Advertisement (468 x 60px )

Powered by Blogger.


Your Ad Here

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

World's Billionaires 2009

It's been a tough year for the richest people in the world. Last year there were 1,125 billionaires. This year there are just 793 people rich enough to make our list.

The world has become a wealth wasteland.

Like the rest of us, the richest people in the world have endured a financial disaster over the past year. Today there are 793 people on our list of the World's Billionaires, a 30% decline from a year ago.

Of the 1,125 billionaires who made last year's ranking, 373 fell off the list--355 from declining fortunes and 18 who died. There are 38 newcomers, plus three moguls who returned to the list after regaining their 10-figure fortunes. It is the first time since 2003 that the world has had a net loss in the number of billionaires.

The world's richest are also a lot poorer. Their collective net worth is $2.4 trillion, down $2 trillion from a year ago. Their average net worth fell 23% to $3 billion. The last time the average was that low was in 2003.

Bill Gates lost $18 billion but regained his title as the world's richest man. Warren Buffett, last year's No. 1, saw his fortune decline $25 billion as shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) fell nearly 50% in 12 months, but he still managed to slip just one spot to No. 2. Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim Helú also lost $25 billion and dropped one spot to No. 3.

It was hard to avoid the carnage, whether you were in stocks, commodities, real estate or technology. Even people running profitable businesses were hammered by frozen credit markets, weak consumer spending or declining currencies.

The biggest loser in the world this year, by dollars, was last year's biggest gainer. India's Anil Ambani lost $32 billion--76% of his fortune--as shares of his Reliance Communications, Reliance Power and Reliance Capital all collapsed.

Ambani is one of 24 Indian billionaires, all but one of whom are poorer than a year ago. Another 29 Indians lost their billionaire status entirely as India's stock market tumbled 44% in the past year and the Indian rupee depreciated 18% against the dollar. It is no longer the top spot in Asia for billionaires, ceding that title to China, which has 28.

Russia became the epicenter of the world's commodities bust, dropping 55 billionaires--two-thirds of its 2008 crop. Among them: Dmitry Pumpyansky, an industrialist from the resource-rich Ural mountain region, who lost $5 billion as shares of his pipe producer, TMK, sank 84%. Also gone is Vasily Anisimov, father of Moscow's Paris Hilton, Anna Anisimova, who lost $3.2 billion as the value of his Metalloinvest Holding, one of Russia's largest ore mining and processing firms, fell along with his real estate holdings.

Twelve months ago Moscow overtook New York as the billionaire capital of the world, with 74 tycoons to New York's 71. Today there are 27 in Moscow and 55 in New York.

After slipping in recent years, the U.S. is regaining its dominance as a repository of wealth. Americans account for 44% of the money and 45% of the list's slots, up seven and three percentage points from last year, respectively. Still, it has 110 fewer billionaires than a year ago.

Those with ties to Wall Street were particularly hard hit. Former head of AIG (AIG) Maurice (Hank) Greenberg saw his $1.9 billion fortune nearly wiped out after the insurance behemoth had to be bailed out by the U.S. government. Today Greenberg is worth less than $100 million. Former Citigroup (C) Chairman Sandy Weill also falls from the ranks.

Last year there were 39 American billionaire hedge fund managers; this year there are 28. Twelve American private equity tycoons dropped out of the billionaire ranks.
Blackstone Group's (BX) Stephen Schwarzman, who lost $4 billion, and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts' Henry Kravis, who lost $2.5 billion, retain their billionaire status despite their weaker fortunes.

Worldwide, 80 of the 355 drop-offs from last year's list had fortunes derived from finance or investments.

While 656 billionaires lost money in the past year, 44 added to their fortunes. Those who made money did so by catering to budget-conscious consumers (discount retailer Uniqlo's Tadashi Yanai), predicting the crash (investor John Paulson) or cashing out in the nick of time (Cirque du Soleil's Guy Laliberte).

So is there anywhere one can still make a fortune these days? The 38 newcomers offer a few clues. Among the more notable new billionaires are Mexican Joaquín Guzmán Loera, one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the U.S.; Wang Chuanfu of China, whose BYD Co. began selling electric cars in December, and American John Paul Dejoria, who got the world clean with his Paul Mitchell shampoos and sloppy with his Patrón Tequila.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fall/Winter '09-'10 Fashion Weeks N.Y - London - Milan - Paris

Fashion TV is happy to announce the worldwide broadcast of the greatest fashion shows from N.Y. & London Fashion Weeks; Daily direct broadcasts from Milan & Paris Fashion weeks. Plus special fashion weeks' weekends; every weekend is dedicated to the current Fashion Week.
Fashion TV brings you full coverage of all the most significant, exciting fashion weeks; featuring the greatest names of the fashion world; the most outstanding collections, the most beautiful models, exciting new looks and hair & make-up trends; all the colors & styles straight off the catwalks of the biggest fashion capitals in the world.

Join Fashion TV everyday at 9PM and 11PM for special reports, daily direct broadcast and every weekend a focus on each fashion week; full coverage of all the major fashion shows and all the biggest names in the world of fashion. Be the first to see the hot new trends for the next season, the beautiful collections; and look out for the beauties that will grace the catwalks as the show’s openers.


Britney Spears visits sick kids in Miami hospital

MIAMI (AP) -- Just hours before taking the stage, pop singer Britney Spears made a surprise visit to a group of sick children at Miami Children's Hospital.

The 27-year-old Spears posed for photos with the children on Saturday.

She's also donating $100,000 to the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program, which brings clowns to young hospital patients.

