Who Was The Richest Person In The World 30 Years Ago?

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Let’s make a journey again in time to 1991. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls had simply gained their first NBA championship. The Hubble Telescope was launched into area. Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the highest field workplace smash, and the longest-running singles on the U.S. Billboard Scorching 100 charts had been Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and “(Every thing I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams.

Oh, and the richest particular person on the planet was somebody you have most likely by no means heard of.

Hassanal Bolkiah has served because the Sultan of Brunei since 1967. Brunei is a small nation of about 460,000 on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia; the remainder of the island is split between Malaysia and Indonesia. And due to in depth petroleum and pure fuel fields, it is among the many wealthiest international locations on the planet. The Worldwide Financial Fund estimates Brunei is fifth on the planet by gross home product per capita at buying energy parity and that it is one in all simply two international locations with a public debt of 0% of the nationwide GDP.

So, naturally, being the chief of such a rustic can repay properly, particularly because the Sultan was the motive force behind the nation’s development.

Leon Neal/Getty Photographs

When Bolkiah was born, he was already a prince—his household has dominated the nation for greater than 600 years. His father abdicated in 1967, and Bolkiah turned Sultan when he was 21 years previous, receiving Head of State honors the next 12 months.

The Sultan’s authorities pays for schooling, healthcare, and a lot of the residing bills of Brunei residents. In reality, the wealth of oil and pure fuel is so bountiful that the nation’s spending is usually referred to as “Shellfare.”

Because the wealthiest man on the planet 30 years in the past (and nonetheless fairly rich as we speak), Bolkiah has lived a elaborate way of life. At one level, he owned 2,500 automobiles, together with rides like a gold Rolls Royce, price a complete of greater than a billion {dollars}.

The Sultan has made quite a few questionable selections throughout his rule. In 2015, he banned non-Christians from celebrating Christmas, believing it might harm Muslim communities. He is labored to make abortions, adultery, and same-sex sexual acts punishable by demise by stoning. His brother, Prince Jefri, has additionally been accused of drugging and sexually abusing ladies, in addition to misappropriating funds.

Regardless of the controversies, Bolkiah has acquired quite a few titles and honors over time, together with honorary Air Chief Marshal and Honorary Admiral within the U.Ok. Royal Air Drive and Royal Navy, respectively. All of his accolades have earned him maybe the longest title anybody has ever had: His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang di-Pertuan of Negara Brunei Darussalam.

Again in 1991, to be the richest particular person on the planet you wanted solely $31 billion. Now, that is nonetheless a ton of cash that may set you up for all times—however by as we speak’s requirements, $31 billion would barely put you within the prime 100 richest individuals on the planet. Elon Musk is the richest particular person on the planet as we speak, and he has TEN TIMES that amount of cash.

Even in 1991, there have been some recognizable names on the wealthiest individuals checklist. Investor and businessman Warren Buffet ranked nineteenth with $4.4 billion, and Microsoft founder Invoice Gates, then simply 35 years previous, was the twenty eighth richest particular person on the planet, price $3.9 billion.

Clearly, all of those persons are doing simply wonderful as we speak. And whereas the Sultan of Brunei is now not the wealthiest man on the planet, he is nonetheless price about as a lot. That is a constant reign of each energy and wealth.


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