Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Warren Buffett

Ranked the richest man in the world by Forbes in 2008, Warren Buffett has consistently defied the stereotype of the American billionaire: he lives in the same Omaha house he bought decades ago for $31,500; because of his fiscal acumen (some might say conservatism), Berkshire Hathaway avoided many of the bubble-era pitfalls that brought many other financial companies to their knees; and he plans to give almost all of his $47 billion fortune to charity rather than passing it on to his children. But he made his biggest mark in 2011 with his high-profile support of the so-called Buffett tax, the idea that the effective tax rates of the extremely wealthy should not be lower than those of their mostly middle-class employees, sending a message that socially responsible billionaires must remember the 99%.