A lot of people think superrich hedge fund managers don’t pay high taxes, but they sure don’t see it that way. Take John Paulson. 2010 wasn’t even his best year, but presuming the IRS got the same 13.9% chunk of his 2010 income that it got from Mitt Romney, his tax bill alone would comprise the combined pre-tax 2010 income of which of the following group of 2010 Top 10 earners in other less sophisticated/innovative sectors of the economy:
1. James Cameron, James Patterson, Jamie Dimon, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jerry Seinfeld, Bono, Bon Jovi
2. Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Stephen Spielberg, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Phil, Philippe Dauman
3. Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Lebron James, Tiger Woods, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant, Dave Matthews Band
4. Charlie Sheen, Howard Stern, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Simon Cowell, Larry Ellison, Oprah Winfrey
5. Elton John, George Lucas, Ray Irani, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Paul McCartney, David Beckham
Okay, I give up. NONE OF THE ABOVE. While all of the groups listed above could afford to pay front runner-up hedge fund manager Ray “Hyena” Dalio’s $430 million tax bill, none managed to scrounge together enough to cover 13.9% of John Paulson’s $4.9 billion paycheck, which is why you should immediately buy Les Leopold’s How To Make A Million Dollars An Hour: Why Hedge Funds Get Away With Siphoning Off America’s Wealth for anyone you suspect of having accumulated, through legal methods, a sufficiently substantial net worth to rule out “class warfare” as a natural small talk subject. Because if you’re not rich enough to know the law doesn’t apply to you, you’re not rich enough because you’re not in the hedge fund business.
Now for the bad news: Leopold doesn’t technically explain exactly how to go into the business of making a million dollars an hour, or even the $842,788 an hour average the top ten hedge fund managers made in 2010. The closest this book comes to financial self-help is Leopold’s fascinating chapter on Jim Cramer, wherein the hedge fund manager and CNBC personality repeatedly hammers home the importance of breaking the law. But for all the wage-earning suckers who hadn’t figured out that critical “bottom line” of success in 21st century America yet, that’s a pretty good place to start.
[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]