Gates So Rich He May Become World's First Trillionaire

Per latest Oxfam extrapolation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2017 7:19 AM CST
Gates So Rich He May Become World's First Trillionaire
How can one person have so much money.   (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu, File)

Eight billionaires on Earth boast as much money as the world's 3.6 billion poorest people—and one of those eight wealth-wielders has a good shot at ascending to the next level. CNBC reports that Bill Gates is on pace to become the planet's first trillionaire within the next quarter-century. This prediction is based on the latest Oxfam report, "An Economy for the 99%," which took Gates' current worth ($84 billion or so, per Forbes) and number-crunched it using the average rate growth for the super-rich, which has been around 11% a year for the past eight years. Using that formula, the 61-year-old Microsoft co-founder would top the trillion mark right around his 86th birthday.

"In such an environment, if you are already rich, you have to try hard not to keep getting a lot richer," Oxfam says. Gates has accumulated nearly $35 billion since he said goodbye to Microsoft in 2006, and that's even with him doing whatever he can to dump his stash, both through his own foundation and via his participation in the Giving Pledge, an elite gathering of the richest folks in the world promising to dump the bulk of their wealth into philanthropic efforts. Other billionaires Oxfam looked at could also join the trillionaires club going by that same rate, though it will take awhile longer: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, now 32, could hit that benchmark when he's 59, for example. Warren Buffett could get there in 25 years, but he's already 86 and would have to live to 111, per Money. (We call Bill Gates as our Secret Santa when he hits the big time.)

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