February 17, 2008

There is still way too much cash sloshing around the world thanks to the global real estate bubble. I submit the #1 license plate - for $14 million

This will look oh so stupid a few years from now. Even more stupid than it looks today. Some people got filthy, FILTHY, STINKING rich these past few years thanks to oil and real estate. And now they're blowing it fast and furious. I love this story for some reason. And the picture is priceless.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - A license plate with nothing but the number "1" on it went for a record $14 million at a charity auction Saturday.

"I bought it because it's the best number," said Khouri, whose family made its fortune in real estate. "I bought it because I want to be the best in the world."

On Saturday, 90 license plates were auctioned off in all, raising a total of $24 million. The previous five such events raised more than $50 million.


Buzz Saw said...

The money goes for charity.

keith said...

The money goes for vanity

The proceeds go for charity

Anonymous said...

I'll think of him when I go #1.

Anonymous said...

Keith said...

"There is still way too much cash sloshing around the world thanks to the global real estate bubble.

Too bad its all in Abu Dhabi and its not available to Northern Rock:

LONDON, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- British troubled bank Northern Rockis to be nationalized, British Finance Minister (Chancellor of the Exchequer) Alistair Darlilng announced Sunday.


Anonymous said...

Was 'Sand Nigga #1" taken?

Anonymous said...

how do we know this guy is arabic?

Frank@Scottsdale-Sucks.com said...

You just gave Arizona their next revenue-generating scheme.

Oh wait, all the money's gone there and everyone is broke now.

Never mind.

Anonymous said...

He looks like #1 bride with that fruity hat.

Anonymous said...

the lament of the most intelligent man who ever lived.....

Ecclesiastes 1
King James Bible

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. 15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. 17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

the moral to the story. all material wealth and things of this earth mean nothing. the real meaning to life is what you do with your life here and how this has effects that last for an eternity.

Anonymous said...

Their charity is Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, al Aqsa MArtyrs Brigade and building more madrassas - the same goals as Obama's trillion dollar welfare handout for his Muslim brothers.

Anonymous said...

These people are idiots, paying that kind of money for a freaking license plates. He must be really insecure, cause he isn't ever going to be number 1 in my book. The other thing he will be number 1 will be as a class A towel head with shit for brains.

Gabor said...

I would have paid 20 mil

happy homeowner in the stix said...

He outbid Scott Alexander? ;)

Anonymous said...

Was 'Sand Nigga #1" taken?

That was a cheap racist comment that shows how much work is still needed to overcome such a blaring ignorance in parts of Bush's USA. The money collected in the UAE was for charity, and I hope some of that money is earmarked for educational programs that target bigotry and illiteracy in today's sad world.

keith said...

$14 million for a license plate in a country with 15% uneployment and where 60% of 16-24 are unemployed

The riots will be fun to watch. They have lots of oil to use for torches.

#1 is also the #1 target for carjackings and muggings now.

Income disparity on this level is never a good idea. Just ask the French.

John yahya said...

That auction is by the Abu Dhabi police. The money goes to accident victims. Khoury has bought several numbers in the past, all for charity. He's pledged the numbers back to the traffic police at his death.

But yes, like Keith said, the money goes could be for vanity.

Most muslims are very secretive when sending money for charity. Because giving charity is an act of worship in Islam, and it has to be sincere. There has to be no hint of showing off to others

In face, according to the authentic teachings of Islam, the first three people to enter hell would be muslims.

There's an exception, when one gives charity in public to encourage others, but he still has to be sincere in his heart. And in this case no one but Khoury knows that for sure.

More info here

keith said...

happy homeowner in the stix said...

He outbid Scott Alexander? ;)


I hope a few of you are following the Scott Alexander saga over at dirtyscottsdale.

I think we found the world's most vain, shallow and fake person.

I'd love to see the details of his financial statement. Debt looks like wealth to many.

John yahya said...

