Financial fan fiction from Forbes
December 5, 2005 6:48 AM   Subscribe

The Forbes Fictional 15 -- it is list season, after all--the usual suspects, and some new entries. Daddy Warbucks (Net Worth: $27.3 billion, attended SUNY Stony Brook) gets this: Iraqi conflict has been kind to Warbucks; recipient of multiple defense contracts; cat-food holdings also up.
posted by amberglow (49 comments total)
Other then being done up by forbes I found this list rather uninspired.
posted by delmoi at 6:52 AM on December 5, 2005

No Don Corleone?
posted by jonmc at 6:59 AM on December 5, 2005

I like the extended profile for Lucius Malfoy.

"I am constantly on the alert for opportunities to exploit you filthy Muggles," he told us nearly seven years ago (see: “Malfoy’s Malicious Methods” Forbes, Mar. 21, 1999).

posted by unreason at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2005

no Tony Stark?
posted by Stynxno at 7:05 AM on December 5, 2005

Don Corleone is most dead, is he not? In the sense that in his fictional universe he died, whereas all the others never died in their fictional universes. Unless Malfoy gets killed in the the latest Potter book, which I haven't read.
posted by spicynuts at 7:10 AM on December 5, 2005

Note that Daddy Warbucks graduated from SUNY Stony Brook before it actually opened. Nice trick, that.
posted by Jeanne at 7:13 AM on December 5, 2005

No love for Dr. Evil?
posted by Gator at 7:16 AM on December 5, 2005

Veronica Lodge is not even on there! As if Lodge Industries wasn't worth more than that sorry Cruella De Ville.
posted by Miko at 7:17 AM on December 5, 2005

Cruella's was my fav--we both went to FIT. : >
posted by amberglow at 7:20 AM on December 5, 2005

I would expect to see Lazarus Long on such a list.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:21 AM on December 5, 2005

Don Corleone obviously attended Wassamatta U.
posted by jonmc at 7:22 AM on December 5, 2005

Pretty sure that Sonny went to the School of Hard Knocks tho...
posted by stenseng at 7:35 AM on December 5, 2005

Clearly this is referring to Donald Corleone, the illegitimate test-tube love child of Michael Corleone and his brother Fredo.
posted by lodurr at 7:40 AM on December 5, 2005

Is there another list for fictional corporations? We can see some of what's up with LexCorp and Wayne Industries here, but what of OCP, Hadden Inc., and whatever that multinational that Jim Profit worked for?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:43 AM on December 5, 2005

Is there another list for fictional corporations?

I predict a strong fiscal year for the budding Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
posted by Robot Johnny at 7:44 AM on December 5, 2005

Well, there's always this.
posted by Gator at 7:52 AM on December 5, 2005

Isn't Metropolis supposed to be in Delaware as opposed to Illinois?
posted by solid-one-love at 8:07 AM on December 5, 2005

Hotblack Desiato. Although he’s technically dead, it’s only for tax purposes
posted by Smedleyman at 8:14 AM on December 5, 2005

What about the company from Aliens? They seemed to have a little bit of dough.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:17 AM on December 5, 2005

Thurston Howell III is the best bazillionaire ever.
posted by Skygazer at 8:38 AM on December 5, 2005

What about the company from Aliens?

That would be Weyland-Yutani.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:09 AM on December 5, 2005

#6 McDuck, Scrooge
Net Worth: $8.2 billion
Source: Mining
Age: 80
Marital Status: Single
Hometown: Duckburg, U.S.A.
Education: Cluck U dropout.

Okay... seriously. Any of us could've written better comedy than that...
posted by BobFrapples at 9:16 AM on December 5, 2005

Isn't Metropolis supposed to be in Delaware as opposed to Illinois?
posted by solid-one-love at 10:07 AM CST on December 5 [!]

It's definitely on the East Coast, as is Gotham (the DCU East Coast is sort of crowded).
posted by COBRA! at 9:23 AM on December 5, 2005

Forbes did this two years ago and I was so irritated by their ranking I wrote this:
I don’t know how the people at Forbes came up with this figure. I don’t know how a reporter of Capitalism justifies Santa as the richest fictional character, either. Santa Claus is a humanitarian non-profit. I mean, duh.

The list ranks Scrooge at fourth, which is an insult. Even the vaguest glance at anything related to the mythos of Scrooge McDuck will place him far and above the richest of all fictional characters- more then Richie Rich, more than Daddy Warbucks, more than Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor combined. (I’d like to point out I have no beef with Bruce Wayne. He’s Batman. That by itself makes him the most awesome person ever. But right now, we’re comparing salaries.)

So, to the editors of Forbes, here’s a little bit of help from someone with, granted, slightly more than a vague glance at the McDuck mythos:

Scrooge McDuck is the richest living being, with a net worth so high it is incalculable by rational terms. His last official tabulated net worth was, to the decimal, five multiplujillion nine impossibidillion seven fantasticatrillion dollars and sixteen cents. (A multiplujillion, written in numerical form, is a one followed by about 164 zeros, greater than the googol, the highest rational number calculated by man.)

