Donald Trump’s political fortunes may have risen but his wealth pile is not as towering as it used to be according to the latest rich list calculated by business magazine Forbes.
Point of view
Midtown Manhattan real estate is down; therefore, so is Donald Trump's fortune
They say he is now the world’s 544th richest person and worth $3.5 billion, $200 million less than before the election mostly because of the reduced value of his main property holdings in midtown Manhattan, New York.
“Midtown Manhattan real estate is down; therefore, so is Donald Trump’s fortune,” Forbes said.
Some of Trump’s other buildings have gone up in value but his assets, as calculated by Forbes, are only about a third of the $10 billion he claimed in a personal financial disclosure form during the election race.
Critics have said Trump has inflated the true value of his wealth, saying his tax returns would provide a more accurate snapshot of his financial status. But Trump has defied convention and refused to release his returns.
Every year the property developer turned politician has challenged Forbes estimate of his worth – this year there was no comment from the Trump Organization or the White House.
High flying costs
Trump is also saving some money on his travel expense, which are now picked up by the US taxpayer.
Five years ago he tweeted indignantly about President Obama’s holidays saying the cost to taxpayers was “Unbelievable!”.
The fact that his wife Melania and youngest son Barron have remained living in the Trump Tower building in New York has also upped the bill for security with the city authorities putting in claims for $500,000 a day, mostly for police overtime.
On top of that Trump’s sons are also being provided with pricey protection by Secret Service agents as they travel the world looking after his business empire.
Who tops the Forbes richest list
Bill Gates, the philanthropic co-founder of Microsoft, maintained his No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row, with his $86 billion fortune up from last year’s $75 billion
He was followed this year by Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett at No. 2.
Buffett, the legendary value investor known as the ‘Oracle of Omaha’, reclaimed that spot after a two-year hiatus. His net worth surged to $75.6 billion from $60.8 billion.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos was at No. 3. He apparently was the biggest winner on the 2017 list. His wealth jumped to $72.8 billion, a gain of $27.6 billion from last year, Forbes said.
This year Forbes ranked a record 2,043 billionaires.
“Booming stock markets, higher commodities prices and plain old-fashioned entrepreneurship helped make this a record year in terms of wealth creation around the globe,” Forbes editors Luisa Kroll and Kerry Dolan said.