Why Do Third-World Rulers and Despots Store Money Abroad?

Have you noticed a very odd and almost universal behavior of third-world rulers and despots from countries as diverse as India and Pakistan To Libya and Nigeria?

They store most of their stolen money and loot abroad, often in western countries and tax-free havens.

My question is- Why?

Superficially this question might seem stupid.. of course, it is their security clutch for living large after a coup or ‘forced retirement’ results in their exile. However the amount of money they steal and store along their subsequent behavior is what makes it truly bizarre.

It is easy to understand despots who stash away a few million, hundred million or even a billion dollars abroad. But what about those who stash tens of billions in foreign banks and tax havens?

Can you seriously consume stuff and services worth hundreds of millions in a human lifetime? The only way to burn through that sort of money is to give it away or have it stolen from you- one way or the other.

An even more bizarre aspect of this behavior is that these rulers and despots (or their progeny) rarely get to enjoy most of their ill-gotten gains. They are too busy scamming, plotting and bullshitting to actually enjoy even a fraction of the fruits of their labor. Indeed, the only people who truly enjoy that money are the bankers, investment managers and accountants who help “manage” it.

Another related question is- Why not spend your ill-gotten gains in the country you rule and thereby create jobs and increase your likability?

What use is tens of billions when you are a marked, stressed and busy man trying desperately to remain in power while living in a generally impoverished and unsafe country. The guys who manage their money live much better, safer, stress-free and fun-filled lives in countries where they can go almost anywhere without being kidnapped, killed or robbed.

So why do third-world rulers and despots prefer a much poorer quality of life, when they could easily make a few tens of millions and then disappear in some affluent western country? Why stay in power till the bitter end? Why not enjoy living life?

What do you guys think? Comments?

  1. dirk
    June 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    its about the power duh. big fish in a small pond deal.

  2. blackdude
    June 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    they get off on power i guess. and many probably think that some god has sent them on a mission to conquer or something….

  3. June 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Suppose you introduced “dissention dollars”, a currency that your blog readers could trade amongst each other for favors. The dissention dollars are all handed out by you, of course. Your commenters might put a lot of value in them, but to you, they’re worth nothing at all, because you know you can create infinitely many with the push of a button. So of course you’re not going to save up dissention dollars yourself. (Rather, you’ll get as many Bardamu Bucks as you can, not realizing that those are just as illusory as yours…)
    ___

    Bingo!

  4. June 14, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    hahahahaha,

    So is gold really the only valuable “currency”?

  5. With the thoughts you’d be thinkin
    June 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    money not the goal of life it just keeps score

  6. Ryu
    June 15, 2011 at 12:10 am

    One saliant characteristic of third world, non-white countries is their corruption. It’s there from the highest government official to the lowest man at the train station. To get anything done in Africa, one must offer a bribe or “cadeau” to everyone. You get so tired being there of everyone having their hand in your pocket.

    Sounds like China.

    Despots like Mugabe and other African leaders all have their banks in Switzerland with second homes in the US or UK. As a group there are more racial realists amoung them than anywhere else. They may hate whitey with absolute passion – but, they recognize our ability to build civilizations. They do not have the genetic ability to build a country that works. The genes that create the culture and behavior that creates free, prosperous societies are absent. And you can throw billions at the public, as Libya, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have done, and get very little in return.

    You have offered a reasonable POV, that they should spread the wealth around a little bit. Men are not moved by reason. I have seen when I used to work in gaming rich Saudi princes playing blackjack at 10,000 a hand. My personal favorite after I became racial aware, was the technique of kicking out all the whites and stealing their money/property, as the Congo and Zimbabwe have done. South Africa is preparing to do it. It is always a disaster.

    • A Equals A
      June 15, 2011 at 7:49 am

      If you had replaced whites with “producers” , third world despots with “parasites” and third world populations with “ignorant” you might have had an educated response.

      So why do rich white people and corporations also do the same thing? Why do tax havens and offshore banks exist?

      What “race realists” can’t seem to answer is the question of why most of Europe (aka white people) was “third world” for most of its history and during the middle ages compared even to some countries in Africa?

      • MaMu1977
        June 19, 2011 at 12:17 am

        They could answer it if it wasn’t for those niggling tendrils of guilt: they took advantage of people with no idea of commerce. Africans understood the value of gold and ivory, no native american north of the rio grande saw gold (or petroleum or silver or land) as being as valuable as a fecund hunting ground with easily grazed fields. One decision to the right (a strong chieftain who decided to base worth on savings instead of grazings/hunting supplies) and the puritans land on a continent of plutocrats who are incredibly incensed at the idea of pale-skinned outsiders trying to grow crops on “their” land. Hell, even central Africans understood the idea of agricultural rights!

  7. June 15, 2011 at 3:24 am

    This is out of question:
    “Another related question is- Why not spend your ill-gotten gains in the country you rule and thereby create jobs and increase your likability?”

    But this is still puzzling me:
    “What use is tens of billions when you are a marked, stressed and busy man trying desperately to remain in power while living in a generally impoverished and unsafe country. The guys who manage their money live much better, safer, stress-free and fun-filled lives in countries where they can go almost anywhere without being kidnapped, killed or robbed.”

    But I guess Xamuel explained all, and in fact I can confirm it from personal experience: they think that whatever is found in Europe and America has the ‘real value’. It’s like them buying made-in-Germany products instead of buying made-in-China products, although both have the same quality. Deja-vu.

  8. Webe
    June 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Once people go for money and power, they are never sated. It can never be enough. It is an irrational attempt to escape mortality and become a god. The lack of some natural limit (governing normal physical needs and pleasure) with regard to wealth and power has vexed people since the bronze age. In the Bible Nebuchednezzar goes crazy, living like an animal and eating the grass in the gardens of his own palace in Babylon. You never quite reach escape velocity, even if you sacrifice millions of fellow human beings. Once you get the fire roaring, everything is sucked in until everything is consumed. It’s demonic, insane.

  1. June 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm
  2. June 19, 2011 at 1:13 am

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