In case you have any difficulty determining whether or not you’re rich, there’s a handy way to quickly check to make sure. If you’re writing off 10% of your annual income due to physical loss of cash at the hands of rats, the elements, or fate, and furthermore if you can do this without really caring, congratulations. You are rich. You are probably also engaged in some illegal activity of some kind, as infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar was.
Pablo Escobar’s brother and accountant Roberto Escobar is the author of a book, The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel, which outlines the 10% annual loss he expected at the height of Pablo’s wealth. Adjusted for inflation, the loss comes to about $2.1 billion in 2015 dollars. Here’s a short excerpt from the book:
“Pablo was earning so much that each year we would write off 10% of the money because the rats would eat it in storage or it would be damaged by water or lost.”
Of course, Pablo Escobar wasn’t just sitting around while all this money magically came in – he was earning every penny through his mastery of the cocaine trade. At the peak of his criminal empire, 80% of the cocaine in the world came from him, and 15 tons of the stuff were being smuggled into the United States on a daily basis. Roberto also adds that the Escobar criminal organization was spending $2,500 a month just on rubber bands for tying together stacks of cash.
Roberto Escobar’s book about his brother’s criminal empire has been out since 2009, but if you haven’t heard of it yet you can check it out on Amazon here and get yourself a copy.