Tuesday, 28 July 2015

I wonder who the ten richest people in the world really are?

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.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

" Mr Worstall will no doubt be along to demonstrate just how innacrruate these calculations are"

He could have a quiet wurd about yore speling, to.

hovis said...

Gates a philanthropist are you sure??

Nick Drew said...

Grauniad has been parading another ludicrous calculation, here
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/24/investors-could-lose-42tn-due-to-impact-of-climate-change-report-warns

I shall prob have something to say on that ...

Anonymous said...

Does Putin actually own those oil companies? Would he be allowed to keep them if he lost an election? Seems doubtful.

Blue Eyes said...

I have always wondered where the Rich List people get their data. I mean, it's not as though there's a central database.

Sackerson said...

I'm not sure Bill Gates came from nothing - I think his dad was a millionaire lawyer - and he didn't invent the PC operating system that made him so rich, either:

http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2004-10-24/the-man-who-could-have-been-bill-gates

Jan said...

Good on Bill Gates I say as he's doing some useful things with his money instead of keeping it all for himself and spending it on bling.

Bill Quango MP said...

I've seen people I know on the Times Rich List.
One I remember quoted as being worth £30 million in 1995.

He sold all of his companies a few years later. And got 1/2 a million for the lot.. Pension pot, shares, sale of assets and private homes ..no more than £2 million.

A long way shy of the £30 mil tag.

Nick Drew said...

Anon@1:15
Does Putin actually own those oil companies?

The shareholding blocks of Gazprom only ever added up to 99.00% (to cite the case I know about) - that 1% alone is worth a few bob

then again, who holds it ..? sure I don't know

Steven_L said...

I have always wondered where the Rich List people get their data.

They guess? If they own shares in a listed company or a few big houses then that's the easy part. If they have a few nice paintings and that is public knowledge (i.e. the Duke of Northumberland) then that's easy too.

If they own a private company then they can look at the accounts and roughly equate it to a listed company in the same sector using a p/e ratio. This is why when the stock market recovered 'the rich' all got 'richer'.

If they are media friendly celebs, then they can talk to their agents and agree a figure that should be printed etc.

The truth is they haven't a clue how much money, shares, bonds, leveraged derivative positions, debts etc any of these people have.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the Rich List is to mark the cards of would-be Kept Women.

hovis said...

Gates is nasty fake philanthropist little shit.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invests in "solutions" which oh so conveniently are provided by companies he has invested in after divesting parts of his huge MSoft shareholding. For example the philanthropic polio vaccination programme in India - just a shame they use the live virus vaccine banned in many Western nations and have seen polio rates rocket.

Once a c**t always a c**t. Look beyond the puff pieces and the headlines to see the actual results.

CityUnslicker said...

Putin owns these co's alright, along with his oligarch buddies.

As for Gates - I still don't doubt he is a real philanthropist. The Qatari's use their money to fund ISL by way of comparison...

Electro-Kevin said...

The richest person in the world probably isn't 'in the world'. He's probably in his space station overseeing his laser's construction.

Electro-Kevin said...

I know who the richest criminals are.

From a detective friend on one of those special surveillance squads "If I wanted names I'd go straight to the stone mason who manufactures the lions that go on gate pillars. All the top scrotes seem to have them."

Electro-Kevin said...

And then he said... "All these guys do all day is sit with a G&T watching their CCTV to see who comes up to their gates. Coppers or rivals." No way to live, whatever the money, eh ?

Nick Drew said...

If I wanted names ...

errr, shouldn't that be exactly what he wants, Kev ?!

watching their CCTV to see who comes up to their gates - it's the bloke come to install the lions!

actually, that's also exactly what the people they've condemned to the witness protection programme do all day - ironic or what?

John miller said...

Gates - hohoho

As Sackerson says, his parents were each millionaires.

The one thing he did was to buy MSDOS then collect rental fees ( you don't own Windows!) for ever after.

Among the things Bill did not invent were; spreadsheets, word processors, databases, internet explorer ( in 1992 he said the Internet was irrelevant) and Windows.

dearieme said...

I'm sure Gates was very good at being a businessman but "genius" seems over the top. Outside the US it is usually used for someone who created something - Shakespeare, newton, Rembrandt, that sort of thing.


Inside the US it seems to mean the cleverest boy in my High School class.

dearieme said...

I'm sure Gates was very good at being a businessman but "genius" seems over the top. Outside the US it is usually used for someone who created something - Shakespeare, newton, Rembrandt, that sort of thing.


Inside the US it seems to mean the cleverest boy in my High School class.

Anonymous said...

For Gates' early years, coding ability and business success see Bob Cringely's book 'Accidental Empires'.

http://www.cringely.com/2013/02/06/accidental-empires-chapter-1b/

"Bored with the Lysol ambiance of the Holiday Inn, the pair aimed their rental car into the heart of town, looking for something, well, different. Bill Gates sat on the passenger side, sniffing like a setter the evening air through his open window, a 33-year-old billionaire on the prowl.

The Word 3.0 demo was over, but Gates, now a little drunk, apparently had a few things left to prove.

“Here, stop here!” Gates commanded, jumping unsteadily from the car as it settled next to the curb near a group of young blacks.

“What’s happening!” the pencil-necked billionaire cheerfully greeted the assembled boom boxers, who clearly had no idea who or what he was—this bespectacled white boy with greasy blond hair and bratwurst skin, wearing a blue and white plaid polyester shirt and green pullover sweater.

“Bill, let’s go someplace else,” called Gates’s companion from the driver’s seat.

“Yeah, Bill, go someplace else,” said one of the young blacks.

“Nah, I want to rap. I can talk to these guys, you’ll see!”

This is not just a gratuitous “Bill Gates gets drunk” story. “I can [fill in the blank], you’ll see!” is the battle cry of the personal computing revolution and the entire philosophical basis of Microsoft’s success and Gates’s $4 billion fortune.

This guy thinks he has something to prove."





For his education philanthropy, which seems to be a waste of money (Zuckerberg is also funding some doomed-to-fail initiatives) if not actually harmful, see Steve Sailer.

http://www.unz.com/isteve/bill-gates-common-core-megalomania/

James Higham said...

The question is fairly irrelevant in the bowels of Bavaria.

adham said...


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adham said...


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adham said...



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adham said...


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