Party-time in Palo Alto
May 18, 2012…a day that will live in famy, that’s for sure.
I’ve gotta say that the Facebook IPO is making me sentimental for the days when we got to see folks become insta-paper millionaires. Pfftttt. So yesterday. Billionaire is the new black, thank you.
As with most of my fellow Americans, my favorite member of the Billionaire Boys’ Club is Eduardo Saverin, who has hot-potato’d his US citizenship, allegedly so he can avoid a hefty tax hit of tens of millions of dollars. Not surprisingly, Saverin claims otherwise. He has, in fact, lived for the last several years in Singapore.
What is, of course, galling about Saverin’s casual renunciation of his citizenship is both that so many covet that citizenship, and that Saverin came to the US to begin with as a refugee. When he was a teenager, Saverin’s wealthy Brazilian family found his name on a list of potential kidnapping for ransom targets. So they high-tailed it to the safety of Miami, where they became naturalized citizens.
I suspect that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this as the world gets smaller, and the global elite begins viewing themselves as citizens of the world not citizens of the country what brung them. Their fellow citizens will be the other global elites, not us huddled masses-types. Perhaps Davos will become a country of its own – kind of like the Vatican – and start granting citizenship to those who have allegiance to each other, but not to those who just happen to be born in the same nation.
Perhaps multi-national corporations will replace the nation states, and start issuing their own passports. Which may get confusing if you ever get laid off and become stateless, a man or a woman without a country. And if parents worked for different companies, would their children have dual citizenship? This could get confusing, but I’m sure that the global elites will figure it all out. Might be easier to just let Davos make citizens.
My other thought on this day of days runs to the Winklevoss Twins.
You may recall – especially if you’ve seen the movie The Social Networks – that the Winklevoss Twins were the ones who came up with the Facebook idea that Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, et al. commercialized right from under them.
Facebook settled with them – for plenty – but the Winklevi wanted more. Which, last time I looked, they didn’t get.
So I wonder what Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are thinking today?
I wonder where they are?
Maybe someplace where there’s no Internet connectivity, no Twitter, no FB updating.
Maybe they’re in Yap or Chuuk, of some other place in Micronesia. Maybe they’re climbing Machu Pichu. Maybe they’re in Siberia.
Wherever they are, they’re no doubt in a psychological gulag of their own making (with an assist from Mark and Eduardo).
Anyway, congratulations to Mark and Eduardo and the other FB billionaires and (multi-)millionaires.
Just remember, money can’t buy you happiness. On the other hand, lack of money doesn’t buy you happiness, either.
Earlier Pink Slip post of the Winklevoss twins.
Labels: interesting business