Five Guinness World Records for money and economy

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The oldest bond in the world

Back in 1624 a Dutch woman named Ellsjen Jorisdochter purchased a perpetual bond in exchange for lending money to build one of the Netherlands’ dykes. Specifically, 1,200 guilders at the time.

The funny thing is that the bonus (handwritten on goatskin) is still active. Although the issuing entity disappeared centuries ago, its successor entities (currently the De Stichtse Rijnlanden Water Consortium) have continued to pay the corresponding interest to the owner. What happens is that after 397 years of economic vicissitudes, the bond has an annual return of 15 euros per year. Jorisdochter’s heirs presented the bond in the late 1930s to the New York Stock Exchange, which is who owns it today.

The economy that fell the fastest

This record, which can sting national pride, is currently in the possession of Georgia. The Caucasian country, birthplace of Iósif Stalin, experienced during the fall of the so-called Soviet Bloc, a decrease of 16.3% per year for 10 years, until 1996.

It is not, however, the most notable economic contraction, although it is the one corresponding to a sovereign State. The Palestinian territories (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) have experienced greater falls, specifically 35% from 1992 to 1998. But as the recognition of Palestinian sovereignty is something that is still up in the air, the organization of the Guinness Records does not It counts among his records, although he does mention it.

The largest loss of personal wealth
The ineffable Japanese investor Masayoshi Son, president of SoftBank, holds this record. With the dotcom crisis in February 2000, Son saw how 58,600 million dollars (51,782 million euros) disappeared in just hours. Not only was he hurt by the plummeting value of the companies he invested in—many of which went up in smoke at the time—but his own company, SoftBank, also plummeted on the stock market.

Despite the vertiginous loss at the time, Son still had several billion euros in his pocket and both he and SoftBank survived the catastrophe. And today his personal fortune is around 22,700 million dollars (20,058 million euros).

Masayoshi Son and SoftBank did not become risk-averse and the technology investment fund that he manages still gives a lot to talk about, once again bordering on disaster with the near bankruptcy of the techno-real estate company WeWork. Since then, Son’s son and the Softbank Board of Directors have tried to mitigate the audacity of the Japanese tycoon’s investments. This year, Son has lost money again: his fortune has been reduced by 13.6 billion dollars, making him one of the 10 biggest losers of the year.

The person with the most credit cards in the world
Each one converts his money into what he wants and that is what the Chinese citizen Zheng Xiangchen, from Shenzen, has decided to do. Guinness certified in 2019 that the lucky? Zheng had 1,562 credit cards. And what inspired him to do something like that? Well, the example of the Californian Walter Cavanagh, the previous owner of the brand who had 1,497 “plastics” but no debt. While Cavanagh has been collecting cards since the 1970s, while Xiangchen managed to collect his in just six years.

The brightest economies

Here we find few surprises. The United States is the largest economy in the world, with an estimated value of around 19,000 billion (millions of millions) of dollars. They are also the country with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which reached its peak —according to Guinness— in 2017, with a GDP of 12.24 trillion dollars.

But the growth record is held by the green Republic of Ireland, which with its policy of attracting investment and technology companies achieved growth of 26.3% in 2015, according to World Bank data.

And yet the greatest economic expansion is held by Qatar, which in 2010 grew its GDP by an impressive 19.4% in 2010.