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This issue focuses on private equity and the fifty top dealers with Carlyle's David Rubenstein on the cover. Plus: the little known truths of Steve Jobs and Ford and GM travel to Brazil.
THE KINGS OF CAPITAL
FACT & COMMENT- Steve Forbes
Gold can save us from disaster.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
While most of the list sits it out, a few dozen Forbes 400 members lie smack in the middle of the 2012 elections.
Google’s surge sends Brin to new highs; Oracle’s slide sinks Ellison.
THE WORLD’S MOST POTENT BRANDS
We ranked 130 firms based on their brand’s role in driving earnings.
We’re bullish on Kobe beef, but bearish on British bankers’ Libor fix.
WET AND WILD
Megayacht? Megaboring. Water-powered jet pack, anyone?
Introducing a sports gamer, a life accelerator and a retired busboy.
LOVE ONLY ONE
Richard Branson’s favorite album.
Readers ranging from CNBC’s Gary Kaminsky to Oprah Winfrey weigh in on our Forbes 400 issue.
CURRENT EVENTS- Paul Johnson
Vladimir Putin: the world’s most unlovable man.
CURRENT EVENTS- Amity Shlaes
Morality first: the end of behaviorism.
CAPITAL FLOW- Jerry Bowyer
Conservatives need a reset.
INNOVATION RULES- Rich Karlgaard
Hard and soft: Winner excel in both.
GOING SOUTH // GLOBAL GROWTH- Joann Muller
Poor GM and Ford. Europe is a mess, China is stalling and the U.S. recovery is lame. But they’re bullish on Brazil-despite some very big challenges.
SCHLOCK AND AWE // BUSINESS RENEGADES- Dorothy Pomerantz
Micro movie studio The Asylum nails the formula for Hollywood’s Netflix era: Make ‘em fast, make ‘em cheap and make sure to get the right words in the title.
SECONDARY CHANCES- Tomio Geron
Facebook’s stock collapse blew a hole in the market for privately held shares. But don’t fret: More speculation is on its way.
THE GOOGLE HIGHWAY- Alex Knapp
The search giant’s fiber-optic build-out is boosting startups in places not known for tech- including Kansas City software developer RareWire.
THE WISDOM OF CROWDFUNDING // IN MY OWN WORDS- Slava Rubin
Indiegogo’s cofounder and CEO explains the virtues (and fun) of piggybacking on his money-raising platform.
ART PROJECT // GLOBETROTTERS- Hannah Elliott
A fashion scion is trying to upend the business of art dealing, with international venues, big parties and even bigger sponsors. Will it work?
THE GODFATHER OF ETFS- Ari I. Weinberg
Trading boss Reggie Browne has an offer that fund sponsors can’t afford to refuse.
PORTFOLIO STRATEGY- Ken Fisher
Too big to fail stocks.
INVESTMENT STRATEGIES- William Baldwin
Gimme that Bogle religion-sometimes.
FIXED-INCOME WATCH- Richard Lehmann
A politics-free profit plan.
COVER STORY: THE KINGS OF CAPITAL- Nathan Vardi
Private equity is the most politicized, scrutinized, vilified industry in America. Yet David Rubenstein and the Carlyle Group, once poster children for creepy Beltway connections, have managed to both avoid the criticism-and rake in billions.
THE TRUTH ABOUT BAIN- Daniel Fisher
The house that Romney built has much more than an election-driven image problem. Just ask its investors.
THE TOP 50 DEALMAKERS- Reported by Chris Barth, Daniel Fisher, Agustino Fonevecchia, Halah Touryalai and Nathan Vardi
Private equity may be getting pummeled on the campaign trail, but the deal scene is boiling again. FORBES ranks the biggest players, not just by their war chests-and reputations-but also on the ultimate criterion: the successful exits they’ve delivered for investors.
SMALL FIRM, BIG DEAL- Daniel Fisher
Stockholm’s Nordic Capital can claim one of the biggest killings in PE history.
FUELING THE FRACKING BOOM- Halah Touryalai
Why the private equity gang has been piling onto oil and gas deals.
UNTOLD STORIES ABOUT STEVE- As told to Connie Guglielmo
One year after his passing we asked friends of Steve Jobs for memories never shared with the public.
CLOSET QUEEN- Morgan Brennan
Lisa Adams’ LA Closet Design catches the wave in clothes storage as an art form.