The list identifies his source of income as “mining.” This is grossly inaccurate. McDuck earned his original wealth as a Klondike gold prospector, procured after he bought miner’s equipment upon the sale of his great-grandfather’s gold teeth, later to be found as the source of inheritance identification on a massive business deal involving the delivery of two century-old horseradish. Look, I didn’t come up with this, it’s all in the books, people. McDuck’s business practices are wide and numerous, including oil wells, railroads, gold mines, farms, factories, steamships, theatres, ping-pong ball manufacturing, automotive plants, sawmills, radio stations, canneries, fisheries, race horses, experimental ice cream research, space travel, and newspapers.

McDuck also possesses investments which are, ironically, so valuable that the only person able to afford them is McDuck himself, thus rendering their value as not merely priceless, but literally incalculable. These assets include the remnants of the Trojan Horse, the Kaffer De Gaffer African diamond mines, the world’s only candy-striped ruby, the world’s only living unicorn and Egyptian Sebek crocodile (the rarest and second-rarest living animals, respectively), the only 1916 U.S. quarter in circulation, the Incan gold of Pizarro, rare chickens that lay square eggs, and a small moon composed of 24-karat gold, which in itself would be worth vastly more than $8.2 billion were it not for the fact that actually delivering the moon somehow to earth would cripple the entire gold standard.

This level of business and acquisition prowess, combined with the fact that McDuck has never, to any know report, willingly expended any extra money, accounts to a being that has so much soft money on hand that he needs a money bin large enough to hold its volume of 3 cubic acres. (Assuming a cubic acre is the square root of 640 square feet to the third power, that would make the volume of the money bin over 48,000 cubit feet.)

Let us also not forget, everyone, that South African businessduck Flintheart Glomgold is currently tabulated as the second-richest Duck in the World, as his last official net worth calculation is so incrementally close to that of Scrooge McDuck’s that the ranking is literally due to McDuck owning twelve inches of string more than Golmgold. Again, folks, this is all there in the books if you bothered to read them.

So you’re telling me that a duck who has 3 cubic acres of liquid assets and a fucking moon made of gold isn’t the richest fictional character ever created?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:26 AM on December 5, 2005 [62 favorites]

Come to think of it, Hannibal Lecter is living pretty comfily these days, too.
posted by Gator at 9:30 AM on December 5, 2005

I agree with what ZQUZYPHYR said about Scrooge McDuck, although reports vary on how rich he actually is. Scrooge himself estimated in a story that if he lost a million dollars per minute, he would be penniless in 600 years, which would mean his net worth is a little bit over 300 trillion dollars. Not quite astronomical, but still comfortably larger than the other rich people.
posted by fred_ashmore at 9:34 AM on December 5, 2005

I have it on good authority that Flintheart Glomgold now has more money that Scrooge.
posted by about_time at 9:39 AM on December 5, 2005

I'm kind of sad that Cosmo Spacely (look it up) didn't make the list, but the sprocket industry ain't what it used to be.
posted by jonmc at 10:14 AM on December 5, 2005

If Corleone didn't make the list because he's dead, Spacely failed to make the list because he is as yet unborn.
posted by Gator at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2005

Wait a minute, Gator, did we ever nail down when The Jetsons' lived? Wasn't it the twenty-first century?

He could be a zygote as we speak. Finally, a cogent pro-life argument: Say No To Abortion, You Might Kill Baby Spacely!
posted by jonmc at 10:20 AM on December 5, 2005

Spacely is, at most, a twinkle in some rough trick's eye at this time.
posted by Gator at 10:22 AM on December 5, 2005

The whole Gotham-Metropolis thing always bothered me. I mean, they're both NYC, right? Right? But there can only be one NYC....I guess Metropolis is the NYC of our dreams, and Gotham the NYC of our nightmares.

Overall, it's a remarkably humorless effort. Though, to be fair, the average Forbes reader might well have a rather deficient sense of humor by our standards.
posted by lodurr at 10:23 AM on December 5, 2005

The whole Gotham-Metropolis thing always bothered me. I mean, they're both NYC, right? Right? But there can only be one NYC....I guess Metropolis is the NYC of our dreams, and Gotham the NYC of our nightmares.

Isn't Metropolis supposed to be Chicago, not New York?
posted by metaxa at 10:31 AM on December 5, 2005

disclaimer: I was a latecomer and a Marvelite at that. But I read a bunch of my cousin's Superman stuff (he loved the Batman-Superman crossovers) and a bunch of Dark Knight / Year One Batman. I had the impression at the time that Gotham was Boston and Metropolis was New York. OTOH, Tim Burton's Gotham looks a lot like Chicago to me. And the "Batman Begins" version of Gotham looks to me like a fever-dream version of Minneapolis or Toledo or Cleveland: What you'd get if an American midwestern city had developed according to the ideal path imagined for it in 1927.

