I often read The Guardian newspaper, it is still one of the best broadsheets and it is easy to filter out the boring marxist commentary on everything. This article though shows why I read it. The ludicrous Tax Justice Network, have calculated that $21 trillion has been stolen by wealthy elites and put into offshore tax havens.
Now my old friend Mr Worstall will no doubt be along to demonstrate just how inaccurate these calculations are. If they go by what the Tax Justice Network normally does then they have multiplied a few things by ten to get to a really big number.
Anyway, I am not that bothered by the article anyway. Rulers steal their Countries wealth and flee has been a meme right from the start of human history, it is unremarkable that it still happens.
In a more prosaic way though, and to help the authors make their point, they would be better to speak to Forbes about their findings. You see Forbes insist that Bill Gates is the richest man in the world along with Melinda Gates. It makes for a lovely story as these two are genuinely both genius' and philanthropic. Also both came from nothing. The whole Forbes list is bent to this fantasy - self-made billionaires.
In reality, we all actually know that Vladimir Putin is the richest man in the world. He owns several major oil companies, has an army and is beyond the reach of any law. Following him must be several of the Li family dynasty in China along with King Salman of Saudi Arabia - who takes 1000 of his friends on holiday (bet Bill gates has never done that!).
Then there are the Qatari's, few of them but extremely rich and only getting richer by the second. The Nigerians who have stolen the oil money, the list goes on.
I'd love to see a 'real' Forbes list - it would be an advert for overt kleptocracy in the extreme. I doubt Gates would make the top ten.