01.27.07

Bono, Arch Capitalist

Posted in Commentary, Politics at 6:24 am by Jason G.

From Bloomberg:

While Bono was making his appeal [to support charity], U2 was racking up $389 million in gross ticket receipts, making Vertigo the second-most lucrative tour of all time…

Murphy points to the band’s decision to move its music publishing company to the Netherlands from Ireland in June 2006 in order to minimize taxes…

During the 1990s, U2 used nonexecutive directors who were resident in an offshore tax haven to limit the amount [of taxes] paid by the four band members…

Along with fellow band members, [Bono] also owns a stake in 15 companies and trusts, including concert-booking agencies, record production firms and trusts that are mostly registered in Ireland. U2 was one of the first successful bands in the world to have obtained all rights to its own music…
When it’s completed, the twisting, corkscrew-shaped structure will rise 120 meters (394 feet) and offer Bono and the other U2 members sweeping views of Dublin from their duplex studio atop it. U2 Tower — as it’s been named with the band’s consent — will be the tallest building in Ireland.

I’m definately impressed with Bono’s breadth and savvy in business. While the article quotes a few people who complain about U2 acting to minimize taxes, no one has an obligation to pay more taxes than they ought. Likewise, his efforts to drive charity is not reduced if he isn’t contributing any of his own money — he’s contributing a large amount of time, which I believe is a bigger sacrifice. And being the savvy businessman he is, he’s improving his image while doing something good for everyone else.

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