The “billionaire index” business has gotten out of control. Bloomberg poached staff from Forbes, the traditional media outlet for the wealth of the super rich through its Forbes 400 and other reports. Bloomberg believed it could best Forbes with a “real time” version of billionaire wealth.
The basis of the measurement was absurd from the start. It is possible to track holdings in public companies. However, the value of assets like real estate and private company stakes is impossible to measure regularly and even, in some cases, annually. Forbes has tried to flank the new Bloomberg index with one of its own. It launched its “Forbe’s Real Time Rich List” yesterday. Perhaps the next move will be real time measurement of sports team and brand values.