Btw, keith this won't look stupid a few years from now. Unlike overextended homeowners, these Abu Dhabi Arabs are not taking any loans for blowing money like this. The tripling of oil price in the last several years is nice, but didn't really affect their lifestyle much.

Abu Dhabi has 90% of UAE's oil and proven resevers for over 200 years supply. The average net worth in the city is AED 17 million (about $4.6 million).

Just as American's got easy money via HELOCS and CCs, the Arabs get it literally gushing out of the ground. They both didn't work and sweath for it and so waste it on useless luxuries, but in the Arabs' case it's real wealth, not debt.

Anonymous said...

If these people wanted to really help needy people and do charitable things they could start by not spending their money on luxury goods to flaunt their wealth but instead using their money to DIRECTLY help people. I don't mean the kind of help like writting a check and throwing money at the problem.

They could have created a company that manufactures some good that is in demand in that part of the world. Anything....textiles, cosmetics, phones, etc...

Even if they made ZERO profit and broke even they would put people to work in a steady job with a fair wage. That is REAL humanitarianism. Throwing money at problems is not.

james said...

"the lament of the most intelligent man who ever lived....."

Sigh. The attention whore fundie idiot is back.

John yahya said...

$14 million for a license plate in a country with 15% uneployment and where 60% of 16-24 are unemployed

Wrong Keith.
The 15% unemployment is among the citizens only, who believe it or not, and less than 18% of the population. The remaining 82% are all expatriates, who can only enter the country if you have a job. So the actual unemployment is only 2.7% (And most citizens don't need a job anyways. They're mostly landowners who collect rent, and federally mandated sleeping partners in businesses who collect 10% or so)

The UAE is a very weird country, but it's in a lot of groups (on opposing sides of the fence) interest to keep it stable.

Budvar said...

100 years ago they were goat herders living in tents, in another 100 years they will still be goat herders living in tent.

casey serin said...

dumbshit #1?

Anonymous said...

Who's helping these idiots get rich......we are. Why don't we just boycott their oil for a while and see what happens to prices. I read somewhere online that Canada and Mexico are the top two exporters of oil to the USA (which makes sense a NAU is coming) so we wouldn't be paralyzed without the Arab oil. And we still have our own reserves in the USA. We need some politicians who'd be willing to take a bold stance and prove a point to the Arab nations.

Anonymous said...

With one bigwig already toppled for tax evasion and hundreds more likely waiting their turn, all roads lead to the tiny principality of Liechtenstein. According to SPIEGEL sources, Germany's largest post-war economic scandal started with a single intelligence source.

It is rapidly becoming one of the largest economic scandals ever in Germany's post-World War II history. As many as 900 wealthy Germans -- many of them well-known -- might be involved. Berlin may have been shorted up to 4 billion euros in taxes. And the accusatory finger is pointing increasingly at what many feel is rampant greed among of many of Germany's top earners -- and at a handful of banks and foundations in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein that help the affluent hide their assets.

The first to fall was Deutsche Post CEO Klaus Zumwinkel. He resigned on Friday after raids on his home and office by officials looking for evidence of massive tax invasion. But with officials planning to launch up to 125 additional tax evasion investigations next week, it is likely that Zumwinkel will soon have to share headline space.

The growing investigation has its roots in information handed to tax investigators by Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). Last week, the BND insisted it had been little more than a messenger, but according to SPIEGEL sources, its involvement is more reminiscent of a Tom Clancy novel than of a run-of-the-mill operation.

In 2006, a man approached the BND offering agents a DVD full of information detailing foreign investments and following capital flows from Germany into those investments. In addition, the source claimed to have particulars pertaining to a number of accounts held by the LGT Group, a bank managed by the principality of Liechtenstein. But he was charging a hefty price for the DVD.

BND agents moved slowly. Their source, whose identity has not been made public, offered up samples from his data for German officials to test. And they were satisfied with the information's trustworthiness. In the end, the source was wired 5 million euros for the data disk, and he also requested personal protection out of fear for his life. The payment was made with the knowledge of German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück.

