Forbes debunked by... FORBES!


The ultra-conservative US business publication, Forbes Magazine, is often cited as the authoritative source on the vast fortunes of the super-rich. It is often cited to "prove" how Fidel Castro is one of the world's richest men--his Marxist ideology notwithstanding. But, as you can see below, they obviously have nothing on him. With all their journalistic resources and all their "sources" in the Cuban exile community, they are reduced to picking an arbitrary percentage of Cuba's gross domestic product (GDP)--a stunning admission!


The World's Billionaires
Royal Flush

Susan Kitchens and Josephine Lee, 03.04.02, 3:00 PM ET

NEW YORK - Forbes indulges in some wealth watching of royals and dictators below. Be warned: Valuing these folks is a tricky business. For starters, one must figure out what actually belongs to them and what belongs to their throne or their country. For instance, Forbes does not count the crown jewels or Buckingham Palace as part of Queen Elizabeth II's net worth. She enjoys these riches, but they technically belong to the British state, much like the White House belongs to the U.S. government.

Some of these estimates are pretty rigorous. Others are a little fuzzier. For example, we calculate the net worth of Castro based on a percentage of Cuba's GDP. We separate these folks from our traditional ranking of the world's billionaires because of these reasons and because a couple simply do not boast the $1 billion purse necessary to qualify.