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Among the very rich, it's known as "the nut." That's the amount of money they need to salt away for a "rainy day"—for when the bubble bursts or the subpoenas arrive. It's enough money to keep paying for, say, the grandkids' private-school tuitions or the landscape gardener on Martha's Vineyard.
Just how many rich people, and how much money? According to a recent U.S. Senate investigation, a single Swiss bank—the biggest, UBS—holds the secret bank accounts of 46,000 Americans, worth an estimated $18 billion.