The economic crisis may have wiped off $300 billion from the wealth of America's richie-rich club, but the net worth of many members, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is still sufficient to buy "almost anything" that includes many a countries of the world.
"Castles in France. Islands in the Caribbean. Private jets. With a collective $1.27 trillion at their disposal, the members of the Forbes 400 could buy almost anything," business magazine Forbes said about its annual ranking of America's 400 richest persons, whose collective wealth have declined from $1.57 trillion a year ago.
"How about a country? A quick glance at the CIA Fact Book (which chronicles economic, demographic and other details of all the countries) suggests the individual fortunes of many Forbes 400 members are as big as some of the world's economies," the magazine further noted.
"Bill Gates, America's richest man with a net worth of $50 billion, has a personal balance sheet larger than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 140 countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Bolivia and Uruguay.
"The Microsoft visionary's nest egg is just short of the GDP of Tanzania and Burma," it added.
Although his wealth has fallen by $7 billion in a year, Gates has retained his title as the richest American for 16th year in a row.