Minnesota’s billionaires are doing just fine, thank you

Forbes is out with its annual list of the richest people in the world and, perhaps not surprisingly, the people who were the richest last year are the richest this year. That’s pretty much how it works when you’re rich.

Once you’re a billionaire, it’s pretty hard not to be a billionaire.

Whitney MacMillan, the scion of the Cargill clan, can’t not be a billionaire, not with $5.6 billion to unload. That puts him at No. 311, a drop from 289th place last year when he was estimated to be worth $6.1 billion.

We calculated then that he could set fire to a $100 bill every minute for the next 116 years and he’d still have a fortune.

To lose it all, he’d have to shred a $100 bill every second for the next 161 years. But even then, thanks to compound interest, he’d still be rich, although we haven’t calculated how rich. Be my guest, though.

Meanwhile, Glen Taylor — owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Star Tribune, and everything worth owning in Mankato, Minn. — has shot up from the 924th richest person in the world to No. 804 on the strength of his $2.8 billion. That’s a $200 million bump from last year, or twice the amount he paid for the Star Tribune in 2014.

And they say there’s no money in newspapers.

By the way, the Forbes presentation of the list this year is quite clunky but they’ll sell you a spreadsheet for $1,200. Everybody needs to make a buck.

Correction (March 5, 2018): A previous version of this post misidentified Whitney MacMillan.


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