Here’s a sign of inflation


Some financial wizards are speculating that computer marketing genius Bill Gates could become the world’s first trillionaire.

His net worth today is around $75 billion. He might be able to add another $925 billion to his portfolio by the time he checks out, according to at least one guru.

Whenever I see stories like this, or lists of the world’s richest people, I cannot help but think of this bit of financial trivia that I’ll share with you now.

The Greek shipping mogul Aristotle Onassis died in 1975. At the time of his death he was rated among the top two or three richest men on Earth. He was known actually more for the fact that he married the former first lady of the United States, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy.

He and another Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Niarchos, occasionally swapped places annually — kind of in the manner that Bill Gates does today with Warren Buffett or Carlos Slim.

Onassis’s estimated wealth at the time of his death?

Oh, it was about $600 million.

That ain’t chump change as I understand the meaning of the term.

For Gates and some of his other fellow billionaires, though, Onassis’s portfolio comprised, well, walkin’-around money.

Whatever. It’s all way out of my league. As John Wayne said in the film “Big Jake”: Times change.

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