Monday, May 2, 2016

What is the Most Expensive Object on Earth?

Tyler Cowen points to this BBC comment:
True or false? A new nuclear power station in the south-west of the UK will be the most expensive object on Earth. That’s the claim about the proposed plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset – but has anything else ever cost so much to build?
“Hinkley is set to be the most expensive object on Earth… best guesses say Hinkley could pass £24bn ($35bn),” said the environmental charity Greenpeace last month as it launched a petition against the project.
…Even if you stick with the expense of construction alone, though, the price is still high – the main contractor, EDF, puts it at £18bn ($26bn).
Then Tyler adds:
Being good Austrians, let’s put cost of production aside and focus on potential market value.  Might there be an object which would auction for at least this much, if it were put on the market?  If so, which one?  The Mona Lisa?  A pyramid?  How about St. Peters?  Worth more or less than a nuclear power plant?  The Grand Mosque in Mecca?  The Great Wall of China?  
It is a toss up as to whether oceans are technically "objects,"  but any the five (maybe not the arctic) would very likely sell for much more than $35 billion if privatized and sold off as full oceans.



  1. $116 Billion - Kashagan is one of the largest oil discoveries of the last 40 years, and one of the largest industrial operations currently under development worldwide.

  2. The favored wife of the richest Saud.