Is Mubarak the wealthiest man in the world?
President Hosni Mubarak’s power may have visibly crumbled before the world on Jan. 25 when protesters took to the streets of Cairo, but his personal wealth will likely be intact when he leaves office as pledged at the end of the year, or sooner if the crowds have their way.
Experts say the wealth of the Mubarak family was built largely from military contracts during his days as an air force officer. He eventually diversified his investments through his family when he became president in 1981. The family’s net worth ranges from $40 billion to $70 billion, by some estimates.
“The business ventures from his military and government service accumulated to his personal wealth,” said Professor Amaney Jamal. “There was a lot of corruption in this regime and stifling of public resources for personal gain.”
Jamal said that Mubarak’s assets are most likely in banks outside of Egypt, possibly in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
“This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators so their wealth will not be taken during a transition, she said. “These leaders plan on this…”
Gross national income is $2,070 per family in Egypt, according to the World Bank. About 20 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, according to a 2010 report by the CIA.
“Gamal and Alaa are partners in the biggest trade and industrial companies in Egypt, practically paying nothing,” Aladdin Elaasar wrote in his book of Mubarak’s two sons. Elaasar said the sons have shares in Chili’s restaurants, Hyundai and Scoda auto dealerships, Vodafone, and several luxury hotel and residential properties.
The Mubarak family owns properties in London, Paris, Madrid, Dubai, Washington, D.C., New York and Frankfurt, according to a report from IHS Global Insight…
Whatever Mubarak’s wealth is, Jamal said it is certain that whenever the president actually leaves office, there will be an investigation into his assets.
“There’s not much of a cover-up,” she said. “The people have already outed him as a corrupt leader.”
There will be the question of how much cooperation is received from foreign governments, bankers, financiers in reporting how much Mubarak stole during the years of his regime.
I’d expect little cooperation from the Swiss and not much more from Brits and Americans.
Meanwhile, the range of his reported wealth exceeds Carlos Slim, Bill Gates or Warren Buffett.