Rich People

The 2012 Republican primary seems like one of those instances in which life is best understood by viewing everyone as corresponding to Simpsons characters. Mitt Romney’s and Mr. Burns’ attempts to connect…

moneykeyAn Esquire piece on $4 billion software company Tibco discusses its latest, perhaps most significant project:

TopCom is a private communications platform for the 200 most powerful people in the world. It is being officially launched in late January at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It is basically a customized, ridiculously secure version of tibbr, a platform developed as a kind of combination Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, texting, and Skype. It is a private social network, essentially — in this case, for world leaders.

Because the World Economic Forum has a hierarchy, so does TopCom: The top two hundred WEF members — basically, the people who run the world — can speak to one another on a given subject, and then they can choose to loop in members from lower tiers (experts, academics, etc.) as needed, widening the pool of knowledge on whatever problem is on the table.

Completed a few weeks before the Occupy Wall Street protests began, the latest episode of Al Jazeera’s fantastic Fault Lines program takes a hard look at the wealthiest 1% in the United States, including talking to those in the 1% about what their wealth means:

Welcome to America: David Hancock reports on CBS News:

Investors are well aware that money markets pay next to nothing in interest these days. Now one bank has announced a policy to actually charge clients a fee to hold their cash. The policy by Bank of New York Mellon Corp. will apply to some large depositors to hold their cash, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In a letter reviewed by WSJ, Mellon advised that it will charge 0.13% plus an additional fee if the one-month Treasury yield dips below zero on depositors that have accounts with an average monthly balance of $50 million “per client relationship.”

“In the past month, we have seen a growing level of deposits on our balance sheet from clients seeking a safe-haven in light of the global interest rate and credit environment,” the bank told the Journal in an emailed statement.

From the Weekly Sift: For the longest time I didn’t get Occupy Wall Street, but then Herman Cain helped me out: He said something so monumentally wrong that my reaction against it…

Eat The RichInteresting points from TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington:

Tax the rich. Those bastards.

I get why people who aren’t rich hate those that are. No one really cares what they have, they only care what they have relative to others. When there is inequality, and there always is, even the hyper intelligent call for a redistribution of wealth. It’s an enduring longing for us as a species, and no evidence to the contrary will convince people it just doesn’t work in any large group.

What I really didn’t understand until recently though is why so many rich Americans seem to loathe their richness as much as everyone else does. Many in Silicon Valley want to tax the rich into the middle class and let government spend and spend and spend. The super rich tech elite flock to Obama, joining in the call to screw the rich as loudly as all the rest.

Then I figured it out. As I wrote then, the super rich won’t mind at all if we “tax the rich” as it’s currently defined. That’s because people who are super rich don’t really pay taxes…

Via Who Rules America?, a financial manager provides his perspective on the wealthiest one percent and 0.1 percent of Americans — i.e. his clients — regarding who they are, how they got…

Note: click on the image below to see on Google Maps. Harry Haydon writes in the Sun:


A desert sheikh has carved out a big name for himself — by having his moniker etched in capital letters visible from space. Workmen scoured “HAMAD” into the sand on the orders of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

The name is two miles across — with letters a kilometre high. It is so huge that the “H”, the first “A” and part of the “M” have been made into waterways. The mega-rich sheikh, 63 — a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi — in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates — boasts a £14billion fortune that is second only to the Saudi king’s.

What a shocker. Matthew Lynn writes in Bloomberg: There is something surprising about a private banker warning his colleagues about the rich. It would be like a director of Volkswagen AG casting…