The Forbes annual billionaire list may be no more than a conversation starter, but what it says about Europe is clear. This is not a place where industrialists or inventors, people who build traditional businesses, become super-rich.
Instead, it is the place where aggregators and creators of retail experiences prosper. Europe's two billionaires in the top five are France's Bernard Arnault, chairman of luxury goods firm, LVMH, worth $41 billion, and Spain's Amancio Ortega owner of the global retail outlet Zara, worth $37.5 billion.
More from GlobalPost: EU austerity watch: Two test cases
The other Europeans in the top ten are Sweden's Stefan Persson, chairman of cheap chic clothing chain H & M, and Germany's Karl Albrecht, whose Aldi chain of discount supermarket operates on both sides of the Atlantic.