Money, Money, Money

By Kevin Freeman
March 07, 2013Mar 07, 2013

One of the primary arguments made to deny the risk of economic terrorism is that our enemies are simply not smart enough to figure out sophisticated techniques like bear raids. And, even if they did, they certainly don't have the resources to make it happen. We've covered this ground before in our posts:

Terrorists are Not Ignorant Cave Dwellers

Motive, Means, and Opportunity for the Next Attack In Place

So many were surprised to learn that Gaddafi had something around $200 billion in his personal fortune. It shouldn't be considered a surprise, however. He controlled Libya for decades and took possession of a huge portion of the massive oil revenues.

Of course, Western arrogance continues to believe that we control most riches. We find it hard to accept that anyone outside our world could amass such a great deal of money. We see a bit of this in the ongoing dispute between Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Forbes magazine as explained in The Guardian:

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal insulted at only being No 26 on Forbes rich list

Saudi Arabia businessman, one of the most influential in the Middle East,
says he has been undervalued by $9.6bn

Simon Neville and Josephine Moulds

The Guardian

For most people, even featuring in the Forbes list of the world's billionaires would be cause for celebration,
but for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, appearing at number 26 with $20bn (£15bn) was an insult.

The prince, one of the most influential businessmen in the Middle East, insists the list undervalues him by
$9.6bn. He has vowed to sever all ties with the group's reporters and accused them of damaging US-Saudi
[Continue reading at The Guardian…]

The point is fairly simple. We think we know how much money others have but we may be
wrong. In the case of Gaddafi, best estimates were around $2 billion but since his death,
we have upped the estimate 100-fold.

We now know that Qatar is the wealthiest country in the world on a per capita basis.
Just recently, we heard that the Qatar Emir is buying six Greek Islands.
We also know the role that Qatar had in Barclays before and after the market crash.

Now, Hugo Chavez has died. Best estimates are that he had
a personal net worth of $2 billion and had direct ties to
another $100 billion that was diverted from the government
to supporters.

Vladimir Putin has a net worth that some estimate at $70
billion based on his stakes in major Russian companies.

This is a fraction of what he controls in state-based resources.

When you add it all up, there's quite a bit of money outside our
government's control or even awareness. We are talking
hundreds of billions and even trillions of dollars when you
include Sovereign Wealth Funds and holdings of communist