Each and everyone makes some dubious financial decisions. Some people waste huge sums of money on things that are not worth it—an overview of some biggest waste of money.
However, some mistakes made by private individuals sometimes are silly changes compared to the wastefulness, fraud, and just plain stupid decisions made on a larger scale by private companies, public institutions, and billionaires every year.
let’s look at the most staggering financial loss cases that have occurred or been made public in recent years.
1. Pilgrimage of King Mansa Musa
King Mansa Musa of Mali in the 14th century was – and still is – the richest man who ever lived. In fact, Musa was richer than the five richest men in the world today put together. As a Muslim, Musa had to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his life. And he did so in 1324, bringing with him 80 camels, each carrying 300 pounds of gold.
As he drove through Cairo, he threw so many coins on the floor that the streets glistened with gold. The sudden influx of gold rendered the stuff worthless, causing a superinflation of the Egyptian currency and almost destroying its economy.
Even after 12 years, the market had not fully recovered from his trip. In the end, Musa had to return some of the money to help the ailing economy in his country.
2. Chinese ghost cities
No, unlike what you might think when you hear about the ‘ghost’ word. These are not old cities made up of badly damaged buildings on the verge of decay, with some dark, supernatural past. Instead, they are entire cities that the Chinese government has built, costing the government billions of dollars to relocate the 300 million Chinese citizens currently living in the countryside to urban areas. Unfortunately, very few of them have moved to these cities.
Across China, hundreds of cities have almost everything you need for a modern urban lifestyle: high-rise apartment complexes, developed waterfronts, skyscrapers, and even public art.
Cities, which were designed to reduce the burden of people in big cities, instead turned out to burden the government, costing collectively in the trillions. However, some of these cities have now actually started to slowly fill up with people. Most cities are still unoccupied and show no sign of being occupied soon, and this becomes the most significant waste of money
3. Coronation of Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa
After a coup d’état in 1965, Bokassa became president for life after the Central African Republic gained independence from France. A year later, he proclaimed himself Emperor Bokassa I of the Central African Empire to distinguish that country from other African countries.
The coronation ceremony cost an estimated $20 million – a third of the ‘empire’s’ annual budget and all of France’s aid to the ‘empire’ for the year. One of the biggest waste of money. The Empire’s proclamation did little to help the situation, as Bokassa was considered an eccentric, even a madman.
No foreign leader attended the coronation ceremony, and the West generally regarded him as a laughing stock. Bokassa’s regime was brutally repressive, being a ‘constitutional monarchy’ with a dictatorial leader. It came to pass that in 1979 the French overthrew Bokassa and abolished the monarchy, restoring the Central African Republic.
The coronation ceremony was unnecessarily lavish and extravagant, effectively draining the country’s wealth and resources and doing the country no good at all.
4. Eight statues of African presidents
In Nigeria, during the tenure of Rochas Okorocha, the then Imo state governor, decided to embark on the gruesome project of erecting eight statues of African presidents in Imo State.
According to statistics from different sources, the total erected statue cost N520 million (about $1,363,934). However, Special Adviser to the Governor on Electronic Media Ebere Nzeworji stated that each statue cost between N400,000 to N500,000 (approx. $1040 to $1311). Of what many citizens of Imo state disputed and called it “lies from the pit of hell”.
Even if the cost is much lower than the amount mentioned earlier, the money could have been put to much more productive use. Imo State owed its pensioners billions of Naira and was one of the 35 states in Nigeria that received 800 million Naira as collateral loans from the federal government. Within two years, some of the statues have been destroyed by the angry mob.
5. Lit up over $2M for warm
Last on the list of the biggest waste of money is the man who lit up over $2 million to provide heat for his child. Do you remember the Colombian man Pablo Escobar? He was a Colombian drug lord, not a common one. His fortune was estimated at $25 billion. This may be an underestimate as the amount of his wealth was never known.
At one time, he offered to repay his country’s debt. Some time ago, a Colombian farmer dug up six hundred million dollars in cash on his farm. The money belonged to Pablo.
He hid the money in the ground. Its whereabouts were not known as it was reported that he killed those who dug the holes. His 300-bedroom mansion worth over $10 million. The drug lord built it. Today the building lies in ruins.
He lost more than 10% of his annual income due to rats eating the banknotes he hid in several agricultural fields and old warehouses.