Saturday, February 25, 2017
Bill Gates supposedly has long way to go to catch the real richest man in the world John Oliver takes a dive into Putin’s finances Getty Coming in at around $86 billion, Bill Gates has ridden his Microsoft MSFT, +0.00% fortune straight to the top of the Forbes list of the world’s richest men. Then again, the business magazine doesn’t take into account the world leaders and “dictators who derive their fortunes entirely as a result of their position of power.” If it did, there’d likely be a new top dog, according to reports that revisited the idea that Vladimir Putin’s net worth, virtually impossible to measure, tops $200 billion. International Business Times triggered the latest round of speculation when it resurfaced various guesses as to the degree of Putin’s riches. One source said it’s only about $40 billion, while another put it up near $70 billion. Then there’s Bill Browder, a former fund manager in Russia. “I believe that [Putin is worth] $200 billion,” he once told CNN. “After 14 years in power of Russia, and the amount of money that the country has made, and the amount of money that hasn’t been spent on schools and roads and hospitals and so on, all that money is in property, bank, Swiss bank accounts, shares, hedge funds, managed for Putin and his cronies.” John Oliver fueled the buzzy topic when he spent the bulk of his “Last Week Tonight” show on HBO this weekend dancing around the Putin topic. Oliver mentioned estimates pegging his wealth at $85 billion, which would put him in a virtual tie with Gates atop the list. “Although he strenuously denies it, nothing about his finances adds up,” Oliver said before launching into a list of extravagances that clearly aren’t possible on Putin’s reported $100,000 salary. For instance, previous reports have suggested that Putin owns 58 planes and helicopters to go along with his 20 palaces and country retreats, including a billion-dollar home on the Black Sea.