When Forbes releases its lists – ones ranking the richest people in America and across the world – two things happen: 1) There is a small amount of buzz on the Internet about who’s number one and 2) The rest of the world greets the lists with little more than a shrug. As much as those lists are the backbone of Forbes, in the end, no one really cares.
This makes Bloomberg LP announcing that it will begin to rank the world’s richest people all the more puzzling. When Bloomberg releases its lists sometime in 2012 or 2013, it will be competing for a niche market that keeps getting smaller. In 2009, the richest people in America print issue for Forbes sold 40 percent less than the one in 2007. What about that stat makes the Bloomberg execs say, “That’s the kind of thing we want to get into.” Maybe Bloomberg LP’s edition will include a centerfold. After all, nothing says “buy me!” like a picture of Warren Buffet in a speedo.