Who is the richest person on the planet?

I don’t mean “net worth” which usually includes stocks in some gigantic company or companies that can be eventually sold.

I mean, what person has the most amount of physical money in their bank accounts on planet earth?

…You realize that most money in banks isn’t actually “physical”, right? It’s not as if your bank keeps a little tupperware jar full of bills and coins in the back with “diggleblop” written on the lid. :slight_smile:

What I mean is, who could go to the bank and draw out the most physical cash and then sit and laugh at everyone else?

Probably a tough question to answer, I know this. But I feel like testing The Dope today. :wink:

It’d be the person with the most collateral for a “cash money” loan, and that would get back to the person with the most stock in “gigantic companies” that they cold assign to cover the loan = Bill Gates.

But see, I don’t mean loan. I mean money already in the bank. Money that doesn’t have ot be paid back.

That will be difficult to answer because most rich people are smart enough to invest their money wisely - stock options, houses, certificates etc. None of this is money you can take out of the bank right now - it has to be sold, redeemed, cashed, whatever, first.

And we go back to Bill Gates or one of the Arab sheiks.

(I mean, I’m certainly not rich, and I follow the old wisdom of keeping only 2 to 3 monthly salaries in my normal account. A lot of my savings are tied up middle- and long-term, (investment fonds for the retirement, certificates for several years), with only some moderate cash on the daily savings account for emergencies and until the interest rates go up again. I haven’t enough wealth to do the thirds-scheme - one third in houses and ground, one third in stock (funds), one third in safe certificates - yet.)

That is really hard to find out. People with a lot of money don’t have it in the bank. They have it in various investments. You don’t stay wealthy by earing 1.2% in a passbook savings account.

I agree. This is a ludicrous idea which, inexplicably, many people believe to be fact.

The truth of the matter is that banks keeps their customers’ cash in shoe boxes. When I want to check my balance I go into the bank and someone gets my box from the vault. I open the lid and there’s a Post-It note on the top with the balance written on it. I have to check this balance with the contents of the box.

Sometimes I wish my bank would embrace new technology. The introduction of a printed balance slip to replace the ‘manual’ Post-It note would be a start.

More nitpicking: if your standard is “who can withdraw the most money at any given time”, I submit that most multi-millionaires can easily withdraw all of the cash from from all but the largest and busiest banks in the world. Banks typically hold enough cash for a day’s business. They don’t exactly have a mint in there. Therefore, it would be a million-way tie, at least.

I submit that people with the most negotiable currency would be drug dealers, arms dealers, and other of that ilk. Also, Shieks seem to have a lot of “physical” wealth, like gold plated Rolls Royce’s, etc.

Rich people don’t keep vast sums of cash in accounts where you can simply draw it out. The interest is higher elsewhere, or they have invested in shares / property.

If you still want an example, I expect the Sultan of Brunei could order his Mint to churn out loads of cash.

As for ‘laughing at everyone else because you have loads of cash’, I already feel superior to such people. :cool:

Scrooge McDuck. Have you SEEN the money vault that guy has? Now THAT’S physical money. But to honestly answer your question, I have not a clue.

‘Snipe out’

I was going to go along with the “they don’t keep it banks” responses, but deeper contemplating has actually led me to reinforce the validity of the OP. Really, who’s the guy with the most liquid cash – whether it be in the bank, under the mattress, or whereever, rapid liquidity being the key?

Liquidity is important in one’s day to day business. Certainly for the next $15 million dollar mansion, the rich dude will probably convert some other type of investment into liquid assets for the purpose of that transaction. But on a day to day level, the only other option is your AmEx Black card. If you decide you want the new Aston Martin, they’ll probably take the AmEx Black, but the guy selling bagels on your office floor want. There’s probably a company (financial manager?) paying your monthly bills for you, including the balances on your AmEx. Where’s that money come from? Does the management company automatically cash in bonds for you, or do you give them a check? Do they move money from other investments into your checking account?

Let’s start this way: who’s the richest bastard here on the SDMB that can shed some light into how he or she does things? I’m positive I don’t quality.

To help Digglebop out, who could write the biggest check today that could be cashed tomorrow? Meaning, no hold for a few days while money is moved around.

A hard question I agree. But Digglebop has challenged everyone. Who is going to be able to find the answer?

Credit is an equally viable measure of liquid wealth as cash. If you’re super wealthy(enough to not care about ROIs) you can operate the same way a big corporation can: On credit. I’m sure Paris Hilton can walk into her local Aston dealer, pick out a car and drive away without carrying any cash on her. Why not? Are they worried about her not paying? She’s PARIS HILTON. The dealer can invoice her a few weeks later and whoever does her bookkeeping can find some money, liquidate whatever investments that he needs, even take out another loan somwhere else, and write a cheque. It might take a month or two and there might be interest charges, so what? She’s PARIS HILTON. If you have enough assets you don’t need any liquid ones, credit will do fine.

I am not rich. But I have worked with the filthy rich. Most of their assets are in stocks or RE. However, they certainly do keep a tidy sum in cash- also “cash” in a checking account, ect. Not all- one of the rich dudes never kept folding cash, but the other dude kept a wad of severasl thousand $$ in hundreds. Most of the rich have enough “cash” assets to buy a car etc, even though most of their billions are tied up.

Rich people have enormous incentives not to have huge amounts of liquid cash sitting around that can be instantly retrieved. Kidnapping is a serious worry for the rich. If rich people could get their banks to fork over hundreds of millions of dollars kidnappers would demand that much. As it is kidnappers can ask for enormous - to them - sums of ransom, but even a million or two is trivial to a billionaire.

Therefore anybody who has large liquid reserves would be nuts to let anyone else know it. (The argument against this is that anyone who had that much money and wasn’t getting a better return for it in the first place is nuts by definition.) Either way, there isn’t likely to be any public record of who has cash in the bank in this day and age.

Not every question is answerable. Especially those about things that people are trying hard to hide.

it’s interesting. This thread brings forward the notion that the amount of “cash” floating around is probably just enough to enable small day to day transactions. The vast majority of the wealth in this world is intangible.

Also, the FDIC only insures the first $100,000 in an account, so I’d suggest that this presents a practical limit.

I don’t think the OP is answerable because the info is private.