Is Putin secretly the world's richest man?
Russia's president earns less than $200,000 a year on the job. But there are signs that he may be far wealthier than he lets on.
There is new speculation, however, that Putin could be ridiculously rich -- perhaps even the richest man in the world. Putin isn't admitting anything, though, and few others know many details about his fortune.
This is a man who reportedly has a watch collection worth $700,000. He's given away pricey watches as gifts, such as the $10,500 Blancpain he gave to a Siberian boy he met while on vacation in 2009, ABC News reports.
You don't have a $700,000 watch collection without some serious wealth. But how rich is Putin?
Many estimates refer to a 2007 interview by Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky claiming that Putin controlled 37% of oil company Surgutneftegaz and 4.5% of energy company Gazprom, Bloomberg reports. Based on those holdings alone, Putin's wealth was estimated at $40 billion at the time.
How much has his fortune grown since then? Enough to surpass that of Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft (MSFT), who is thought to be the world's richest with $72 billion? (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)
Belkovsky returned to the subject last year, estimating that Putin's wealth had likely grown to as much as $70 billion, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Even if Putin's fortune had not grown at all since then, the figure would put him on par with Gates. But it's very likely that Putin did increase his wealth over the last year.
Putin has flatly denied any suggestion that he is wealthy. But others have documented how Putin's friends and family members have become fabulously rich during his time in office, writes Leonid Bershidsky this week in Bloomberg.
"He has the whole country at his beck and call," writes Bershidsky. "It is enough for Putin to snap his fingers, and state-owned companies will cede assets to his friends at bargain-basement prices. A whisper from him, and wealthy private businessmen will chip in for the lavish refurbishment of a presidential residence."
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The man is a thug plan and simple. He has raped Russia for decades just like the Romanovs. He will do anything to get ahead including, but not limited, to murdering of his fellow states man. He is quite possibly the worst thing that could have ever happened to Russia. He will never leave power and/if when he does he will run over anyone and everything to take his miss-gotten and stolen wealth with him. He is a criminal and should be held accountable. He is a living example of what is wrong with this world. His level and greed (for power and money) is interminable and bottomless.
that ugly stupid commie is running commie Russian like a mafia thug
American should NEVER EVER Trust any commie like Putin
and on trhat Syria thing he is freakin playing the American BIG TIME
And laughing all the way ho his many banks in Commie Russia..
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
With all the money, fame and power a human can accumulate, it won't buy you another breath when it is your time...
Are Obama's caretakers (msnbc) scared Putin is going to be liked better than Obama? Every time we turn around now it's Putin this and Putin that, mean old Putin. The only interest we have in Putin right now as Americans is whether the deal he made bails out our incompetent President on his red line blabbering for the sake of staying out of WWIII. Are we going to favor one over the other...no worry, most Americans these days have no use for either. Tell us what is going on with Obama and let the Russians worry about their own shirtless wealthy smooth talker. When we say tell us about Obama we don't want to hear about the dogs, his wife's hairstyles or how he did on the golf course, but for example how he is going to help us with Obamacare when salaries are cut in half and premiums double? Maybe Obama should become better buddies with Putin because he may have to loan us some of that money because China is going to get tired of waiting for theirs. There are many more things we want to hear about, but we will go to other news sources because some things you guys just can't comprehend.
Do we get to see a picture of Putin's wife's arms to compare to our First Lady's? We've already seen a picture of her feeding the needy lasagna to compare to the lunch menus Michele is starving our kids with ...the 850 calorie meal..
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But the fact that the guilty bankers are still free and not even on the run is the real outrage here, a travesty that should never be forgotten.
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