Sure, the official stats say Bill Gates is still the world’s wealthiest man. Rather than just replacing his car every decade or so, Warren Buffett could buy the company that makes Cadillacs and still be in the top 20 of Forbes’ billionaires list. And while the Walton family essentially owns a state, and the Koch brothers and Tom Steyer are trying to buy a country, do any of them actually own a country yet? A big, growing, resource-rich if troubled country, no less? Well, according to his former buddy turned bitter you-killed-my-lawyer-and-stole-my-hedge-fund enemy, Vladimir Putin has put Bill, Warren and the rest of them in the shade by doing just that.
ZAKARIA: Really? I mean you understand numbers and you understand these - the numbers of these Russian companies. You really think Putin is the richest man in the world?
BROWDER: I really think that, and I'm not just saying that crazily. I mean...
ZAKARIA: Get an estimate - estimate his net worth.
BROWDER: Two hundred billion.
BROWDER: I believe that it's $200 billion. 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.