Monday, December 05, 2011

Nationless Global Elite Vs. US Elite

I sent this Chrystia Feeland Atlantic cover article, Rise of the New Global Elite, to a dear friend of mine who works with these global rich families.  I wasn't even aware of such folks, but they really think of themselves as global citizens.

So the contrast to American billionaires is interesting and continues to be examined.

This time by Felix Salmon at Reuters in a piece called American Plutocracy.  He starts by quoting the indomitable Michael Lewis (whose pieces and reporting in Vanity Fair on the financial global evolution and devolution have been riveting) on Greek billionaires - how ordinary Greeks don't harass them because they don't know where to find them; they are invisible.

Salmon notes that there could be an "Occupy Moscow" because all the Russian billionaires live in London.  Same with Middle Eastern billionaires who own homes in Chelsea in London they visit.  And from there he notes that America does a good job at retaining their billionaires.   He says Americans are more likely to buy second, third and fourth homes in the USA

Money quote:
In a way it’s reassuring that America’s billionaires are still so civic-minded that they buy laws and political parties: it’s a sign that they’re invested in the country and are here for the foreseeable. And the one law they’re not going to repeal any time soon is the most important one — the one which says that US citizens have to pay US federal taxes on their global income, no matter where they live. (Or at least demonstrate that they’ve paid at least that much in taxes elsewhere.) American plutocrats, almost uniquely, are tied to their home country in a way that other members of the global elite can barely imagine.
He says Americans are more likely to buy fourth or tenth homes in the USA before buying one abroad.  

I think that's pretty cool.  

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