A review of Billionaires: Darrell West of Brookings notes money universally buys access, but American variety is more philanthropic than other nationalities'.
"The most interesting section of 'Billionaires' deals with rich people in other countries, including those who have chosen to run for public office. The list includes Bidzina Ivanishvili in Georgia, Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, Serge Dassault in France, Frank Stronach in Austria, Zac Goldsmith in the U.K. and a number of others in Asian countries. What they have in common is that they spent hugely from their personal fortunes to be elected and most were successful. But the variations between the countries are so large that it is hard to find a common theme, other than the fact that money buys access." -- Tom Perkins, the Wall Street Journal