All together the 400 wealthiest Americans are worth a staggering $2.29 trillion, up $270 billion from a year ago. That’s about the same as the gross domestic product of Brazil, a country of 200 million people. The average net worth of list members is $5.7 billion, $700 million more than last year and a record high. An impressive 303 of the 400 saw the value of their fortunes rise compared to a year ago.

All of which tells you that the separation between rich and poor is growing wider each year. Nothing that I see is likely to change things in the near future. When I interviewed Jacques Barzun , the famous cultural historian he referred to himself as a cheerful negativist and saw the decline starting at the time of the First World War and steadilly going downhill since that time. He thought we still had a way to go.

When I asked him what would change things he said, “some one will come along and say we are a bunch of ninnies and boobs, follow me and I’ll show you the way back.” He said the only way things would change would have to be driven by a new successful means of education.

Now the thing that put this post in mind was an article I saw on the internet below:

david tepper
2013 Earnings: $3.5 billion
Tepper has set a new standard for hedge fund managers. His track record has long been phenomenal, but since the financial crisis his returns have reached a whole new level. In 2013, the 56-year-old founder of Appaloosa Management outperformed the U.S. stock market and the vast majority of hedge fund managers, with his biggest fund posting net returns of more than 42%. Over the last five years, Tepper’s main hedge fund has generated annualized net returns of nearly 40%—and gross returns of some 50%. In what has almost become an annual tradition, Tepper gave back some cash to his investors at the end of the year.