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Toby Barlow Headshot

How a Billionaire Can Make a Billion Dollars

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I didn't think I should have to write this. They should be smart enough to figure it out themselves, these infamous titans of industry. But then I saw how Bernie Madoff fleeced the lot of them and I thought, maybe these aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, even if they are made out of solid gold.

So, as we enter into the new year I would like to present a simple plan that will make anyone in the top .00001 income bracket an appallingly huge amount of money:

Buy Detroit.

No, not in the metaphorical sense, you wouldn't want to follow Daimler, Cerberus, and Fiat down the old nasty Chrysler rabbit hole. I mean it in the literal sense.

What you do is very quietly, so as not to inflate any prices, buy up all the available real estate in the Motor City; the skyscrapers, the housing, the vacant lots, as much as you can possibly embrace in those little seersucker arms of yours.

Okay, now, before I have even gotten started, I can sense you tut-tutting. You're saying Detroit is a loser's game. "Why, I'd rather buy swamp land in Florida." you mutter. But just hold on, how did you get where you are today? You zigged while others zagged, right? Or your grandfather exploited slave labor, either way, bear with me, because you are still missing the critical second part of my plan.

If you are a decent billionaire, you own things. Not just private jets and houses in the Hamptons, but also companies. You own insurance companies, banks, candy companies as well as various industrial entities that manufacture things like porta-potties and dining cars. Companies that have employees. Companies that need to be based somewhere. Plus, if you are reasonably savvy - and perhaps you are - you already own the buildings they work in.

So, step two is simple, sell those buildings. The profits from a single one of your New York office buildings could pay off your entire Detroit real estate junket. See, already you've broken even.

Then, in the final step, you relocate all those companies of yours to their shiny new corporate headquarters in heart of Southeast Michigan. Give them incentives to live down near their work so that they'll buy your residential property. Some employees might groan about relocating, but too bad for them, you didn't get where you are by coddling ninnies. And guess what, that's another great thing about Michigan, there are lots and lots of idle workers, whatever you need, skilled, highly skilled (we have more engineers per capita than any other state) as well as the completely and utterly unskilled.

So, I don't have to spell out the rest, do I? Real estate values will quickly soar as other companies, encouraged by your brazen move, make similar leaps into what will still be an incredibly affordable market. The momentum will build as the ever-frenzied media piles on.

Then you can sit back on your mega three story yacht with the dancing girls and the piles of diamond encrusted caviar and just watch as the value of your entire portfolio exponentially soars in less than two or three years.

Detroit is ready. With a new mayor and an all new city council, any prospective investor in the area will find a capable, competent, and welcoming partner. There is a whole vast metropolis here on sale cheap, with freeways, an international airport, and a number of conveniently located White Castle drive thrus. In short, all the infrastructure any ambitious business tycoon could possibly need.

And guess what, if you want, we'll even let you buy our football team.

Think about it.