Filthy Rich & Fictional

I received a superannuation statement the other day – on current projections my retirement fund will be able to buy a caffe latte and a piece of cake! Well, maybe not the cake. So I’ve reconsidered my financial situation, and now have an excellent retirement plan – I’m hoping that the Large Hadron Collider will eventually create a black hole, destroying the Earth in a fraction of a second. Everyone wins!

So there’s no chance I’ll be appearing on the Forbes 400 anytime soon.

For those who don’t follow the exploits of the obscenely rich, Forbes magazine has been around since 1917 and is available “bi-weekly” in the US, and fortnightly everywhere else. It’s most famous for its Forbes 400 list, which has been published annually since 1982. This is a list of the USA’s 400 richest people – Forbes is effectively Smash Hits for business nerds.

I’ve never understood the appeal of this list – does anyone care whether a “Real Estate Mogul” you’ve never heard of is worth more than a “Technology Titan” you’ve never heard of? Are there people who rush out on the morning of publication to find out if they’ve finally made it to number 271 this year? Does the person who was 401st on the list get a “highly commended” certificate and a McDonalds voucher?

Forbes has a site where you can see the full 400. If you enjoy pictures of old men in non-descript suits, this is the place for you. Honestly, you’ve got 12 billion dollars, would it hurt you to buy a outfit that doesn’t look like you got it at Savers?

We all know real life is boring, so why don’t Forbes do a list of the richest fictional characters? What’s that, they already do?

The Forbes Fictional 15 has sporadically appeared since 2002, and the rules are thus:

“To qualify for the Fictional 15, we require that candidates be an authored fictional creation, a rule that excludes mythological and folkloric characters… they must be known, both within their fictional universe and by their audience, for being rich. Net worth estimates are based on an analysis of the fictional character’s source material, and are valued against known real-world commodity and share price movements. In the case of privately held fictional concerns, we sought to identify comparable fictional public companies.”

The most recent list is from December 2007 – the fictional envelope please….

Rank Name Net Worth ($bil) Age Residence Source
1 Scrooge McDuck 28.8 80 Duckburg, U.S.A. Mining, Treasure Hunting
2 Ming the Merciless 20.9 74 Mingo City, Planet Mongo Technology
3 Richie Rich 16.1 10 Richville, U.S.A. Inheritance, Conglomerates
4 Mom (Futurama) 15.7 158 New New York, Earth Technology, Conglomerates
5 Jed Clampett 11 51 Beverly Hills, CA Oil & Gas, Banking
6 C. Montgomery Burns 8.4 104 Springfield, U.S.A. Energy
7 Carter Pewterschmidt 7.2 70 Newport, R.I. Inheritance, Steel
8 Bruce Wayne 7 32 Gotham City, U.S.A. Inheritance, Defense
9 Thurston Howell, III 6.3 60 Private Island, Pacific Ocean Howell Industries
10 Tony Stark 6 35 New York, NY Defense
11 Fake Steve Jobs 5.7 52 Palo Alto, CA Apple Computer, Pixar
12 Gomez Addams 2 51 Westfield, N.J. Inheritance, Investing
13 Willy Wonka 1.9 57 Kent, England Candy, Aerospace
14 Lucius Malfoy 1.6 51 Wiltshire, England Inheritance
15 Princess Peach 1.3 23 Mushroom Kingdom Inheritance

Forbes points out that Scrooge McDuck becomes the first non-mammal to top the list in 2007, so that’s good news for non-mammals everywhere. Keep reaching for that dream!

I didn’t know who a couple of the listees were and had to look them up:

Carter Pewterschmidt is Peter‘s obnoxious father-in-law in Family Guy.

Fake Steve Jobs was a parody of Apple head Steve Jobs. (See what they did there?) He ran a blog for a while before being outed as Daniel Lyons, a senior editor at Forbes. Fake Steve Jobs has also released a book.

Princess Peach (formerly Princess Toadstool) is a damsel-in-distress character in the Nintendo Mario series of games. She gets kidnapped a lot.

Forbes also has a list of the top 25 fictional businesses as well – it’s nice to see the Soylent Corporation doing so well after all this time (they do have the best advertising line in town – “Soylent Green IS People”. Whoops, spoiler!)

