TEXT OF INTERVIEW
SCOTT JAGOW: This is the richest year ever in human history. So says Steve Forbes. Last night his magazine came out with its annual list of billionaires. There are 946 people on the list this year. That’s almost 20 percent more than last year. Bill Gates was at the top for the 13th year in a row. Some of the newcomers include Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner and the two guys who make the Blackberry. Let’s check in with Stephen Beard to get more on Europe’s representation on the list. Stephen?
STEPHEN BEARD: Germany remains in the No. 2 slot for the number of billionaires. It has 55. That of course is still way behind the U.S. with 415. No. 3 interestingly is Russia — not an extremely wealthy country but very rich in oligarchs.
JAGOW: What about other emerging markets in Europe?
BEARD: Turkey is now No. 6 in the billionaires list with 25 billionaires, so it’s up there with Japan. Quite an interesting development. And Serbia and Romania for the first time now boast a billionaire apiece.
JAGOW: Alright, how about there in Britain, besides Stephen Beard, who else is on the list?
BEARD: I’m afraid I’m missing again this year. Old money has prevailed, I’m sorry to say. Top of the list is the Duke of Westminster. However, it’s nice to see that talent is also rewarded: J.K. Rowling is also in the list. She now has a billion dollars from the Harry Potter books. She does share that position with a soft porn publisher.
JAGOW: Well I’m sure she’s not going to complain too much about that. Stephen, maybe we’ll look for you next year.
BEARD: You’ll be looking in vain.
JAGOW: Alright thanks a lot.
BEARD: OK Scott.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.