While hundreds of its customers may be compromised by the information now in the hands of eager German investigators, the bank is doing its best to assure its clients that the DVD contained details stolen from LGT Trust Ltd, a part of the LTD Group located in Vaduz, Liechtenstein six years ago. That case was closed in 2003 after the perpetrator was convicted. The data, the bank says, was "illegally passed on." The bank claims that "there is no indication that customer information has been stolen since 2002."

But according to SPIEGEL sources, German investigators are in possession of bank data on Liechtenstein-based tax evasion that goes all the way through the end of 2005. They also have account information from the Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB) which may reveal tax evasion. The LLB announced at the beginning of the week that it too had been the victim of a major data theft. According to SPIEGEL sources, that data too is still in circulation.

Regardless of how the data landed on the desks of German tax investigators, the growing scandal has caused outrage across the country and in the capital. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday once again reminded German economic leaders that they carry a huge responsibility. "Responsible behavior from companies is an elementary prerequisite for a functioning socially-responsible market economy," she said. Minister of the Economy Michael Glos, a conservative like Merkel, told the Sunday tabloid Bild am Sonntag that German managers have to "become aware that they are role models for society." Otherwise, he said, "faith in our market economy will be lost."

Others were a bit more pointed. Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, from Merkel's Christian Democrats, told SPIEGEL "I have zero understanding for this kind of greed. Uncontrolled capitalism, greed and massive losses on speculative investments -- that is a combination that makes people furious." Steinbrück, the Social Democratic Finance Minister, told the online version of the weekly Die Zeit: "It is the elites who are threatening to cause the system to collapse."

On Monday, the SPD plans to pass a resolution looking at whether prison sentences for tax evasion should be lengthened. The party accuses elites in Germany of ignoring the responsibility they have for the common good. "The money that perpetrators keep from the community short-changes education, security and infrastructure," the draft document reads.

cherry pie said...

I have never seen an arab give real charity.
The concept of true giving does not exist in the arab world.

All the so-called arab charity goes to support death in the form of terror
100% of it.

Also, looks like some here are defending these brutal people.

Good and decent people across the world understand that someone who does not have respect for his own life, does not deserve to be viewed in the same light as the rest of living beings.

Calling this low life thief a ’sand nigga’ is a compliment.

Anonymous said...

Hey, knuckle head, or is rag head,
Either way, you’re interpreter kinda screwed you. (again)
You’re not #1
Look to the left of that plate
Big red square with a # 5!
Yup, Abdullah and his 4 half brothers are still garnering the top 96% of your country’s revenue.
Remaining 4% is split between you, the other 500 siblings and foreign investments.

We’ll all understand if you blow yourself up, but please do it near an oil pipe not people.

Anonymous said...

How is he going to protect that plate from being stolen right off his Rolls.

God bless him and others with his money.

Anonymous said...

To Budvar:
in a 100 years or so, we may all be living in tents, given the way things are going in today's US Bubbledom. Actually, you could already spot some of those tents in the San Francisco area.

Anonymous said...


License plates in many countries are worth serious coin. Hong Kong is one prime example.

When wealth is newly created people become proud to the extent that they want to show the world they have arrived

This is a good thing, the free economy and business spirit gets nurtured in emerging economies

Let them have their enjoyment, the system of business wealth and democracy is a good thing

The money went to charity as well. If you are worth hundres of millions, whats $14mil ? Its like you and me buying a fancy watch.

Americans at charity auctions are just as nuts. Its a fact of life. STOP BEING JEALOUS

Anonymous said...

My husband is a friend/acquaintance(sp?)with a prince from Jordan. He was in Jordan with him and his cell phone rang a few times with different people calling this 1 number and asking if he would give it up so they could have it.

It was probably all ones. I'll have to ask.

Why is this sh*t so important?

Also, in my opinion, Dubai is a bubble.