The 25 Largest Fictional Companies were:

  1. CHOAM
  2. Acme Corp.
  3. Sirius Cybernetics Corp.
  4. MomCorp
  5. Rich Industries
  6. Soylent Corp.
  7. The Very Big Corp. of America
  8. Frobozz Magic Co.
  9. Warbucks Industries
  10. Tyrell Corp.
  11. Wayne Enterprises
  12. Virtucon
  13. Globex
  14. Umbrella Corp.
  15. Wonka Industries
  16. Stark Industries
  17. Clampett Oil
  18. Oceanic Airlines
  19. Yoyodyne Propulsion
  20. Cyberdyne Systems Corp.
  21. d’Anconia Copper
  22. Gringotts
  23. Oscorp
  24. Nakatomi Trading Corp.
  25. Spacely Space Sprockets

The motto of Forbes magazine is “The Capitalist Tool”. Curiously, I am not making that up.

15 Responses to Filthy Rich & Fictional

  1. Dan Cardone says:

    The advantage of buying shares in one of these fictional companies is that they are not affected by what happens in the real stock market. So I’m rolling in (fake) dough while the rest of the world panics. Eat that, Wall Street.

  2. Anne-Marie says:

    I’d marry any of them for the money. Seriously, I’ve dated people lacking in dimension, who seem to read from a cliched script – so – Fake Steve – I’m all yours. Not sure how the cats would feel about Mr McDuck though.

  3. Tim says:

    Seeing that mention of ACME Corp, I’m visualising Wall Street as a coyote furiously running in mid-air just before realising there’s nothing beneath it…

  4. Dan Cardone says:

    As Sarah Palin says, we just need to eat more dollar value meals, that will help the economy…

  5. Steph BG says:

    My super fund has also made the switch to fictional, but it hasn’t settled on a specific genre yet. Horror? Parody? Tragedy? Something with Meg Ryan?

  6. Narrelle says:

    Wall Street. Wylie Coyote. Fake millionaires in Forbes. I am laughing so hard there are tears in my eyes. Or that could be the realisation that my super is now worth a bruised banana and a pot noodle on special.

  7. Dave AA says:

    I was going to suggest that list of fictional companies could be this week’s quiz, but they’re all on Wikipedia anyway…

    Plus I only visit here for the gay porn and the kittens.

  8. Janet says:

    I don’t really care about about forbes 400 (fictional or not) I’m more worried about Eleganza and what might happen if you wear it. Is the third guy along actually wearing a cape or are they the weirdest lapels in the world? Why, John, why?

  9. Dan Cardone says:

    Dave – stay on the lookout then for my searing expose on kittens in porn: Kitty Porn.

  10. Sam says:

    Janet: I’m also not so concerned by the list, though good to see the Umbrella Corp. is doing so well… I guess you don’t have to pay your zombie staff very much and they don’t really need super, do they? It would seem wearing an Eleganza suit causes women to slump behind you…, I wonder if their women’s range has the same affect on men? Does the suit on the right have tinsel trimming?

  11. Narrelle says:

    Dan Cardone, there are no words for how wrong you are.

  12. outlandinstitute says:

    Dave AA: Yes, I’ve included both gay porn and cats in the same week, and I’m still not an internet sensation. Honestly, what do you have to do?

    Dan: I had an opportunity to buy into a fictional start-up a few years back, but I just didn’t have the fictional money at the time. Now of course they’ve gone through the fictional roof. I’m kicking myself now…

  13. Steph BG says:

    Dear John: What do you have to do? Include bacon in your gay cat porn.

  14. Janet says:

    Sam: No. That is not tinsel trimming, it’s what used to be called ric-rac back in the old days. It is rather fancy ric-rac, to be sure, but ric-rac nonetheless. Please don’t ask for more information as I was absolutely crap at needlework. The best I could manage was blanket stitch and even that was shit. And the incident with the rouleau loop is best forgotten . . .

  15. Write an expose of rising fuel prices crippling your fake income directly leading you to an addiction to pussy (cats), gay porn and bacon. That should cover most of the sensationalist bases.

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