Spears played at the American Airlines Arena in Miami as part of her "Circus" tour.

The tour to support her hit album of the same name kicked off last week before a nearly sold-out crowd in New Orleans.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Free Internet Phone Calls

Things have changed a bit since this article was written in the 1990's. The dot com bubble burst and for a number of years there was no free PC to phone calling. However, now, not only can you call regular phones for free, you can also get a free number for incoming calls. Read this article about combining Skype and StanaPhone for one excellent and totally free phone service. The original article from the 90's follows:

Free calling from one PC to another on the Internet has been around for quite some time, but now you can make calls to standard telephones for free.

PC to PC calling has its share of drawbacks. The person you are calling not only needs to be online they need to be running the same Internet phone software you are. The sound quality of your call is dependent on your connection speed and the other person's connection speed. If the connection is slow or there is a lot of traffic at just one end it may be impossible to hold a conversation.

On the other hand when you use services that allow you to initiate your call from your PC but call standard telephones you are the only one that needs a special setup. Typically your connection will be the only limiting factor since the service provider will be using high speed connections at their end.

I'm not saying that you will always have high quality audio, but your chances are better, particularly if you have a cable or DSL connection or if your dialup ISP has plenty of capacity and a good connection to the Internet itself.

Initially most of the services only offer calls to the US but they claim to have plans to offer calls outside the US. If you live outside the US you can still use the service as long as your calls are to the US. requires a free software download and currently only works with Windows 95, 98 and NT. does not require a software download and install. They use a Java applet but they now state that it requires Windows 95, 98 or NT and IE 4 or Netscape 4.5 or later browsers.

You can find other free phone related services on the Free Fax & Phone Services page.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Milk-Chocolate-Frosted Layer Cake

This cake from Karina Gowing, the pastry chef at Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine, is perfection for anyone who loves frosting. The ultracreamy icing, which is almost like a milk-chocolate ganache, gets spread liberally over layers of light, delicate, cocoa-flavored cake.


  • 1 1/4 cup(s) cake flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 2 stick(s) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup(s) whole milk
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 pinch(s) salt
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • Shaved milk chocolate, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 325°. Butter and flour two 9-inch-square cake pans.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, cocoa, and baking powder. In a medium saucepan, melt butter in milk over low heat. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
3. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat at medium-high speed until whites are stiff and glossy. Fold beaten whites into the batter until no streaks remain. Divide batter between the pans and bake for 25 minutes, until the cakes are springy and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and let cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour hot cream on top. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let frosting stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to spread, about 1 hour.
5. Turn the cakes out of the pans and put one layer on a plate. Top with 1 cup of frosting, spreading it to the edge. Top with the second layer and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides. Let the cake stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

Tips & Techniques

The cake can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


New Year, New Career: Find Your Best Self In 2009

by Patricia Cecil-Reed

The ball has dropped, the champagne corks have popped, and all across America people are returning to work after the New Year's festivities. The question is: How do you feel returning to your job? You may already have made your New Year's resolutions, but do they include your career plans?

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to look back at the past year and plan for the one ahead. Evaluate what you really want, personally and professionally, and make a plan to get it. Fulfill a long-held good intention to further your career training or complete a degree program. If you want to try for a promotion in your field, or change career paths entirely, now is the time to go for it.

Physical Therapist Assistant ($44,340 average annual salary--U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Physical therapist assistants play a hands-on role in the rehabilitation of disabled patients, and have the specific pleasure of watching their work make a physical difference from day to day. They perform many of the same duties as a physical therapist but do not need a master's degree. Job demand is high and disabled patients need you, so why wait to join this rewarding field?

Career Training: An associate's degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant training program is usually needed, along with licensure in your state.

Environmental Engineer ($74,820 average annual salary--U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

"Protect the environment" is a phrase we hear thrown around a lot, but few people know more about it than environmental engineers. Environmental engineers use both creative and analytical skills to assess environmental hazards and design solutions for them. With Obama's plans to create five million "green collar" jobs over the next ten years, this is an ideal time to get on-board with a green career.

Career Training: For entry-level jobs, you'll likely need a bachelor's degree in environmental or civil engineering.

Teacher ($50,040 average annual salary for elementary school teachers--U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

A particularly good choice for a second or later in life career, teachers are always needed to make a difference in students' lives. Whether you choose to teach pre-K, elementary, or high school students, rest assured your contribution will be valued.

Career Training: A bachelor's degree in education or a related subject may be necessary for elementary and high school teaching positions, but not necessarily for preschool or vocational education positions.

Career Counselor ($51,690 average annual salary)

Your ideal career could be helping others find theirs. Career counselors evaluate their clients' skills, abilities, and interests and help apply them to an appropriate career path. Training to become a career counselor may be a great move for you if you genuinely enjoy helping others. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that career, school, and educational counselors will see "much faster than average" job growth between now and 2016.

Career Training: Counselors usually need a bachelor's or master's degree to practice, and appropriate licensure for their state.

Nonprofit Organization Project Manger ($39,076 average annual salary for 1 to 4 years

Do something good for the world and for yourself. Nonprofit organizations are growing, employing 8.7 million workers as of 2007, as opposed to just 5.4 million in 1994. Apply your business sense to this rewarding field and feel good about yourself and your career.

Career Training: Experience, courses, or a bachelor's or associate degree in business administration or business management are all good background for this career.

The most important part of any job search is evaluating your own strengths and talents. What makes you happy? What do you want to get out of your perfect career? If you're community minded, interested in giving of your time and skills, and also invested in your own professional success, these job paths may hold the key to fulfilling all of your '09 resolutions.