Missing from Thailand’s rich list

25 09 2009

A couple of days ago Forbes (23 September 2009) came out with its “Thailand’s 40 Richest” list. No prizes for guessing who is missing from the list, for they have their own special list for the world’s royals.

PPT understands that there are all kinds of issues about measuring and reporting wealth, but Forbes has been at it for a while, so their figures are amongst the best available. What is interesting in this list of non-royals is just how little wealth they have compared with the royal family.

Forbes states: “Despite losses for nearly half of Thailand’s wealthiest, the group’s total net worth remains unchanged. The land of smiles has seemed more like the land of uncertainty lately. Thailand has had to deal not just with the global economic slowdown but also with the self-inflicted political instability that has seen five prime ministers in three years. That, in turn, has led to protests at the airports and in the streets. Given the landscape, Thailand’s wealthiest are holding up well and certainly are much better off than they were nine months ago. Together they are worth $25 billion, unchanged since June 2008…”. PPT emphasized those last words.

Now think of the royals. Reporting the low point in 2008, Forbes said: “No. 1 on our list [of the world’s richest royals], for the second year in a row, is Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He is worth $30 billion, $5 billion less than last year, as a result of double-digit declines in real estate and stocks owned via the Crown Property Bureau…”. Remember that there is more royal wealth than that in the coffers of the CPB.

Just the Crown Property Bureau is estimated to be worth $5 billion more than the combined wealth of the other 40 wealthiest people in Thailand.



2 responses

27 09 2009
With 3 updates: Sufficiency economy and democracy at the UN « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] articulated in palace propaganda where “moderation” is sprouted from the mouths of the fabulously wealthy who control huge industrial and financial […]

16 02 2010
Taxes, wealth and privy councilors « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Research has shown that the CPB alone makes the Thai royal family one of the richest around and not all of the CPB wealth incurs tax. Add to this the huge amounts that the royal family is gifted. Who has any idea how much that is and where it goes? Then there’s each royal’s personal wealth, and PPT is unaware of any research on this. And for good measure, throw in the astonishingly large allocations to the royal family from the coffers of the taxpayers like Atiya. […]

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