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13 Feb 2018

What if the world's richest paid for government spending?

Robin Hood Index: Richest paying for govt. expenditure

Bloomberg Politics has constructed an index to see how many days governments can keep running if the richest person from each country pays for governments' expenditure.

The 'Robin Hood' Index looked at 49 countries, and found that most Western nations wouldn't last long on the money of their richest.

Closer home, Mukesh Ambani can fund the government for 20 days.

Here's more.

In context

Robin Hood Index: Richest paying for govt. expenditure
Details about Bloomberg's Robin Hood Index

Index construction

Details about Bloomberg's Robin Hood Index

The Robin Hood Index took the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index and the International Monetary Fund's estimates of government expenditure as building blocks.

It then compared the net worth of a country's richest person, and calculated how many days the country's government could continue running on that person's money without shutting down offices and agencies.

Four women billionaires made to the list

Unsurprisingly, only four women billionaires made to the list. Australia's Gina Rinehart ($16 billion), Netherland's Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken ($15.7 billion), Angola's Isabel Dos Santos ($2.5 billion), and Chile's Iris Fontbona ($17.8 billion) had capacities of 11, 15, 30, and 90 days respectively.

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Mukesh Ambani can run the Indian government for 20 days

The Indian government, with Mukesh Ambani's net worth of $40.3 billion would last 20 days.

India ranks better than Netherlands, France, Russia, Brazil, Australia, Norway, and Finland among others, but falls immediately short of Israel, Taiwan, and South Korea's 21, 22, and 23 days.

But considering the massive size of the Indian economy, Ambani's capability of 20 days reflects his massive wealth.

Cyprus tops the index in longest enduring countries

Longest enduring

Cyprus tops the index in longest enduring countries

Cyprus' John Fredriksen, with his $10.4 billion wealth, could run his government for 441 days, the index's highest.

Georgia's Bidzina Ivanishvili was a close second with a $5.8 billion net worth and a capability of 430 days.

Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing ($34.7 billion), Malaysia's Robert Kuok ($19.6 billion), and Nigeria's Aliko Dangote ($12.2 billion) followed with capabilities of 191, 95, and 94 days respectively.

Least enduring

The US would last only five days on Bezos' money

Bloomberg found that China, Japan, and Poland would last only four days on Jack Ma ($45.5 billion), Tadashi Yanai ($20.6 billion) and Zygmunt Solorz-Zak's ($2.7 billion) wealth respectively.

Canada, Germany, Turkey, and the UK would all last five days each.

Even the US, with Jeff Bezos' massive fortune of $99 billion, would last for only five days.

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