Why Vladimir Putin Might Be Secretly Richer Than Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos regularly makes headlines for how much money he makes or loses depending on what we bought from Amazon in any given week. For example, Fortune reported in late July 2021 that Bezos' net worth decreased by a ridiculous $13.5 billion after the online retailer issued a less-than-spectacular earnings report. Now he has to figure out how to get by with a meager $193.6 billion. (But he still has enough to go around suing NASA for not letting him go to the moon with them and Elon Musk.)

Just a few years ago, Bezos earned notoriety as the world's richest person when his fortune tipped over $90 billion in 2017, edging out Microsoft magnate Bill Gates. However, according to Newsweek, those official rankings did not include the possible actual richest person in the world. An expert in the Russian oligarch's finances said that Vladimir Putin put both business moguls to shame with his ridiculous fortune. Let's take a look at just how much richer Vladimir Putin is than Jeff Bezos, secretly speaking, of course.

Vladimir Putin had more money than Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates combined

Back in 2017, Bezos boasted less than half of his current fortune of officially too much money for one person to ever need in a single lifetime. Fortune reported at the time that with Bezos and Gates each hoarding around $90 billion, the actual richest man in the world at the time, Putin, had a fortune totaling more than both tech tycoons combined. His fortune in 2017 was around $200 billion.

Admittedly, Bezos made a ridiculous amount of money during the pandemic, but with that hit to his personal finances from Amazon's drop in stock price in mid-2021, it appears that the Russian strongman may still be the world's richest person. The official line from the Kremlin is that all of Putin's money was made via legal business dealings, but as you might imagine, that's most likely not the case. Bill Browder, the expert who made the accusation, believes that much of Putin's fortune was made by extorting the country's richest people for as much as 50 percent of their profits in the early 2000s. "Not 50 percent for the Russian government or 50 percent for the presidential administration of Russia, 50 percent for Vladimir Putin," Browder said.