$49.5 Billion in U.S. Treasury? For These Billionaires, That’s Nothing

The Treasury Department’s cash balance fell to just under $49.5 billion on Wednesday, as the United States inched toward running out of cash to pay its bills.

That was significantly lower than the $316 billion the department had in operating cash, which is held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, at the start of the month.

Just how empty is the Treasury cash coffer? For comparison, $49.5 billion is on par with the gross domestic product of Azerbaijan and Tunisia and lower than the net worth of the two dozen wealthiest people in the world. Of course, much of the assets of those billionaires are tied up in stocks, rather than liquid assets.

Here is a list of people with higher net worths than the U.S. cash reserves, according to Bloomberg News’s Billionaire Index as of Thursday. (Under the news agency’s editorial policy, its billionaire owner, Michael Bloomberg, is not considered for the index. Forbes, though, estimates his net worth at $94.5 billion.)

Bernard Arnault, chief executive of the luxury group LVMH: $189 billion

Elon Musk, chief executive of SpaceX, Tesla and Twitter: $179 billion

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon: $139 billion

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft: $125 billion

Larry Ellison, co-founder and executive chairman of Oracle: $116 billion

Steve Ballmer, investor and former chief executive of Microsoft: $113 billion

Larry Page, co-founder of Google: $112 billion

Warren Buffett, investor: $111 billion

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google: $106 billion

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive of Facebook: $92.3 billion

Carlos Slim, investor: $90.3 billion

Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, heir to the L’Oréal fortune and company board member: $87.2 billion

Mukesh Ambani, chairman of the energy group Reliance Industries: $83.7 billion

Amancio Ortega, founder of the Inditex fashion group: $67.1 billion

Jim Walton, heir to the Wal-Mart fortune: $66.6 billion

Rob Walton, heir to the Wal-Mart fortune: $64.9 billion

Alice Walton, heir to the Wal-Mart fortune: $63.8 billion

Gautam Adani, founder and chairman of the Adani Group conglomerate: $63.4 billion

Jacqueline Mars, heir to and co-owner of the candy maker Mars: $61.7 billion

John Mars, heir to and chairman of Mars: $61.7 billion

Zhong Shanshan, founder and chairman of the bottled-water company Nongfu Spring: $61.6 billion

Julia Flesher Koch and family, heirs of the businessman David Koch: $60.6 billion

Charles Koch, chief executive of the industrial conglomerate Koch Industries: $60.4 billion

Michael Dell, chief executive and chairman of Dell Technologies: $53.4 billion

Linda Qiu is a fact-check reporter, based in Washington. She came to The Times in 2017 from the fact-checking service PolitiFact. @ylindaqiu

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