There are not that many wealthy Arabs to fill all of those hotel rooms. Most Americans could care less, too far away and how many rich Eurpopeans are left?

sam said...

UAE also has 0% corporate and personal taxes, the lowest in the world, so maybe this guy is just aspiring to "pay his fair share" as the pols here say.

Keith, don't know where you get your unemployment numbers. UAE's GDP EXCLUDING OIL grew at 9.8%, faster than China last year. It is a very dynamic place.

keith said...

85% of the people in the UAE are imports from other countries, brought in to take low-paying jobs

Among nationals the UAE as stated earlier has 15% unemployment and a serious problem with the young

That said, the UAE is nowhere near as bad as most of the other arab countries, who have much worse unemployment problems.

But if you want to see what happens to a country that imports a low-paid labor force to take jobs from the nationals, I guess you can just look to the good ol' USA for that

sources on UAE:

Foreigners going for low-paid jobs: UAE’s ‘Emiratization’drive


Arab unemployment threatens to surge


Unemployment in the UAE


keith said...

Oh, and don't even get me started with the slave labor that Dubai imports, or how those people are treated

Dark Side of Dubai's Boomtown


Anonymous said...

>> Why don't we just boycott their oil for a while and see what happens to prices.

Brilliant idea Einstein! I'll tell you what happens - you'll be sitting in your car in your driveway unable to go anywhere because your tank is empty.

Try again...

Andrew Hac said...

This nation and most of its citizens, residents, dwellers have no ethic, no moral, no responsibility. What it has in plenty is greed, self-centerness, ignorance, pompousness.

The housing bubble is a shiny mirror in which the Americano can look at itself and ponder upon what may the future brings upon this land of the Snapper Turtle.

A nation that mostly comprises of pigs feeding, tearing, roosting, chomping at the trough.
A nation with most of its dwellers obese, fat, diabetic, and plain ugly like a chimpanzee.
A nation where a Walmart cashier can buy a house for $500K.
A nation in which its citizen's brain IQ is lower than a snapper turtle.
A nation which rules by turkey and skunk.

The Americano nation is as toasted as a roasted armadillo skewered from mouth to ass sizzling, popping, oozing with melted golden fat over a bed of white hot charcoal.

Anonymous said...


Same stupidity just happened here in the states just on a smaller scale, but still insane & vane

Anonymous said...

Anonymous cherry pie said...

I have never seen an arab give real charity.
The concept of true giving does not exist in the arab world.

All the so-called arab charity goes to support death in the form of terror
100% of it.

Also, looks like some here are defending these brutal people.

Good and decent people across the world understand that someone who does not have respect for his own life, does not deserve to be viewed in the same light as the rest of living beings.

Calling this low life thief a ’sand nigga’ is a compliment.

February 18, 2008 12:09 AM

Hey Cherry Pie, I have news for you. Not ALL Arabs/Middle Easterners are terrorists in the same way that not ALL Americans fit certain stereotypes (fat, lazy, stupid, ignorant, etc...). Also, this is coming from a person whose sister died in World Trade Center tower number 2 on that sunny Tuesday morning in September.

Anonymous said...

More on the topic of sloshing money... another asset hiding scandal, this time from Switzerland.

Bank Julius Baer vs. Wikileaks
From Wikileaks


The largest Swiss bank specializing in hiding the assets of the ultra-rich, Bank Julius Baer, says it will file federal US proceedings against the transparency group Wikileaks by Friday.

Over the last two weeks, Wikileaks has released several hundred documents from a Swiss banking whistleblower purportedly showing offshore tax evasion and money laundering by extremely wealthy and in some cases, politically sensitive, clients from the US, Europe, China and Peru.

Part of the data was leaked to US and German tax authorities in 2005 and the Wall Street Journal ran an article on the act of leaking but not those mentioned in the material. The detail and specific allegations have previously been unavailable to the public.

