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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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September 18, 2008 11:24 AM

Tech moguls claim upper tier of Forbes list of richest Americans

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Forbes published its annual list of the 400 richest Americans yesterday. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is on top with an estimated $57 billion fortune. Forbes notes that Gates has more than half his fortune outside of Microsoft stock and that his pile has declined 5 percent in the last 12 months. Another interesting note: "Inflation-adjusted net worth would top $90 billion if he hadn't given away any cash."

Next on the list is Gates' buddy and co-philanthropist Warren Buffett, with $50 billion.

Oracle boss Larry Ellison is a distant third with $27 billion.

The Waltons of Wal-Mart occupy slots four through six. They are followed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the refining and manufacturing Koch brothers.

Then it's back to tech:

11. Michael Dell, $17.3 billion, Dell

12. Paul Allen, $16 billion, Microsoft
13. Sergey Brin, $15.9 billion, Google
14. Larry Page, $15.8 billion, Google
15. Steve Ballmer, $15 billion, Microsoft (tied with casino magnate Sheldon Anderson)

Also of note, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg made the list. He came in at No. 321 with $1.5 billion. At 24, he's the youngest on the list.

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