The international press reports that Egypt’s embattled President Hosni Mubarak’s and his family’s net worth is estimated to be between 40 and 70 billion U.S. dollars.
The wealth of Egypt’s first family was built largely from military contracts during his days as an air force officer; Mr. Mubarak eventually diversified his investments through his family when he became President in 1981, ABC News quoted experts as saying.
Amaney Jamal, a political science professor at Princeton, said those estimates are comparable with the vast wealth of leaders in other Gulf countries.
“The business ventures from his military and government service accumulated to his personal wealth. There was a lot of corruption in this regime and stifling of public resources for personal gain,” Ms. Jamal was quoted as saying.
Ms. Jamal said that Mr. Mubarak’s assets are most likely in banks outside of Egypt, possibly in the U.K. and Switzerland.
“This is the pattern of other Middle Eastern dictators so their wealth will not be taken during a transition. These leaders plan on this,” she said.
Mr. Mubarak, his wife and two sons were also able to accumulate wealth through a number of business partnerships with foreigners, according to Christopher Davidson, professor of Middle East Politics at Durham University in the United Kingdom.
The Mubarak family owns properties in London, Paris, Madrid, Dubai, Washington, New York and Frankfurt, according to a report from IHS Global Insight.
Aladdin Elaasar, author of ‘The Last Pharaoh: Mubarak and the Uncertain Future of Egypt in the Obama Age’, said the Mubaraks own several residences in Egypt, some inherited from previous Presidents and the monarchy, and others he has built.
“He had a very lavish lifestyle with many homes around the country,” said Mr. Elaasar, who estimates the family’s wealth is between 50 and 70 billion U.S. dollars.
What were these “military contracts?” America has supplied Egypt with billions in military aid for decades. America “lends” the money to Egypt, which, in turn, buys American military hardware, fortunes of it. Since Mubarak was doing much of this as head of the Egyptian air force, that meant buying the F-16s from Lockheed Martin, which in the past had a history of bribery. The billions in aid that ended up in Mubarak’s pocket he then “invested,” growing his fortune until it is probably the greatest in the world. And this is not some oil-rich Sheikdom. It is a poor country with forty million people living on a couple of dollars a day. No one in the Department of Defense or CIA had any idea this was going on?
It is no wonder Mubarak clings to power. He knows that there are millions of Egyptians who want him tried for the crook he is. And the insiders around him have also gotten rich, and they know what could happen to them. His regime has been a complete scam, ripping off from his own people whilst pretending to be the defender of peace in the Middle East. He held up the threat of the Moslem Brotherhood as a way of intimidating the Americans to let him get away with it.
The slew of American dictators America has supported all got rich in this manner–the Shah, Haile Sellassie, Marcos, countless Latin
American caudillos, all sucking their countries dry, all the while laughing at the dumb Americans who let them do it. Is it any wonder the people rose up against them and hate America?
As for the billions of non-military aid Egypt has received over the years through the Agency for International Development, there was probably never an audit. It is no accident that all that aid did little to improve the living conditions of the poor Egyptians who have been obliged to live in the midst of these ill-gotten gains. When one listens to the pontifications of pundits on the right who are condemning Obama for not standing up for America’s great ally, the sense of nausea that arises is overwhelming. But when you know that Karl Rove owns fortunes in stock in the big American military contractors, you can understand why he is so upset. Dick Cheney’s wife, Lynn, sat on the board of Lockheed Martin and was paid fortunes to attend a couple of meetings a year. So many important and powerful Americans have had their hands in the till in this Egyptian rip-off that it makes the damage done to America by Bernie Madoff pale into insignificance, even taking into account JP Morgan Chase’s role in aiding and abetting Madoff. So many individuals who belong in jail are running around that it boggles the mind, and lots of them are in Egypt. But I would also like to know how much money has been stashed in Swiss bank accounts by some of Israel’s military and political elite. Do you think they would allow the Egyptians to take all of America’s largesse? Lots of Israeli generals are heavily invested in businesses in Israel. What suckers, the Americans.