2. Emperor Shenzong of Song – peak net worth: $30+ trillion
Shenzong ruled China from 1067-1085 during the ‘Peaceful Prosperity’ and ‘Primary Abundance’ eras when he controlled around 30% of global GDP, the equivalent of $30+ trillion today. Adept at collecting taxes, the emperor’s administration wasn’t all take, take, take however. Its famous New Policies, which helped improve the lives of the poor, are seen as a forerunner of the modern welfare state.
1. Genghis Khan – peak net worth: $100s trillions
The fearsome Mongol leader conquered a mind-blowing 12 million square miles of land between 1206 and his death in 1227, more than anyone else in history. But while his hordes pillaged their way through huge swathes of Eurasia (the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia) – territory that is now worth trillions of dollars – Khan didn’t actually hoard his spoils, choosing to redistribute the stolen loot and territory among his subjects instead.