Inside a Saudi billionaire’s obsession with his own Forbes wealth ranking—and the magazine’s subsequent investigation into his real worth:

“But for the past few years former Alwaleed executives have been telling me that the prince, while indeed one of the richest men in the world, systematically exaggerates his net worth by several billion dollars. This led FORBES to a deeper examination of his wealth, and a stark conclusion: The value that the prince puts on his holdings at times feels like an alternate reality, including his publicly traded Kingdom Holding, which rises and falls based on factors that, coincidentally, seem more tied to the FORBES billionaires list than fundamentals.

“Alwaleed, 58, wouldn’t speak with FORBES for this article, but his CFO, Shadi Sanbar, was vociferous: ‘I never knew that FORBES was a magazine of sensational dirt-digging and rumor-filled stories.’ Our discrepancy over his net worth says a lot about the prince, and the process of divining someone’s true wealth.”