April 16, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Even in the annals of over-the-top celebrity weddings, Sean Parker's planned nuptials may take the cake. The Facebook Inc. billionaire who also co-founded Napster is dropping nearly $10 million on a fairy-tale wedding in Big Sur that includes a whimsical fantasy world featuring faux ruins, waterfalls, bridges and a gated cottage, a person familiar with the plans said. Just the stone dance floor in the woods surrounding the Ventana Inn & Spa will set the 34-year-old back $350,000, according to the website TMZ. The plants and flowers will cost $1 million.
April 3, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - In an unusual legal action against the world's richest man, Mexico is suing the telecommunications giant Telmex for charging allegedly illegal fees that were tacked on to what are already some of the highest phone rates among developed countries. The lawsuit, filed in civil court by the federal consumer protection agency, aims to end a set of fees and, in what may be a first in this country, recover money for millions of telephone users. Telmex provides about 80% of fixed telephone lines in Mexico.
March 27, 2013 |
Has billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen purchased Picasso's "Le Rêve" from billionaire hotel and casino magnate Steve Wynn? A story in the New York Post this week reports that Cohen has bought the coveted painting for $155 million . If true, the sale would be one of the most expensive single art transactions in U.S. history. A spokesman for Cohen declined to comment on the matter. "Le Rêve" is the painting that Wynn famously damaged by accident in 2006 when he punctured the canvas with his elbow.
March 5, 2013 |
Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman has fallen off Forbes magazine's annual list of the world's billionaires. Guzman, who has been in hiding since escaping from a maximum-security prison in 2001, is chieftain of the Sinaloa cartel, Mexico's biggest and oldest drug-trafficking network. He first made the billionaire list in 2009 and remained on it until this year. Luisa Kroll, an editor at Forbes, said that Guzman's "whereabouts are unknown" and therefore it's difficult to verify his assets.
March 4, 2013 |
This post has been corrected. See below for details. The list of the world's ultimate 1% has grown: Forbes magazine said its tally of billionaires around the globe climbed 16% over last year. Topping the list is Carlos Slim, a telecommunications mogul from Mexico with a reported net worth of $73 billion. Microsoft Corp.'s Bill Gates came in second place, again, with a net worth of $67 billion. Other notables saw their places drop as their bank accounts were squeezed in the last year.
February 28, 2013 |
Herbalife Ltd. said it will add two more directors to its board and allow them to be picked by billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who is now one of the nutritional product maker's biggest shareholders. Icahn has backed Herbalife in its fight against hedge fund manager William Ackman, who accused the Los Angeles company in December of operating a pyramid scheme. The two famed Wall Street investors have been taking swipes at each other for weeks. Herbalife also announced that Icahn has the right to increase his stake in Herbalife to 25% from the nearly 14% he disclosed last month.
February 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - One of the key players in a special Democratic congressional primary Tuesday in Chicago comes from New York. That city's mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, is using his vast wealth to challenge a candidate running on a gun rights platform in the first election since the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. - a move that underscores his crusade to serve as a political counterweight to the National Rifle Assn. The NRA has chosen not to counter Bloomberg's ads attacking its preferred candidate, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, and liberal Chicago districts are an imperfect test case.
February 19, 2013 |
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is among the first group of billionaires from outside the U.S. who have signed up to donate at least half of their wealth to charitable causes as part of the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. The 12 foreign billionaires who have signed on to the pledge bring the total of signatures to 105 families, according to Bloomberg News. The initiative asking billionaires to pledge at least half of their fortune to philanthropy has largely been focused on the wealthy in the U.S. “As a young man, I never set out to make money,” Branson wrote in his pledge letter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2013 |
Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons and Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James crossed paths just once. It was an intimate cocktail fundraiser for James in the tony Montecito enclave near Santa Barbara, where Simmons owns a weekend retreat and counts Oprah Winfrey among his neighbors. Simmons, one of the top donors to Republican "super PACs" in 2012, turned to the candidate and asked, "What on Earth can you do to save L.A.?" James, recounting the exchange, said he launched into his political pitch, railing against the city's flirtation with bankruptcy and the power of its labor unions.
February 12, 2013 |
One of the biggest problems in our politics is that people don't think for themselves. We let radio and television hosts, pundits and politicians tell us what to believe. And one of the biggest problems in our arts is that people don't enjoy for themselves. We let museum curators, gallery owners, critics and professors tell us what to feel. A recent battle in the art world illustrates the point. The billionaire Ronald Perelman is suing the multimillionaire art dealer Larry Gagosian on the grounds, among others, that Gagosian overvalued an unfinished sculpture of Popeye (yes, the Sailor Man)