Newsletter August 2016
Market facts & Historical notes - the richest person ever in the world
Over the centuries, industrial leaders evolved who were able to generate tremendous wealth and in some instances popularity. Yet even with the onset of technology over recent decades, it has been difficult for any modern day billionaire to become as rich as Mansa Musa, the 14th century emperor of the Mali Empire. The value of Mansa Musa’s fortune calculated in today’s value is estimated to have been in excess of $400 billion.
Mansa Musa was the African ruler of an empire that once covered Western Africa. In the 14th century, Mali produced about half of the world’s gold from three highly productive mining regions. Bags of gold dust functioned as money in the kingdom, while nuggets were stored in the treasury as the property of the emperor. Wealth in the modern age is primarily stored in stocks, bonds, metals, and real estate.
Accumulation of wealth has always been a point of contention, as inherited wealth was more prevalent centuries ago; however, in the 19th and 20th centuries, the free market allowed entrepreneurs born to no wealth the ability to build and accumulate wealth. The free market and capital structure of the United States helped foster the establishment and wealth of the Industrial Titans of the turn of the century. Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Ford, and J.P. Morgan all developed enormous industries and wealth that became a backbone for the country’s economic and industrial infrastructure.
Nowadays, the platforms on which people communicate and do business with one another on are the modern day parallel to the 19th and 20th century industrial infrastructures. This can be seen below, as Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg and more have carved out their own billion-dollar niche in technology, much as the Industrial Titans did through oil, steel, and transportation.