further described Bloomberg as a former, and possibly current, "friend."

    "And Michael has been a friend of mine over the years. Perhaps we're not friends anymore," he said. "He's wanted to do this for a long time. And he never pulled the trigger, and we will see if he does right now. But I would personally love to compete with Michael Bloomberg."

    The Republican front-runner had almost the exact same response on Sunday's "Meet the Press."

    "Michael has been a friend of mine over the years. I don't know if we're friends anymore, frankly. But Michael has been a friend of mine," Trump told NBC's Chuck Todd, according to the show's transcript.

    "I would love to have Michael Bloomberg run," he added. "I would love that competition. I think I'd do very well against it. I would love to see Michael Bloomberg run."

    SEE ALSO: Donald Trump fumes: Michael Bloomberg might have lowballed my wealth because he's jealous

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    The wealthiest 50 people in the world control a staggering portion of the world economy: $1.46 trillion — more than the annual GDP of Australia, Spain, or Mexico.

    That's according to new data provided to Business Insider by Wealth-X, which conducts research on the super-wealthy. Wealth-X maintains a database of dossiers on more than 110,000 ultra-high-net-worth people, using a proprietary valuation model that takes into account each person's assets, then adjusts estimated net worth to account for currency-exchange rates, local taxes, savings rates, investment performance, and other factors.

    Its latest ranking of the world's billionaires found that 29 of the top 50 hail from the US and nearly a quarter made their fortunes in tech. To crack this list, you'd need to have a net worth of at least $14.3 billion. And for the most part these people weren't born with a silver spoon. More than two-thirds are completely self-made, having built some of the most powerful companies, including Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Nike, and Oracle.

    From tech moguls and retail giants to heirs and heiresses, here are the billionaires with the deepest pockets around the globe.

    SEE ALSO: The 20 most generous people in the world

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    49. TIE: Aliko Dangote

    Net worth:$14.3 billion

    Age: 58

    Country: Nigeria

    Industry: Diversified investments

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Dangote Group

    At 20, Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote borrowed money from his uncle to start a business that dealt in commodities trading, cement, and building materials. He quickly expanded to import cars during the country's economic boom. Four years later, in 1981, he formed Dangote Group, an international conglomerate that now holds diversified interests that include food and beverages, plastics manufacturing, real estate, logistics, telecommunications, steel, oil, and gas. At $14.3 billion, Dangote's fortune is the largest in Africa and equal to 2.5% of Nigeria's GDP.

    The majority of Dangote's wealth stems from his stake in Dangote Cement, which is publicly traded on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He owns cement plants in Zambia, Senegal, Tanzania, and South Africa, and in 2011 invested $4 billion to build a facility on the Ivory Coast. Dangote bought back a majority stake in Dangote Flour Mills — which had grown unprofitable after he sold a large stake to South African food company Tiger Brands three years ago for $190 million — in December for just $1. He is also chairman of The Dangote Foundation, which focuses on education and health initiatives, including a $12,000-per-day feeding program.

    49. TIE: James Simons

    Net worth:$14.3 billion

    Age: 77

    Country: US

    Industry: Hedge funds

    Source of wealth: Self-made; Renaissance Technologies

    Before revolutionizing the hedge fund industry with his mathematics-based approach, "Quant King" James Simons worked as a code breaker for the US Department of Defense during the Vietnam War, but was fired after criticizing the war in the press. He chaired the math department at Stony Brook University for a decade until leaving in 1978 to start a quantitative-trading firm. That firm, now called Renaissance Technologies, has more than $65 billion in assets under management among its many funds.

    Simons has always dreamed big. About 10 years ago, he announced that he was starting a fund that he claimed would be able to handle $100 billion, about 10% of all assets managed by hedge funds at the time. That fund, Renaissance Institutional Equities Fund, never quite reached his aspirations — it currently handles about $10.5 billion— but his flagship Medallion fund is among the best-performing ever: It has generated a nearly 80% annualized return before fees since its inception in 1988.

    In October, Renaissance shut down a $1 billion fund — one of its smaller ones — "due to a lack of investor interest." The firm's other funds, however, have been up and climbing. Simons retired in 2009, but remains chairman of the company.

    47. TIE: Laurene Powell Jobs

    Net worth:$14.4 billion

    Age: 52

    Country: US

    Industry: Media

    Source of wealth: Inheritance; Disney

    The widow of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs inherited his wealth and assets, which included 5.5 million shares of Apple stock and a 7.3% stake in The Walt Disney Co., upon his death. Jobs' stake in Disney — which has nearly tripled in value since her husband's death in 2011 and comprises more than $12 billion of her net worth — makes her the company's largest individual shareholder.

    Though she's best recognized through her iconic husband, Jobs has had a career of her own. She worked on Wall Street for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs before earning her MBA at Stanford in 1991, after which she married her late husband and started organic-foods company Terravera. But she's been primarily preoccupied with philanthropic ventures, with a particular focus on education. In 1997, she founded College Track, an after-school program that helps low-income students prepare for and enroll in college, and in September she committed $50 million to a new project called XQ: The Super School Project, which aims to revamp the high-school curriculum and experience.

    Last October, Jobs spoke out against "Steve Jobs," Aaron Sorkin's movie about her late husband that portrays him in a harsh light, calling it "fiction." Jobs had been against the project from the get-go, reportedly calling Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to ask them to decline roles in the film.

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    Steve Jobs

    Rich people think differently than the average person, and Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who died with an estimated net worth of $10.2 billion, was no exception.

    In a Quora thread answering the question "Do billionaires know something that normal people don't?" Patrick Methieson noted a Jobs quote that encapsulates the "billionaire mentality":

    "Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use."

    It's something that all wealthy people tend to internalize, explained Methieson, a venture investor who has worked with billionaires: "Billionaires realize that the world is pliable. With enough pressure applied to an endeavor, sufficiently resourceful people really can change the world. Contrast that with the rest of us who are more likely to assume the state of the world as static, or given."

    Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, who interviewed over 1,200 of the world's wealthiest people before writing "How Rich People Think," echoes this belief.

    Rich people have an action mentality and are problem solvers. "While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems,"he writes.

    This doesn't mean they're smarter than the average person, as Jobs noted. "They are just more strategic," Siebold explains. "When the rich need money, they don't wonder if it's possible, they simply begin creating new ideas that solve problems."

    And "the bigger the problem you solve, the more money you make," he says.

    At the end of the day, getting rich is an inside job. "Let’s set the record straight once and for all: Anyone can become wealthy,"Siebold writes. "It has nothing to do with your education or where you come from. It's not what you do that guarantees wealth, it's what you are."

    SEE ALSO: One quote from Donald Trump may help explain why he's a billionaire

    DON'T MISS: The 50 richest people on earth

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