Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has turned himself into the world’s richest person during his presidency, economist and Russia expert Anders Aslund claims in a new book, according to the Inquisitr.
In the book, “Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path from Market Economy to Kleptocracy,” Aslund estimates that through the practice of “crony capitalism,” Putin has amassed a net worth between $100 billion and $160 billion, which would make him richer than the officially wealthiest man in the world, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos.
Crony capitalism is the political practice of a leader placing his “cronies” into powerful positions where they receive unfair advantages in business, according to The Business Dictionary.
According to the Forbes 2019 “Billionaires List,” the world’s richest individual billionaire is currently Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, with an estimated net worth of $131 billion. But according to the research by Aslund, Putin’s wealth may dwarf the fortune amassed and held by Bezos.
Aslund says that Putin must remain low-key about his massive fortune, because it has all been obtained illegally by stripping wealth and resources from Russian businesses. A summary of the author’s findings were published in an Atlantic Council blog.
“Naturally, Putin and his cronies cannot enjoy their wealth. It is all about power,” the economist wrote on the think tank’s site. “If they are not the wealthiest, they fear they will lose power.”
Officially, Putin claims that his personal financial situation is modest at best, according to documents published by Quartz. In his own financial disclosures, he claims to subsist on $135,000 per year from his salary as Russia’s president, as well as from a military pension and some small investments.