Where Did All Those 'Capitalist Pigs' Go?
"There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money," is an insight the famed biographer James Boswell attributed to Samuel Johnson.
Clients of the late Bernie Madoff, however, might take issue.
Over four decades, Madoff, acclaimed as the greatest fraudster of them all, ran a Ponzi scheme that swindled 40,000 people, including his closest friends, out of $65 billion.
But if "getting money" is among the most innocent of callings, America has more than its fair share of the goodly people who excel at it.
According to Forbes's 35th annual ranking of billionaires, last year witnessed a population explosion. Some 660 new billionaires were added to the number for a total of 2,755.
And more than one in every four billionaires is an American.
According to Forbes, the richest man in the world is Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, with $177 billion.
Last year was the fourth in a row that Bezos led the list. His wealth exceeds the entire GDP of almost 150 nations.
Directly behind Bezos, at No. 2, is Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla, whose wealth rose to $151 billion.
Numbers 4 and 5 were Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with $124 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook with $97 billion.