Thorstein Veblen argued that individuals have an innate desire to signal their wealth (and thereby obtain social status). In our department, both Curtis Eaton and I have done research on how this type of status seeking can affect behavior and economic outcomes. That said, I don't think either of us thought it would look like this:
Yesterday developer Armin Heinrich posted an iPhone app to the App Store called I Am Rich. The program displays a red gem, has no function but to display your wealth to others through ownership, and costs $1000.
Here's the complete post. (HT to Tyler Cowen.)