March 12, 2009

Downturn affects Racine's billionaires, too...

Times are tough, even for the world's billionaires.

Forbes magazine reports that there are 300 fewer of them this year than a year ago -- only 793 remaining from what was a class of 1,125.

Losses have been startling for the wealthiest -- poor Bill Gates, for example, down a staggering $18 billion to a barely-able-to-get-by fortune of $40 billoion. Well, at least it's good for first place again.

Warren Buffett, last year's richest at $62 billion? His bank account is down $25 billion to "only" $37 billion. Maybe we'll run into him grabbing the earlybird special at Country Buffet.

All well and good, you say, but what about Racine's own billionaires, members of the S.C. Johnson family? Tough times for them, too -- but all is relative. Forbes puts the Johnsons -- siblings H. Fisk Johnson, S. Curtis Johnson, Helen Johnson-Leipold and Winnie Johnson-Marquart, and Sam's widow Gene Johnson, -- all tied at 376 on the list (along with 16 others). Their individual fortunes are estimated by Forbes to be down to $1.9 billion from $2.2 billion a year ago. That's a loss of $300 million. Each. In one year.

Nice work if you can get it.


  1. My ass bleeds for them! Give me a break!!

  2. Helen and Gene are the only ones that even live in Racine.

  3. While I am not concerned that billionaires lost half their worth, it does concern me that people around me are losing half of the little they had. Where is all the money going to anyway? It feels like it's all being sucked into a black hole that leads to nowhere. Hopefully our greediness will go along with it and we can be more generous and considerate with what we have left.