So you've got the G-V and the Maybach. You own an estate in the Hamptons, a co-op on Fifth, and a ski house in Aspen. What could possibly be missing? Your own country, of course! Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, the gazillionaire co-founder of PayPal who now runs the hedge fund Clarium Capital, recentl invested in the Seasteading Institute, an organization dedicated to "creating experimental ocean communities with diverse social, political, and legal systems." Yes, the group's mission is to permit billionaire moguls like Thiel to establish their own sovereign man-made islands. (Presumably they'll be a bit more attractive than the oil platform that you see to the right.) Why not just, say, buy an regular ol' island in the tropics, you ask?
So many reasons! A sovereign island permits the billionaire with a libertarian streak to design his own currency, make up a national anthem, and craft his own passports. (Of course, you'd be able to create your own laws, too: We're guessing gay marriage will be the law of the land on Thiel's island.) And there's no need to worry about pesky details like assembling an army to defend your floating paradise: The group plans to outfit each community with a "flag of convenience from a country that sells them, like Panama" to provide each island with "protection from national navies." Of course, that means Thiel will have to rely on Panama to defend him in the case of attack, which doesn't sound like such a comforting notion. Just ask businessman Las Vegas real estate tycoon Michael Oliver, who tried establishing his own country in the South Pacific in 1971. Tonga sent a naval gunboat to the island a year later.