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The Wealth of World Leaders

How much are the most powerful people in the world worth? This infographic shows the surprising billions of some of Earth's most elite.

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Getting elected often takes a lot of personal wealth to publicize the candidate and purchase campaign advertisements and materials. This can result in wealthy politicians acquiring many important positions of power. In many countries, getting into a position of power often results in building great personal wealth. The result of both these factors is that there are politicians worldwide that have both wealth and power.

In the Unites States, there are many millionaire politicians, but few billionaires. Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, is worth $11.5. The British House of Lords has always had a great deal of wealth concentrated in this arm of the government. Lord Swraj Paul, British member of the House of Lords, is worth $1.3 billion. French Senator Serge Dassault is worth $9.9 billion.

Presidents of many nations are millionaires and even billionaires. Sometimes this is from the wealth needed to obtain the position, and sometimes it is the result of taking a high percentage of the wealth in the country as personal assets. In many countries, simply doing business in that country requires payments to officials in order to keep the process moving. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is worth $9.4 billion. Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo is worth $1.3 billion. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is worth $3 billion.

In Russian and several other former Soviet republics, the rampant corruption of the governments has made many Russian and Ukrainian politicians wealthy. In Russian, bribery is seen as a part of the normal business and political processes. Senator Kostyantin Zhevago of Ukraine is worth $3.4 billion. Senator Rinat Akhmetov of Ukraine is worth $7.3 billion. Russian Senator Suleiman Kerimov is worth $17.5 billion. Senator Andrey Molchanov of Russia is worth $4 billion. Russian Senator Gleb Fetisov is worth $3.9 billion.

The prevalence of monarchies in the Middle East has led to Middle Eastern politicians becoming some of the richest in the world. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, is worth $19 billion. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, was for many years the richest man in the world. He is currently worth $20 billion. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, king of Saudi Arabia, is worth $21 billion. Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabis is worth $21.5 billion. Political leader Saad Hariri of Lebanon is worth $3.3 billion. Indonesian Chief Welfare Minister Aburizal Bakri is worth $9.2 billion.