You can't beat a Forbes Rich List for insight into the world's winners and, err, not so big winners.
Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and the Queen of England are the names everyone looks out for on the real thing, but the CNBC newsroom in London has had much more fun this morning with the Forbes Fictional Rich List.
On an aggregate basis, the top 15 richest fictional characters in the world are now worth $131.55 billion, up 20 percent from last year.
Topping the list this year is a duck with a money-bin full of gold called Tim. Yes, that’s right, Scrooge McDuck, a duck so tight he still has the first dime he ever made, tops the list following huge gains for gold in 2010 that he's seen his wealth jump by 30 percent to over $44 billion.
Despite continued weakness in the property market, Mr. Monopoly has returned to this year's list with a net worth of $2.6 billion. Forbes reports Rich Uncle Penny bags, as he is known to people who know such things, only made it onto the list after paying a shameless bribe to get out of jail free. “Monopoly reports it was just a lucky roll of the dice,” reports Forbes.
An avid CNBC viewer also made it back onto the Rich List following years in the wilderness – or, let’s be frank, prison. Gordon Gekko, the man who used to own a mobile phone so big it could actually be seen from space has jumped up the rankings following his prediction that the credit bubble would burst.
Forbes reports he is now shorting municipal bonds and buying rare earths from an office in London while trying to spend more time with the family.
Finally it has been a bad year for my favorite rich guy, Monty Burns, the richest man in Springfield and the man who does not take defeat well.
“I could crush him like an ant. But it would be too easy. No, revenge is a dish best served cold. I'll bide my time until ... Oh, what the hell. I'll just crush him like an ant,” said Burns of someone he does not like very much.
Having been given two weeks to live last year and suffered a case of amnesia following a failed suicide bid, the owner of the world’s most dangerous nuclear facility could fall further down the rankings this year following the problems with nuclear reactors in Japan.
As we know, Germany has seen a backlash against nuclear energy in recent years but Burns does not appear too bothered. “Ooh, the Germans are mad at me. I'm so scared! Oooh, the Germans!”