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Thursday, 7 March 2013


If you ask me Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is 100% right in balling out Forbes for getting it so wrong about how many dollar bills are stuffed into his pally-ass. You don't get to being the quite hugely rich without expecting people to get things right about you.

This is no minor underestimation by Forbes according to the not so impoverished Prince. He reckons he's worth some $29.6 bn and Forbes have him at a measly $20 bn. That's a pretty large difference , so I can see where the Prince is coming from - certainly not on  a manky camel from the slums of Jedd-ah.

Look, I suspect that if you're in the Forbes listings you're there because you want to be. I'd imagine you'd be as helpful to the man from the Rich List as you possibly could be (without giving too much away to the Revenue). So you'd expect the figure they come up with to be within spitting distance - but a difference of nearly 50%!

You or I would, I suspect, not be too worried about a Rich List and where we came in it. I'd be happy with $10 bn, $5 or even $1bn and they could put me last. I'm not proud.

Which brings me onto a rather worrying trend in my life. I'm becoming status conscious. In the past I'd shop at Asda, Costco, Lidl and think nothing of it. I now enter John Lewis in disguise, just in case someone sees me slumming it with the lowish middle classes.

Now you'll find me in New Bond Street, Jermyn Street and the Burlington Arcade nose against Paul Smith, Chanel and Mont Blanc. I just don't buy chocolates I buy Charbonnel & Walker from 1 The Royal Arcade, Old Bond Street. I don't buy belts, I buy Paul Smith belts - well I would have but I choked when I was told it cost £90! I don't just buy cologne, I buy Aqua Di Parma and Penhaligon, and their bath bubbly.

I've turned in to a status snob. I put it down to the purchase in November of a watch. Not any watch, but a Swiss made mechanical watch. An Oris. Not mega bucks but at the time I thought quite rich.

What a fool I was. I began looking at luxury Swiss watches. Not your Rolex - the Cortina equivalent of watches. No, I'm talking Mercedes S Class.

I went to Harrods the other week. Quite humbling.My poor Oris didn't feature. Instead I found myself lusting after a Vacheron Constantin at £33k. Quite beyond my means as you can imagine - but this now is my standard.

Where will this lust lead me? No doubt Wonga will be tapping on my computer screen offering an easy loan. My bank manager has been measuring me up for a sizeable advance; not that he bothered to lend me money for anything so sensible as a home.

No, the truth is if you have money or you're thought to have it the money people are around you like bees to honey. Now when money's tight, if your have it - you can get anything at the best rates.

The rest of us have to lump it or leave it.There's no alternative...unless you've $20 billion in your back pocket.

Bring on the Revolution.


Nota Bene said...

Really, I think you've under sold yourself

Irritatingly, I too have been left off the Forbes list

Marginalia said...

Dear Nata Bene, that is so unfair. Now my desires are completely unobtainable. Mind you, the watches are stunning.

Anonymous said...

I have heard about gold plated pensions. But this takes the biscuit.

Bojo said...

I too lust after Vacheron Constantin

Marginalia said...

Dear Bojo, maybe we could time share?

Dear Anon, well done. Super mixture of metaphors.

Steve said...

Next time my creditors underestimate my personal debt I shall take a leaf out of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal's book and correct them very primly indeed.

Marginalia said...

Steve, just send them to me. I'll sort them out.

Martin Lewis