The Best Billionaire Tweets of 2012

By Diane Bullock  DEC 31, 2012 12:30 PM

Gates on Poop, Bloomberg on "Grejvvvmhhhkncb."


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Technically speaking, they are constricted to just 140 characters, but if social media has taught us anything during its still-nascent history, it’s that a tweet is truly worth a thousand words. And when it comes to the microblog accounts of the super wealthy, those individual units of language can even translate into the value that really counts: the dollar. From the clever to the clarion to the crass, Minyanville has the definitive list of the best billionaire tweets that -- for better or worse -- will forever linger throughout our Twittersphere.

T. Boone Pickens

Lest you think an octogenarian oil magnate doesn’t have what it takes to battle in the cutthroat, one-upmanship culture that is gangsta rap, grab some wood, because you’re about to get schooled -- really old-schooled.

In what Gizmodo called “the most magical event in Twitter history,” 84-year-old T. Boone Pickens opened up one glitzy can of bling-brag on a hip-hop star three and a half times his junior. Back in May, Canadian artist Drake took to his @Drizzy handle to flex some of his moneyed muscle at his legion of nearly ten million followers and tweeted, “The first million is the hardest.”

But in a sea of sycophantic retweets, there was one lone blue bird sighing a song of condescension: “The first billion is a helluva lot harder.” And though T. Boone had the characters to spare, he was big enough to leave out the “Aww snap!” hashtag. Now that’s cred.

Donald Trump

To most, penning a string of hate-ridden, delusional, and paranoid tweets may point to a psychological breakdown, a walking fever dream, or even a demonic possession. But for Donald Trump, it’s sadly just an average Tuesday night.

The bat-guano crazy NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) reality star, beauty pageant sponsor, and occasional real estate investor showed his true fangs once again via Twitter on the night of November 6 regarding the legitimacy of a second Barack Obama presidency.

“He lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. We should have a revolution in this country!” was immediately followed by “The phoney electoral college made a laughing stock out of our nation. The loser one [sic]!” and “Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us [sic].”

Though The Donald was graced with a rare moment of lucidity when he deleted the ad homonym diatribe, his property had already been seized by sites like Mashable and Politico and will forever remain open to the public.

Michael Bloomberg

The outspoken billionaire businessman and three-term mayor of New York City doesn’t mince words when it comes to an issue for which he cares deeply -- be it gun control, climate change, or the soft drink-begotten obesity epidemic.

But on a Saturday afternoon this past October, Michael Bloomberg took stock in what really matters and gave perhaps his most impassioned argument to date in a tweet to his constituents. It went, and I quote: “Uh egrejvvvmhhhkncb vvuk jhugjvklyju hgi@yj Ji June v.”

Oh, the field day social media had with that one. The butt-dial was retweeted over 500 times and earned replies like “Our mayor is finally starting to make sense” and “Sounds made while drowning in a Big Gulp?”

Once Bloomberg noticed he was trending on Twitter, he realized the gaffe and followed it up with a simple “Oops, that last tweet was a pocket tweet.”

But in fairness to Hizzonor, we did include a thoughtful, yet far less funny honorable mention tweet that summed up the city’s response to one its worst-ever natural disasters. After Superstorm Sandy pummeled the island and surrounding boroughs, he wrote, “Please join me in saying THANK YOU to the thousands of city employees working around the clock to get NYC back up and running. Please RT.”

And retweet they did -- 23,686 times.

Bill Gates

You may not expect to hear potty talk coming from one of the richest human beings on Earth. So when we read, “4 out of 10 people don’t have a safe way to poop -- that’s 2.6 billion!” from the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) founder’s Twitter account, we realized, hey, billionaires are just like us, too.

As it turns out, the porcelain god is at the center of an enormous health crisis -- specifically a lack of proper sanitation and sewer facilities to make it a logistical and safe waste option for 40% of the world’s population. Thanks to awareness and funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a team of scientists is working on a solar-powered toilet that will be able to generate its own energy and water -- and on the cheap.

While it’s true that we at Minyanville may fall back on the base and sophomoric from time to time, we’d also like to throw a bone to our readers who don’t get the same thrill from scatological jokes. So here’s our runner-up tweet from Bill Gates: “@Melindagates and I have the honor and the responsibility to return to society the resources we have received.”

Tony Robbins

For our inspirational tweet of the list, we turned to the king of motivation himself. And though Tony Robbins’ self-help empire may only be worth a half-million bucks, we think his wisdom more than makes up for the missing $500 million or so. This is the author of the role modeling series How to Think Like a Billionaire, after all.

Our favorite tweet from Robbins this year isn’t something you’d see printed as a caption on a poster of a climber at the peak of Everest, but rather a reference to an article he’d read on Motley Fool. The tweet went: “10 yrs ago Greece was strong, Oil was $13 a barrel, AOL (NYSE:AOL) dominated internet, Apple stock was $7...”

It was a perspective-grasping piece that offered hope and comfort in uncertain times like these; that no matter how bad things are right now and how much we’d like to predict the future, the next ten years will likely look very different -- that is, until everything comes full circle in another 20.

Rupert Murdoch

Claiming ignorance has long been a tactic in Rupert Murdoch’s defense wheelhouse. You may recall his under-oath denial that he had any knowledge about The Sun tabloid’s phone-hacking activities or News Corp.’s (NASDAQ:NWS) payoff of the scandal’s victims.

To be fair, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that the chairman and CEO of the world’s second-biggest media empire may not be in the loop about all the goings-on inside his massive conglomerate.

A bit trickier to square, however, is when said boss completely washes his hands of a besmirched property -- assuming no claim to it whatsoever -- when he owns a controlling 39.1% stake of its parent company. “I have nothing to do with Sky News” was Murdoch’s inexplicable February 7 tweet.

Of course, Minyanville couldn’t let a “Best of Billionaire Tweets” list run without a nod to this November 18 gem from Murdoch about the media’s allegedly anti-Israel positions: "’Jewish owned press’ have been sternly criticized, link to Jewish reporters. Don't see this, but apologise unreservedly.”

Pierre Omidyar

Sure, he’s the founder and chairman of eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), which is really great and all, but telling two of the people behind the most innovative and intrinsically essential technologies of our time how to do their job does seem just a smidge glib.

“I once told Larry and Sergey they should build something like this but I don’t think they ever did,” Pierre Omidyar tweeted in August. The invention he’d touted to the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) execs is the Double Robot -- described as an iPad (APPL) on wheels. A $2,500 Segway with a tablet for a head (tablet not included) just reeks of a slightly updated version of those robot butlers with tethered remote controls from 1986. And come on, those guys don’t come to your office and tell you how to steal an auction bid at the last second.

Thanks for all the laughs, guys, and here’s hoping to another year full of Twitter twaddle!
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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