The bottom line
▪ It now takes a record $2 billion to make the list of the richest 400 Americans, according to Forbes. Microsoft founder Bill Gates tops the list, with an estimated net worth of $89 billion, followed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with $81.5 billion. President Trump’s fortune fell by $600 million, to $3.1 billion, over the past year, as a result of declining real estate assets and a costly election campaign.
▪ PayPal is now worth more than American Express. Since being spun off from eBay two years ago, the mobile-payments company has grown from $47 billion in market value to $83 billion. PayPal is also gaining ground on Wall Street giants: It is worth about $6 billion less than Morgan Stanley and $10 billion less than Goldman Sachs.
The Wall Street Journal
▪ There are more than 14,000 Dollar General stores in the U.S., outnumbering Starbucks outlets by several hundred. The discount chain will have another 1,000 stores by the end of this year, as it rapidly expands into poor, rural communities underserved by big-box stores.
▪ Two-thirds of adults worldwide will own a smartphone by next year, according to media measurement company Zenith. The Netherlands has the highest rate of ownership, with 94 percent. In the U.S., just under 70 percent of adults are forecast to own a smartphone in 2018.
▪ Walmart told investors this week that a small change to its plastic bags saved the company approximately $20 million this year. Shortening the paper receipts given to customers saved $7 million.