What are some of the costliest mistakes ever made in history?

What are some of the costliest mistakes ever made in history? by Vivek Gupta

Answer by Vivek Gupta:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me introduce you to world’s costliest mistake. A small mistake and a country lost around 500 trillion dollars[math]^{[1][2]} [/math].

yes, you heard it right. It is equal to

  • 6.5 times total annual GDP of world[math]^{[3]}[/math].
  • 30 times of annual GDP of United states[math]^{[4]}[/math].
  • 400 times of annual GDP of Russia[math]^{[4]}[/math].
  • 5 times of total oil reserve left on earth[math]^{[5]}[/math].
  • The money required to feed all people of India for sterling 1400 years[math]^{[6]}[/math].
  • 40 times of total revenue of Fortune 500 Companies[math]^{[7]}[/math].

Are you curious to know about ‘the mistake’ and which country made the mistake. Hold tight and Read further.

The costliest mistake was made by Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1612. The mistake was to providing business licence to Thomas Roe from East India Company to start the business in Surat, India.

East India Company started the business with the evil plan of ruling and looting the country. In 1757, after Indian lost battle of Plassey, East India Company stated ruling. Sooner they won all the battles with their dirty tricks and modern technology. Each year billion of dollars were looted and transported to England. Indian were made slaves and were forced to grow only those crops which can be sold at higher prices while they were starving due lack of foods. Company also snatched all farm of poor and provided the land to Jameendaars who were ‘yes men' to Brits. There were many famines and drought but nobody cared, company’s main interest was to loot as much as possible.

150 years company looted India, 500 trillion USD is just an estimate of money that has been gone to England. There are more things which have been looted from India. Tons of Golds, artifacts, pearls and diamonds which were stored in various temples throughout India were taken every year. The total loss can not be estimated. It was a very small mistake but it costed India huge.

India could have been absolute world power if Jahangir had not given the permission of business to Britishers.

PS: For more interesting answers follow Vivek Gupta. Thank for your valuable time for reading. if you think the same that this is costliest mistake show it through upvotes and comments.

[math]\large{God Bless You}.[/math]

Update 1: Many people asked for references for above figures. I am updating the references. Using these references above figure can be obtained by simple calculation.

You may also like my answer to Which is the most shameful incident in Indian political history?


[1] Colonial Damage in Numbers by Vishal Kale on Blast from India's Past

[2] GBP 600 trillion to be returned to India by Britain

[3] World economy : GDP of world is 77.26 trillion dollars.

[4] List of countries by GDP (nominal) – Wikipedia

[5] How Much Oil Does the World Have Left?

[6] How big per capita food expenditures in your country? – knoema.com

[7] Fortune 500 total wealth

What are some of the costliest mistakes ever made in history?


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