Who are the 8 richest people? All men, mostly Americans

LONDON: The eight individuals who own as much as half of the rest of the planet are all men, and have largely made their fortunes in technology. Most are American, with one European and one Mexican in the mix. Several have pledged to give it all to charity.

The eight tycoons' net worth, as calculated by Forbes magazine, was cited Monday by anti-poverty activists Oxfam in a report highlighting income inequality. Although most of them will not be joining the annual gathering of business and political elites in the Swiss town of Davos this week, the extraordinary individual wealth they typify will be part of the discussions in Davos on inequality.

Here's a look at who they are.

Michael Bloomberg: $40 billion

Created the eponymous financial information provider in 1981 after getting laid off from an investment bank. Bloomberg made it a lucrative business in particular by selling data terminals to financial services firms. The multi-screen terminals became essential tools in the industry, incorporating real-time market information with a news service. Bloomberg, who reportedly retains an 88 percent stake in the privately held company, turned to politics in 2001, becoming mayor of New York City for three terms.