The wealth of Hosni Mubarak has been estimated to be somewhere between $40-70 Billion! That’s Billions, not millions. (CBC, via MSNBC)
That’s an unbelievable number! I mean, I knew the guy wasn’t poor, but having that many billions???
Billions is a big of a difficult number to comprehend besides the actual number, so here is some context as to how much wealth that is.
Compare Hosni’s wealth Bill Gates’ estimated worth in 2010 of $54 Billion. Warren Buffet came in at $47 Billion. This was from Fortune Magazine’s estimates of richest people in the world 2010. So where is Hosni Mubarak on this list? I don’t know pending Hosni’s true wealth, but I doubt Hosni lets people count his money the way he runs Egypt. He might be tops if he had much more than $54 billion, which happens to be right in the middle of that range given and where I’ll put my money on his wealth.
A dictator who is possibly the richest man in the world leading a country with lots of very poor people. Any idea why there’s a revolution going on?
How poor is the poor of Egypt? There are about 80.5 million people in Egypt. About 40% of them survive (not live) on at or below $2 a day, which is the poverty level line set by the World Bank. (MSN UK)
It’s a pitiful existence, of course, at that level. However, some 32 million people are doing it and have been doing it for years. That’s close the the population of Canada doing this!
Now, if you want some context to Mubarak’s wealth, divide his wealth estimate by the 80.5 million population, then by $2 a day a lot of them are surviving on and you see he can feed the entire country for 496 to 869 days! The range depends on the range of his wealth you choose to accept. Still, that’s well over 1 or 2 years Mubarak’s wealth alone could sustain the country, even if not at any respectable level, but one that is feasible nevertheless if 32 million people have been living on it for years, toiling their life away while he gets greedier and more power hungry at their expense.
If you want to peg Hosni’s wealth over a year, he can give Egypt’s poor people a life 36% to 136% better than they have now for a year, just on his wealth alone. He’d have the same money to offer everyone in the country that, though.
That’s a ridiculous thought, that he is letting them sacrifice their lives away when he’s holding on to that much wealth!
Staggering! Any idea why there’s a revolution going on?
Or yet look at it another way, people can live as they do without Mubarak for a full year while deciding what to do with themselves in the new Egypt, if it were possible to do something like this. They’re going to have to live like they do for a little while yet because transition won’t be instantaneous, but I believe they will be patient for it.
Of course, even if Mubarak hands over his wealth to the people, this wouldn’t be the way to do it… not the least now that the Swiss banks have frozen his assets to prevent embezzlement of Egyptian state property (CNN). Great on the “neutral” Swiss!
I’m just trying to give context to how much money he has and what it could do for his country if just spread around “theoretically”. However, he’s got plenty to put back to his country, if he truly loves it at all rather than the power to rule over it, that could do it a lot of good.
The revolt is costing Egypt an estimated $320 million a day (MSN UK), but the economic damage alone will last far longer because tourism, one of its main sources of income, and some other major industries, won’t return to normal levels any time soon. Whenever all this is said and done, the least Mubarak could do with all his wealth is put it back to compensate the people for his power hunger and stupidity. Of course, that’s assuming he’ll ever be enlightened enough to realize this.
The sun is rising in Egypt as I write this, the day after Mubarak gave a speech to say he wouldn’t be stepping down, just aside. That’s something that’s lost all meaning to the people of Egypt and the world. What he needs to do now is lay down a specific plan of reform where he is out of the picture and lacks the power of even a head of state to reverse any changes he’s promising, because he still has the power to undo it all with one command. I don’t care what he says about the Egyptian Constitution forbidding him to give up this and that. It’s legal stuff and there are always ways around legal stuff.
Besides, as long as he’s talking down to the people, nobody’s going to trust him. He’s got a chance to go out with dignity and preserve some sort of legacy, and he’s blowing more of it with each second that passes that he hangs on to power.
Good luck, people of Egypt! The world of the world are watching and are with you in spirit!