The 20 Richest World Leaders, Ranked
When you literally make the rules, how wealthy can you possibly get? Interestingly, the answer is not "infinitely" and is, in fact, relatively low compared to those that win by society's regulations.
Going through the valuations of these 20 various world leaders netted a few surprises, although as you'd expect, kings are still doing just fine.
20. David Cameron, $6.3 million
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The non-figurehead leader the U.K. actually has some figurehead in him. His fifth great-grandfather—apparently how you say great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was King William IV.
19. Barack Obama, $10.1 million
President of the United States
And he’s only the 21st richest American president of all time!
18. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, $12.9 million
President of Argentina
Here she is with dirt-poor German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She got her money the old fashioned way, by marrying the preceding president, Néstor Kirchner, who was accused of embezzlement. Their net worth went from $7 million to something like $82 million, and $600 million of other funds are missing. There might be some fishy dealings here that could put these guys way up on this list.
17. King Harald V, $17.3 million
King of Norway
You'd have thought that a world leader in human rights and freedom wouldn't have a king. But you would be WRONG. They do have a king and pin many medals to his kingly chest.
16. John Key, $38.7 million
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Presiding over everybody's favorite government is this smiling, rich man who is one of the least sketchy people on this list. Good on ya, John!
15. Carl XVI Gustaf, $42 million
King of Sweden
Not to be outdone by Norway, Sweden has a richer king that some say can beat up the Norwegian king. They should probably arm wrestle for each other's country.
14. Mswati III, $100 million
King of Swaziland
You know things ain't great in Swaziland when the New York Times writes an article with the headline "In Destitute Swaziland, Leader Lives Royally."
13. Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, $350 million
Emir of Kuwait
Though he's an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, he does not seem to like freedom of expression, having enacted some pretty bad restrictions around the Kuwaiti press.
12. Elizabeth II, $450 million
Queen of the Commonwealth
The Queen is rich yet still has the entire U.K. giving her a free place to live. It is very hard to take a country seriously that has a queen, but she manages to get by, occasionally with a smile!
11. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, $600 million
President of Equatorial Guinea
This guy is a real winner. The former head of a prison that was known for its torture, Mbasogo couldn't be bothered with an election and threw out his uncle and became president. That was in the 1970s. "President" is Equatorial Guinean for "Emperor," probably.
10. Qaboos bin Said al Said, $700 million
Sultan of Oman
Qaboos exercises an unchecked absolute monarchy, and his bank accounts show it. Fun fact: he was a member of the British army, briefly, after he studied at Sandhurst.
9. Nursultan Nazarbayev, $1 billion
President of Kazakhstan
The Kazakh president has been in power since the fall of the USSR. Unfortunately, he has suffered "allegations of corruption." WE. ARE. SHOCKED. Here he is, slipping a hundred dollar bill into the president of Brazil's palm.
8. Albert II, $1 billion
Prince of Monaco
This half-American prince and son of Princess Grace used to have some serious Michael Caine vibes. Nowadays, he owns Monaco and is the unfortunate namesake of a particular painful-looking form of genital piercing.
7. Mohammed VI, $2.5 billion
King of Morocco
This cherubic king, who is also tight with the Brazilian prime minister, is one of Morocco's leading businessmen! The Wikileaks cables that dropped a few years ago did not paint the relationship between the king's business and the king's reign.
6. Hans-Adam II, $4 billion
Prince of Liechtenstein
That tall man is Europe's wealthiest monarch. He owns a banking group and has a great art collection, which is in the museum, which is his, because he is king. He had some cool hair in his youth, and thinks democracy is the best form of government, which seems like a conflict.
5. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, $4 billion
Prime Minster of the United Arab Emirates
Using that sweet, sweet oil money, this guy turned Dubai into the weird Middle Eastern Vegas it is today. He owns 99.6 percent of the holding company that owns everything, so he's doing quite well. He has 23 "officially acknowledged" children and his best known "junior wife"—this is a real thing—was King Hussein of Jordan's daughter. He has one hell of a yacht, called "Dubai."
4. Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, $15 billion
President of the United Arab Emirates
As "president," Khalifa's most impressive is probably getting the Wikipedia editors to have his philanthropic donations ($460 million) in the first paragraph. We remember him for his $622 million megayacht, but hey, sometimes people like to treat themselves?
3. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, $18 billion
King of Saudi Arabia
Though he's pushing 80, he hasn't been king for long because his half-brother just died. As a member of the House of Saud, all his cash comes from oil. He is expected to continue his brother's poor human rights record.
2. Hassanal Bolkiah, $20 billion
Sultan of Brunei
Being one of the wealthiest men in the world is a little easier when you're sultan, since you can blur the lines between public and personal funds. He has the world's largest private residence (1,800 rooms) enjoys fine cigars, and flies his own 747-400. He has a legit car collection, featuring rides produced by Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, and Bugatti exclusively for him. He also may have had an American sex slave.
1. Bhumibol Adulyadej, $30 billion
King of Thailand
The man being read to by Barack Obama (see number 19 on this list) is the richest world leader. He is currently the longest-serving head of state and has a great reputation in his country (well, so does Kim Jong-Un). He has a special fund that isn't private or public that manages his money, and they do well. Very well. He loves guns, jazz, and sailing. When Forbes valued his fortune, Thailand was a little upset, but they stood by their numbers. Since his earnings are technically secret, that's all we've got.