In that vein, I can see how Metropolis could look a lot like an inflated Sandburgian Chicago, but it's on an ocean on the eastern seaboard. I think Batman always artfully handwaved on the name of the state.

As long as we're geekin': Anybody else here remember the Batman-Hulk crossover? And didn't Spidey show up there at some point?
posted by lodurr at 10:39 AM on December 5, 2005

#7 Clampett, Jed

Parlayed small gusher on Ozark homestead into multinational energy juggernaught.

Of course it's fictional. Ain't nothin up in them thar hills but a buncha lead that no one wants.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:49 AM on December 5, 2005

hotblack desiato
*shooting milk out of my nose*
posted by hypersloth at 11:47 AM on December 5, 2005

And again, the comments are better than the article.
Tom, that was a great Scrooge letter!
posted by cavalier at 1:09 PM on December 5, 2005

The best parts are still being written. The Forbes people are writing longer in-depth profiles; they just posted a Santa Claus one.
posted by unreason at 1:19 PM on December 5, 2005

Metropolis was modelled after Cleveland (and Toronto) by the creators of Superman. Most stories have Smallville, which is definitely in Kansas, is within driving distance of Metropolis, putting it in Kansas or, again, Ohio.

However, many stories also show a coastline, assumed to be the Atlantic, which puts Metropolis on the east coast.

Gotham City is definitely modeled after New York.

Another notable omission: The Umbrella Corporation
posted by linux at 2:34 PM on December 5, 2005

Isn't Metropolis supposed to be Chicago, not New York?

Gotham City is definitely modeled after New York.

Gotham City goes back and forth between being in New Jersey and being in the fictitious Gotham State. Metropolis was originally located in Deleware but both 2005 comics and the upcoming movie place it in New York State.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:29 PM on December 5, 2005

No list of megapowerful companies would be complete without the inclusion of the Acme Corporation. exclusive supplier of explosives, exploding triggering mechanisms, Jet-propelled roller skates that explode, rocket sleds that blow up, exploding gigantic sling shots that explode, (and pretty much everything that explodes), to one Mr. Wile E. Coyote, Genius.
posted by Skygazer at 3:51 PM on December 5, 2005

How could Acme be profitable -- all their products are faulty!

The midwestern origin of Metropolis is interesting -- it confirms my gut feeling about the DCU cities: That they are engineered to seem like the All American City Of Our Dreams.

As I sit here, I think I know the origin of the sense of "midwesternness" that i always got from Gotham/Metropolis. As a child, I used to ride in the fambly car through teh midwest, every summer. We'd drive through places like Columbus and Toledo and Kansas City and Dallas and Tulsa. We'd approach these cities across flat land, and see them rise out of the horizon as a cluster of tall buildings like a distant Cinderella's palace. As you drew closer, and finally passed through them (this was still in the days when not all cities had loops), you'd pass through on elevated highways that whizzed pass art deco skyscrapers. And in between, I'd spend at least a few days at my granny's, where I'd read my cousin's Superman comics. The feel was like the feel of Metropolis in my cousin's comics.
posted by lodurr at 3:59 PM on December 5, 2005

(that said, I still think that both Metropolis and Gotham were "supposed" to be New York, in the sense that they're supposed to be "the" dominant city of the American millieu -- and that can only be NYC. I say that as someone with a long history of griping about NYC....)
posted by lodurr at 4:02 PM on December 5, 2005

Actually, Metropolis is a small town in southern Illinois.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:08 PM on December 5, 2005

lodurr: I've allways assumed that Metropolis is New York during the day, being the expresion of the american dream, while Gotham is New York at night, the seedy underbelly of civilization. but i may just be being pretentious.
posted by Davidicus at 5:57 PM on December 5, 2005

i always thought so too, Davidicus.
posted by amberglow at 6:20 PM on December 5, 2005

Oh my god, I'm SO GLAD we're having this conversation so I don't have to waste an AskMe question on it!

Even critics of Wikipedia (like myself) have to admit that one thing they do well is stuff like comics, and they haven't let us down. Both the Metropolis entry and the Gotham entry have sections on the possible locations--and the inherent contradictions--of the two cities.

From both articles: "The distance between the two cities has varied greatly over the years, ranging from being hundreds of miles apart to Gotham and Metropolis being twin cities on opposite sides of a large bay."

Actually, this was what I believed as a child. It always cracked me up to think of Batman driving along the shore in the Batmobile, glancing across the bay, and seeing a miniscule Superman flying around...

Regardless, I think we can all agree on one thing: naming a dark 'n' gloomy crime-ridden city Blüdhaven is just fucking retarded.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:29 PM on December 5, 2005

Richie Rich's Richville is in INDIANA? Oh, yeah, it's probably Gary.
posted by GaelFC at 10:45 PM on December 5, 2005

that Bludhaven thing sounds like a Philly/Camden setup. (and it is a stupid stupid name)

at least everyone agrees that Spidey lives here. : >
posted by amberglow at 10:48 PM on December 5, 2005

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