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Question Of The Day

How Would You Blow £1.4bn and Keep It a Secret?

"Fuck it, I'd buy Thailand."

by Patrick Henderson and Ryan Bassil
26 November 2012, 5:00pm

Kweku Adoboli – that guy above – was jailed last week for somehow managing to lose £1.4bn of UBS's money in fraudulent deals, which is equal parts hilarious and terrifying. How anyone could lose that much money without someone noticing when they hit the – I don't know – half a billion mark is pretty baffling. I mean, it takes a fine-tuned mix of balls and idiocy to attempt something like this, so I applaud Kweku for trying, but, of course, he slipped up somewhere along the way and landed himself in jail for the next seven years.

His case got me thinking if it would be possible to have that much money and keep it on the down low, so I went and asked the people of London a question: how would you blow £1.4bn and keep it a secret?   

Blaine, 26, unemployed: Inconspicuously spend over a billion quid? All in one day?

You could do it over years if you wanted. If you were a pussy. 
I’d just fuck right off. I really would. I’d go to... Thailand. Fuck – I’d buy it. I’d buy Thailand.

Do you not like England?
I don’t like it today because it’s raining. I’d go buy an island somewhere and live there. I’d create my own laws and rule over my subjects.

Would you go on the run if people found out you'd acquired the money illegally?
Nah, I’d create an army of monkeys on this little island to fight them off.

Freddie, 35, sales director: What would I buy? Hmm, I’d certainly buy a house in a remote place with very weak taxes.

Oh yeah? Whereabouts?
I’d be looking at moving to somewhere like Belize. I think that’d be the easiest and simplest way of doing it. I’d also give most of it away.

Why?
So, even if I ended up in jail, I could say that I didn’t use it for personal benefit.

Clever. Who would you give it to?
I’d give it to charities and UN organisations who needed help. It would have to be an NGO. It couldn’t be friends or family because that would be personal benefit. I’d give it to some poor fuckers.

Lovely. That's nice of you.

Will, 19, student: Can you put it back into the lottery?

It'd be pretty pointless. How would you spend the money?
I’d buy a shit load of houses. You could just live anywhere and travel around the globe. I’d be a dick with the money and pay people to do stupid stuff, like getting naked and running around.

How much would you pay someone to do that?
Well, it depends who it was.

Who's the most attractive girl in the world?
My girlfriend.

Awh, that's sweet. I'm sure she’d do it for free, though, right? What about Mila Kunis?
I don’t think she’d do it. Maybe she'd do it for a billion.

You’d waste a billion on seeing Mila Kunis naked? What would you do if the authorities rumbled you?
I’d go to a tax-free haven and hire a load of security guards. If they were good enough and you had enough of them then no one would come and arrest you.

I'm not sure that's how it works, but good luck!

Aidar, 21, student: I’d start buying real estate. Like, the small ones, you know? You wouldn’t want to look suspicious.

Smart guy. Where would you be buying this real estate?
I’d go worldwide. New York, Paris, maybe even London.

But wouldn’t you want anything for yourself?
Of course I would. I don’t know what I’d get, though. I'd tell you if I had £1.4 billion in my hands right now.

I can't make that happen, I'm afraid.

Jeff, 52, police: I’d money launder it through the bank that I stole it from.

Genius. Some guy just told us he’d buy Thailand. Would you not want to do something like that?
I might do that after I’ve put the money through the bank, just as a joke.

What would you do after you bought Thailand?
I’d get the usual things. You know – a house, a car.

What would you do if the authorities found you out?
I’d go on the run and create my own bank somewhere else.

Wow, being in the police obviously pays off when it comes to committing crimes effectively.

Nick, 30, assistant editor: That’s a good question. I’d buy a house for each member of my family. My brother lives in Notting Hill at the moment, so a couple of those might do. I’d get a private jet, maybe.

That’s not very inconspicuous, though. How would you cover it up?
I’d say it was inheritance.

If the authorities found out that you’d obtained the money illegally would you go on the run?
If you had that much money in the bank everyone would do everything to find you. You can’t hide these days.

Too right. Everyone's out to get us, man.

Previously - What's the Dumbest Thing You've Ever Done Drunk?

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