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For Gates-Like Wealth, Look Beyond Wall Street
The New York Times | April 05, 2012 | 01:06 PM EDT

Get out your smallest violin.

It is harder than ever to become one of the world’s wealthiest individuals by working on Wall Street.

Profits are getting crimped as new regulations put the brakes on some of Wall Street’s riskiest — and most lucrative — practices. Compensation is falling. And stocks, a large part of industry pay, are under pressure.

In this environment, the financial industry is unlikely to be minting new billionaires anytime soon.

But that’s nothing new. Wall Street has rarely generated the wealthiest of the wealthiest.

Just take a look at any of the various lists of the top 10 richest individuals in the world. None of them work on Wall Street. Not one. Most of them were entrepreneurs (or relatives of entrepreneurs) who built businesses like Microsoft, Oracle and Wal-Mart Stores .

While Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, and Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, may be examples of Wall Street’s freewheeling ways, they are more 1 percent than 0.01 percent. Sandy Weill, the architect of Citigroup, lost his billionaire status after the financial crisis.

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