The bank concerned, Julius Baer (BJB), which specializes in asset hiding, has briefed Hollywood media lawyers Lavely and Singer, who like to describe themselves as "all-around bad cop for stars from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jim Carrey and Celine Dion.".

Strangely, Lavely and Singer have refused to put in writing either the name of their client or name of the documents concerned.

However in a telephone call yesterday between Wikileaks' Californian counsel Julie Turner [editor: Julie Turner was Wikileaks pre-litigation lawyer for this matter. Don't send her material for Wikileaks in general] and Lavely and Singer's Evan Spiegel, L&S admitted their client was BJB and claimed that the whistleblower concerned was the former deputy director of the Cayman Islands office, Rudolf Elmer.

Mr. Elmer, who has since returned to Zurich, took a December 2007 anti-stalking case against BJB in an attempt to prevent BJB's private detectives following him. L&S claims that it has its own proceedings against the whistleblower scheduled for hearing this month. L&S made several other allegations against Mr. Elmer to Wikileaks' counsel, however L&S have not put these in writing.

The Swiss daily, Weltwoche, in its 2005 article, "The Leak in Paradise", confirmed the veracity of several of the files with two BJB Cayman Islands office employees.

Although Wikileaks can not say that the files are identical to those seen by the Swiss paper, in light of BJB's threatened legal attack on Wikileaks over documents that:

..constitute violation of trade secrets, conversion and stolen documents by former employee in violation of a written confidentiality agreement and copyright infringement, among other wrongful and tortuous conduct.

Wikileaks asks that the documents and BJB's practices of asset hiding be inspected and reminds BJB that its failure to openly respond to the allegations against it continues to draw scrutiny of the public and regulators (to whom the material has been forwarded) alike.

Stupid is as Stupid does said...

A couple of things....first, he is number one alright - I will signify this by putting up my middle finger. Second, as far as these idiots in the middle east, they are running on fumes with their oil reserves. Instead of spending money on stupid license plates, they ought to be spending it on refurbishing their old oil infrastructure which has been neglected for decades, and now their output is dwindling daily. All I can say as far as they are concerned is that a fool and their money are soon parted. BTW, they have much the same climate as Scottsdale, I wonder if there is something with the sun baking your head that makes you vain and ignorant.

Chuck said...

We failed to heed the warning in 1973 and have made absolutely no progress toward a sensible national oil policy since then. Every dollar we send to the Middle East is a nail in the coffin of democracy and religious tolerance. We are enriching those who will kill us as soon as they have the chance if we don't convert to Islam. We are fools and will go like lambs to our inevetable slaughter. I lived in Jeddah for many years and I can tell you from first hand experience that Muslims have no concept of religious tolerance and intend to take our dollars and use them to turn the world into an Islamic theocracy. Get your women covered and don't even think about letting them out of your sight without an appropriate chaparone.

Anonymous said...

...New Money

Anonymous said...

It's funny how every time an Arab is mentioned people come out of the woodwork talking about how they are murderers and all those people Arab's and Muslims have killed. And how they are backwards and of course the standard comments about Muslim women.

Yet somehow they don't seem to take the time to tally up the body count for the U.S.A and all the nations whose people it has slaughtered. They seem to forget about it's civil war, its slavery, it's slaughter of Native Americans, it's transgressions of human rights. It's unbalanced women's rights and rights of minorities (yes all the president's thus far have been white males). It's use of nuclear weapons and at least a war every decade since it's inception as a nation.

Somehow I imagine if one took the time to reflect on this they might think twice about marking a whole group of people as backwards terrorists. But then again, I don't imagine that SOME American's will take that time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chuck, Jeddah is not all Muslims. And I don't think you polled every Muslim in Jeddah about their views either. In fact Muslims haven't been doing much slaughtering for quite some time now. Especially when compared to the USA's enviable record. Saying all Muslims want to kill everyone for Islam is like saying all Christian want to start Armageddon so they can be raptured.

Just say, I am a redneck bigot and be done with it.