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Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Investor of the Century: Fidel Castro

A comment to the item below led me to Google to investigate Forbes Magazine's ludicrous claims of the alleged personal wealth of Fidel Castro. It's an absolutely remarkable story (emphasis on the word "story").Warren Buffett, move over! Fidel's got your rate of return beat by a mile! At least he would, if Forbes were a magazine purveying facts rather than fairy tales.

For the record, Fidel claims, and there isn't the slightest evidence to the contrary, that his net worth is nil. Here are the kind of "facts" Forbes includes in its "analysis": "Travels exclusively in a convoy of black Mercedes-Benzes. Sold state-owned Havana Club rum to French liquor giant Pernod Ricard for $50 million in 1993." Yes, I'm sure he does travel in nice cars. Which are owned by the state, just like the ones George Bush travels in (different state). Pernod did pay for Havana Club, although without further investigation, I'm pretty sure that was for the rights to produce and sell the product overseas, not for Havana Club itself. But in any case, whatever they paid went, naturally, straight to the Cuban treasury, not to some secret Swiss bank account.

I'd say "you'd think they could do better," but the fact is, they can't. That's as "good" as the slander they can come up with. But no matter, because now the corporate media are dutifully repeating, without elaboration (which would be embarassing), that Fidel Castro is "worth" $900 million. After all, Forbes says so.

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