A list of the world’s richest people has been released by Forbes again (yawn), and what a surprise it’s a mix of the usual suspects. While I enjoy gazing at weird close-ups of Mr. Bezos and Mr. Zuckerberg as much as the next man, there are much more exciting things to do. Firstly, if you want to look at the world’s conventionally richest man then google William Gates III, because old Bill is giving it away as fast as he can and is still 2nd on Forbes’ list. Adjusted for inflation he was also considerably wealthier than the Amazon boss at his peak, but I digress.
For the majority of the list, and especially the tech billionaires, their wealth is tied to the transitory value of their shares. Given that most of them couldn’t even sell them all if they wanted to, it makes Forbes list quite redundant in practice. Today let’s do something much more fun and look at the real wealthiest people on the planet who have access to cash, can spend it aggressively and don’t have to worry about paying income or capital gains. Starting with the rocket man himself.
5. Kim Jong Un-North Korean GDP+ Crypto Stash+Smuggling
Yes, that’s right, the world’s most notorious dictator presides over one of the world’s poorest nations, but his personal situation is entirely different. As CCN reported recently, the North Korean leader is sitting on a massive stockpile of Cryptocurrency. At the market peak, this could have been worth many billions of Dollars but even today values at $650 million. This is only the Crypto he has stolen too! Who knows how much mining has been going on as there have been signs of activity from Pyongyang generating digital currency for a while.
Next, let’s look at official data as the GDP estimate for North Korea was around $30 billion. Bearing in mind that this man is absolutely 100% the owner of everything in his country, it makes more sense to look at his wealth and that of the country as one figure. Forbes made Kylie Jenner a billionaire by valuing her company at $900 million, so I’m just following their playbook here.
NK’s spending on nuclear weapons is estimated to be as high as $3 billion. Therefore we are supposed to believe they spend 1/5 of their yearly product on nukes alone. Of course not! North Korea operates one of the world’s biggest smuggling rings. We are talking meth, counterfeit money, weapons. You name it, and Pyongyang has its hands in it.
Un Could Get Even Richer According to Trump
Because of Un’s complete control of his country and the fact that foreign aid mostly pays to feed his people, the Dictator can lay claim to all the cash. I’m giving him the entire GDP plus $5 billion for smuggling and his Crypto bag and taking off a chunk for his nuclear aspirations. If you think my approach is too loose, don’t think Forbes is any better, ask President Trump. Trump is also bullish that the brutal dictator could become even wealthier if he plays ball.
North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
4. Hassanal Bolkiah (Sultan of Brunei)-Oil, Gas, Cars, and Oil
Next on the list is a Sultan. His Royal Highness is a bit different from Kim Jong because he operates legitimately on the world stage. His tiny nation the size of Delaware pumps out enough Oil and Gas to make them one of the most significant fuel producing countries in the world. Who benefits from this? Well, the man who is Minister of Defence, Finance and Head of the Military. Google his net worth, and Forbes will probably say $20 billion. This is ridiculously low.
Firstly, his car collection alone is rumored to be worth $4 billion. Take into account that most of the Oil money flows into his pocket every year and the consensus estimate seems to assume that he isn’t saving any money at all. Let’s face it, the Sultan probably doesn’t pay much income tax, and if he does, I can guess who’s head of the IRS.
3. Mohammad bin Salman (Saudi Crown Prince) – $1 Trillion Dollar Man
The de-facto boss of one of the world’s wealthiest nations, the Crown Prince’s power has been on the rise for the last few years. Consensus estimates give him an approximately $20 billionslice of the more than $1.4 Trillion fortune. Wait. What? The guy who locked up nearly every wealthy and influential person in his country is only worth a few percents of those assets? With vast oil wealth and an increasingly firm grip on the throne, MBS has the power to designate money where and when he wants to. If Aramco ever goes public, we might have a more formal way of valuing him. For now, I’m calling it $1 trillion and leaving $400 billion for the rest of House Saudi to fight over.
