Bill Gates tops Warren Buffett on Forbes list of richest Americans


Bill Gates got a little poorer last year, but when you're worth $50 billion, who's counting? Well, Forbes is, of course, and despite the $7-billion decline in his fortune, Microsoft's (MSFT) co-founder remains America's richest citizen, according to the magazine's annual list of the nation's wealthiest people. America's No. 2 moneybags, investor Warren Buffett, got an even bigger haircut, with his holdings shrinking $10 billion to $40 billion, reveals The Forbes 400. In fact, it was a crummy year for most of the über-wealthy, with the collective net worth of this rich bunch falling $300 billion in the past 12 months -- only the fifth time it's dropped since 1982.

The lousy economy and other factors actually made it easier for people to get on the list this year, relatively speaking, with $950 million doing the trick, versus $1.3 billion for last year's tally. Among the notable newcomers was Marvel Entertainment (MVL) chief Isaac Perlmutter. News that Disney (DIS) agreed to buy the superhero media company boosted his net worth to $1.55 billion. There were some high-profile departures, too, including that of R. Allen Stanford, who fell off the list after the feds froze his assets in connection with charges that he allegedly ran a Ponzi scheme, Forbes reports. Check out the full story and list here.