On Thursday, the son of one of the richest and most infamous drug lords in the world was arrested by police, according to reports, and we at Forbes wrote about the event. The drug dealer in question, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera, is tied for the 1,153rd position on Forbes’ list of billionaires, ranks #10 on the publication’s Mexican rich list and number 55 on its list of powerful people. After learning this, I started to wonder whether drug dealers and gangsters should be heralded on the same platform as the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Larry Ellison?
In 1982, Forbes listed mob mastermind, Meyer Lansky, as one of the 400 richest in the United States, alongside Bob Hope and Malcolm Forbes (no, those last two aren’t drug dealers or gangsters, but the juxtaposition is hilarious). The magazine also listed notorious drug lord and murderer, Pablo Escobar, in its spotlight of the “Scandalously Rich” (oh, that sounds delightfully dangerous!), estimating the now dead cocaine king’s net worth at $25 billion. $25 billion? Wow, I thought Jim Walton was loaded!
In 1986, Fortune Magazine released a list of their Top 50 Mafia Bosses and organized crime figures, including Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and John Gotti. ”Organized crime is, among other things, a potent economic force,” then managing editor Marshall Loeb explained in his biweekly note to readers. ”Yet rarely, if ever, has the press examined the mob as a business, one that has its own management style and culture…” Fortune Magazine’s position was elaborated, stating that ”the organization chart of a crime family or syndicate mirrors the management structure of a corporation..."