2. Vladimir Putin- Mother Russia’s Bounty
“Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his. Any attempt to calculate [Putin’s net worth] won’t succeed. He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”
When Communism falls, there is typically a vacuum of ownership because the state officially owned everything before its demise. What Putin has done is allow everyone else to scramble for ownership of Russia’s vast energy reserves while he realized controlling the Kremlin meant he controlled them, no matter how rich they got. Clearly, he doesn’t have access to all of the money at one time but again following Forbe’s Kylie Jenner approach I can add Putin’s ownership of his business into the valuation. Putin is Russia. Until that changes, he’s a trillionaire.
1.The Queen of England – Priceless
Officially the UK monarchy does an exceptional job of keeping its wealth estimates down. For political reasons the Windsors and their modern predecessors have based their public relations mantra around avoiding the limelight when it comes to their wealth. Forbes reckons they are only worth $88 billion. This would make the House of Saudi considerably more wealthy, understandable given their greater control over Saudi Arabia.
But what if I told you that her Majesty is the legal owner and sovereign head of Canada, Australia and the UK? Given the staggering amount of land alone that technically belongs to the crown, the wealth is mind-boggling. This NewsStatesMan America article best sums it up,
If the Queen could convert her landholdings into cash, she would not only be the richest individual on earth, but also the richest person who has ever lived. Another way she could achieve that, however, is by turning upside down the 13 tax havens of which she is both ruler and owner and shaking the cash out of them.
Spoils of War Further Enrich The Queen
Practically every room of the Queen’s castles and palaces around the UK are filled with priceless relics from the former empire. Great Britain controlled most of the planet at one point and you don’t rule for many years without accumulating a few treasures. The Crown Jewels themselves are worth a few billion, but it’s the items you don’t see that could be worth even more. Don’t forget the UK had most of the Middle East under a protectorate at one point. The gifts from the leaders who were preserved by British rule would have been outrageous, and likely sit in dusty vaults lest they create a political issue.
The fact that a lot of the treasures were stolen in many nations eyes is irrelevant for our list. Kim Jong Un probably has some of my Bitcoin at this point, but I still gave him a spot. While practically speaking, the Queen’s access to this wealth would be almost impossible, QE2 is still the owner, ruler, and custodian of all this by law. Given that we adhere to the rule of law, Queen Elizabeth wins by a technical knockout.
“We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English”- William Golding – Lord of the Flies
Canadian Government Pledges $15M in Federal Music Funding
The Canadian government will allocate 20 million Canadian dollars ($14.96 million at current rates) to the Canadian Music Fund (CMF) over two years, it announced Tuesday with its 2019 federal budget.
“With the growing importance of digital media today, Canadian artists—especially musicians and music entrepreneurs (e.g., producers, agents)—now face the challenge of marketing their content internationally and across all platforms, while also putting a greater emphasis on touring and live performances,” the budget report reads.
The CA$20 million increase is intended “to address some of the challenges faced by Canadian musicians in the digital era” so that “the Fund can enhance its support for the production, promotion and distribution of Canadian music.”
The passage adds: “For musical artists, these investments will create greater opportunities to innovate and experiment on a wider range of digital and non-digital platforms. This, combined with enhanced support for promotion—including more touring and more modern marketing approaches—will ensure that Canadian music reaches more audiences at home and abroad.”
Representatives of national music associations were swift in their praise — a contrast to last year, when the federal budget failed to mention any support for the Canada Music Fund. In 2016, the government committed CA$4.2 million ($3.14 million) to the music sector over two years. Now, with this new allotment, according to the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), adds to the momentum of that 2016 investment, supporting a program that has been “underfunded and over-subscribed for the past decade.”
“We are incredibly grateful to the Federal government and specifically our dedicated advocate, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, for showing their support of our industry,” said CIMA president Stuart Johnston in a statement. “We are keen to continue to work closely with government to ensure that these dollars are invested in the most impactful way, such as providing additional support for sound recording, international export opportunities, promotion, marketing, touring and showcasing, and the domestic development of our great artists.”
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) called the announcement “good news” in its press release, noting other increases to the arts in the budget, such as CA$16 million ($11.97 million) over two years to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) and $CA24 million ($17.96 million) over two years to the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program and the Celebration and Commemoration Program.
