Pablo Escobar's drug cartel spent $2,500 per month on rubber bands for bricks of cash


22 Responses to “Pablo Escobar's drug cartel spent $2,500 per month on rubber bands for bricks of cash”

  1. Teirhan says:

    He lost $500 million a year to rats and rotting?

    “Rats”, huh? is that what his subordinates told him?

    • ultranaut says:

      Everyone knows rats love the cocaine! 

    • umbriel says:

      Yeah, between the rats and the rubber bands, it seems clear to me that self-serve bonuses were being taken throughout Escobar’s organization.

      So was there a _third_ set of books somewhere, giving an accurate picture of how the business was doing?

  2. Ken Thomas says:

    Unfortunately, Escobar’s performance was less than analysts predicted, and his organization’s stock was downgraded by S&P to AA+ status.

  3. Teller says:

    Geez, what was his newspaper bill?

  4. Rotwang says:

    It ought to be obvious that there’s no fighting these kinds of sums with arguments of “morality”…we ought to legalize drugs immediately and regulate their sale.

    • PhosPhorious says:

      “we ought to legalize drugs immediately and regulate their sale.”

      That’s communist talk, you communist!  Escobar was a job creator.  Regulate his business and you will only be hurting the rubber band manufacturers.

      America has no use for your “soak the rich” policies.

      • bcsizemo says:

        But think of the taxes that he and all him employees are paying!

        Or we could do like tobacco and just tax the shit out of sales.

  5. obeyken says:

    It’s worth mentioning that they were really nice rubber bands.

  6. James B says:

    If you find this sort of thing interesting, check out the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys”.  It is streaming on Netflix.

  7. awjt says:

    Umm… $2500 for rubber bands?  It’s South America.  They could dip bundles of bills in pure molten rubber straight out of a rubber tree.

  8. bo1ngbolnguser001 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the rubber band supplier was killed off.  he was charging way too much for rubber bands. 

  9. Kimmo says:


    This has to be one of the most mind-blowing factoids I’ve come across, at least as far as money is concerned.

    $2.5k a month. On rubber bands. To hold bricks of cash together.

    Reminds me of the eleven (IIRC? Could have been more) pallets of US $100 bills that simply ‘disappeared’ in Iraq…

  10. trai_dep says:

    Ironically, Pablo fired fewer of his employees (err, sorry, Reduced In Force) than the S&P 500 companies did.

  11. User 100 says:

    Somebody may have claimed that they spent $2,500 on rubber bands, but some back-of-the-envelope math tells me that that number is highly unlikely:

    One rubber band costs about one cent.
    That means 2,500 dollars will get me 250,000 rubber bands.
    If I assume a stack size of about 2 inches I end up with roughly 500 bills per stack.
    At 500 bills per stack, and an average denomination of $20, this ends up as a total of Two billion and 500 million dollars. Per month.
    Probably not…

    I used fairly conservative numbers here — if the stack size is bigger, the total amount will be bigger, as you end up with more stacks for the number of bands used. Buying rubber bands in bulk will probably get you a better deal. And the average denominations will most like be higher (probably 20s & 50s)..

    • awjt says:

      Nice.  A great back-of-the-envelope calculation.  Well done!  Two thumbs up!

    • wadef says:

      I think you are wrong to assume they could get rubber bands for one cent each. They didn’t have, Walmart, Staples, etc back in 1978. Why do you assume they could buy rubber bands in bulk from a discount super store? Try recalculating and make the rubber bands cost more, maybe $1 for 20? Who knows. Maybe they had to special order them through someone and they were paying $1 per 10 rubber bands. If I was selling rubber bands to drug dealers I’d try and mark them up as much as possible. :) 

  12. Payne Hertz says:

    How much did he spend on envelopes slipped under the desk of US politicians to gain their support for the drug war?

  13. Repurposed says:

    So the maxim for law enforcement is no longer ‘follow the money’ but ‘follow the rubber bands’?

  14. stuck411 says:

    Drug lords in the know only vacuum seal their cash. High cost up front but reduces the insect & rat problem. Still does nothing for those light fingered minions of yours though.

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