I remember learning about Bill Gates, even before using a Microsoft product. Not because of his business at all, in fact, but because of his wealth. Bill Gates' wealth has defined his public image longer and deeper than his contribution to the world of technological advancement. The man is worth some 88.9 billion USD by himself, making him a real-life Tony Stark, who strangely is richer in humility than the latter, as well.
People often debate that there are those richer than Bill Gates, that there are numerous spurious lists that do not share the same candidate names, despite publishing the same list.
What many do not realize is that the wealthy do not procure wealth to top lists but to feed an addiction. And like any other addict, nobody wants to give up their addiction or their supplier.
Given the synonymy with wealth, people throw around Bill Gates' name casually but seldom realize that whatever he has, is legally earned money, even though your copy of Windows may not be legal. *wink*
However, most of the folks around the planet who are equally or richer, are so because of illegal means. Even some of the so-called rich folks on these lists, besides Mr. Gates, have cringe-worthy means of earning or at least evading taxes. And most of these folks know it's better to hide away your black money for a rainy day than to have it announced to the world for 15 minutes of fame.
Escobar spearheaded a conglomeration of the Colombian crime families, ruling over the populace with an iron hand through bribery, intimidation, and concern for the plebeians of his country. However, the man known to burn dollars for alternative firewood was also renowned to forget his morals nonchalantly, while raining blood and bullets on the DEA.
Even the world leaders and renowned Multi-National entrepreneurs and CEO's do not list all their holdings publicly, which makes it difficult to fathom anyone's true worth. Otherwise, Mr. Gates would have been long deposed of his old rank as the richest person on the planet, via Legal business.
Speaking of legal business, no conversation is complete without the mention of the Rothschild family, the ancient banking lineage. All the members are worth 400 billion USD altogether.
The Rothschild are claimed to pull the strings of many governments as they are the oldest known banking family and have provided loans to both sides of the war for centuries. The Rothschild name seldom comes up in conversation as often as Gates'.
The true brilliance of amassing wealth through questionable and legally ambiguous means is when you can consolidate it into fractions; besides laundering them. That way the IRS or Forbes list do not sniff out your reaches. And if you think financing doesn't need a clear mind, ask former-business-mogul-on-the-run, Vijay Mallya.
Maybe it's just paying credence to conspiracy theories, but it is rumored that Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin are richer than they are accounted for. This is exactly why a list when it comes to wealth, shall always be spurious.