The CAPF program, according to the CLMA, “may positively impact” many of the association’s not-for-profit members. “Thanks to the program, our members ensure ‘homegrown talent’ can be discovered, in our own backyards. Export strategies rely on that career growth that comes from domestic touring and local audience development. The touring landscape in Canada is, among many things, an important breeding ground for the creation (and ultimately, global dissemination) of Canadian content,” said CLMA president and CEO Erin Benjamin.
With these new funding commitments, the total support to the Canadian music industry by the Government of Canada is CA$40.7 million ($30.44 million).
“Music Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s increased funding to the Canada Music Fund and Canada Arts Presentation Fund as part of today’s budget announcement, but there remains much work to be done to address the Value Gap hurting the music sector,” said Graham Henderson, president and CEO of Music Canada, in a statement. “For labels and artists to be competitive and financially successful, they need a sustainable business framework.”
He continued, “Recently the United States and the European Union have taken steps to address the Value Gap. Canada has an opportunity to join the community of nations in protecting and fostering the careers of creators. During the Copyright Act review, the creative community was virtually unanimous in urging the government to repeal decades-old subsidies through which individual creators enrich billion dollar technology and broadcasting platforms. We sincerely look forward to working with the government to seize this opportunity while concluding the review of the Copyright Act.”
More Than 70 Passengers Dead In Tamale-Kintampo Accident This Dawn
More than 70 passengers on board two buses that collided head-on in the early hours of Friday, March 22, 2019, on the Tamale-Kintampo Highway have died instantly, we can confirm.
The accident occurred at Amoma Nkwanta, a village near Kintampo in the Kintampo North Municipality of the Bono East Region, along the main Kintampo-Tamale Highway.
It is has been confirmed that a VVIP Kia bus with registration number GT 3915- 17 from Garu in the Upper East Region heading towards Kumasi collided with a Grandbird bus with registration number GT 5694-18 from Accra which was heading towards Bolgantaga also in the Upper East Region.
It is unclear what might have caused the collision but it is speculated that one of the drivers might have been dozing off and run into the lane of the other from the opposite direction.
All passengers, including that onboard one of the buses which was en route from Garu and bound for Kumasi, have been burnt beyond recognition when the vehicle went up in flames soon after the crash
The other bus branded VVIP and painted red, veered into a ditch after the collision, killing dozens on board.
Passengers Life At Risk As Unhealthy “Trotro” Cars Hits Osu, Mamobi, Nima Etc Roads
The life of a traveler is always in the hands of a driver even though God is the ultimate controller. The probability of getting stuck on the road when joining some passenger (trotro) Ghana Accra is high due to the state of the vehicles.
Research conducted by our source shows that vehicles used by some drivers are not healthy enough to be on the road but how did they get clearance from GPRTU? A trip to Osu, Mamobi, Nima and few to mention were notable places in the capital where these vehicles are seen as normal vehicles to be used in conveying passengers.
Our first encounter started from the Madina to Nungua station where a driver has to join 2 cables before sparking his car. This got our reporter wondering why should it be so? Prior to this, an incident happened on Circle- Botwe (UPSA curve) road where due to illegal connection, the front headlight stopped working and all of a sudden smokes filled the car in less than 1 minute. Our reporter who happened to sit in front that evening has to jump through the window to save his own life. The unapologetic conductor and his driver always seem to be comfortable and shout back at passengers wherever these claims are made.
The GPRTU which is a general union looking after these issues seems to be unconcerned with these claims. The leaders are not ready and will not entertain any question on these issues. Interesting, the police are also not too concerned about this.
Our second encounter was fun even though it was risky. The vehicle stopped in the middle of the road almost 5 times before we reached our destination (Mamobi). Furious passengers got down and joined different cars as we the strong hearted continued the journey until we finally arrived at the lorry park. Upon arrival, we went straight to the station masters office only to be told he is not around. Caretaker upon seeing our facial looks hinted his boss that there was a fire in the mountain. We waited till we could see we are tired. Any attempt to trap him was not working as he was directed not to answer any question.
Over the past few years, statistics show that accident rates are always increasing instead of finding measures to help decrease it. In 2017,2,527 accidents were recorded while it increased to 2,970 in 2018 signifying a 17% increase. I urge the government to prompt these unions and security services to take the challenge and stop some vehicles from operating as a commercial transport. Let’s join hands in doing this as citizens but not because of our stomach.
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