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Friday, 24 September 2010

Financial Crime of the Week: Make Bono History

 I have never had much time for the sanctimonious Irish fools who berate us and our governments for not doing enough for the world's poor and then run their businesses from a tax haven.  But recent stories about the surely soon to be canonised Bono take the biscuit. According to the NY Post, who have the organisations tax returns, Bono’s anti-poverty ONE foundation received $14,993,873 in donations from philanthropists in 2008, of which only $184,732 was distributed to three charities. More than $8 million of the rest of the money was spent on executive and employee salaries.

We also hear that Edun, Bono’s fashion label, has moved some of its factories from Africa to China. Edun, Bono tells us, is an “ethical” fashion house set up to alleviate poverty in Africa.

  • He criticizes first world governments for not spending enough taxpayers’ money on aid while avoiding paying tax himself.
  • He criticizes the private sector for not investing in African businesses while moving his own business out of Africa.
  • He persuades others to donate money to his charity for the relief of the poor, then lets the charity pay its employees 43 times as much as it passes on to needy causes.

Time for an urban myth, but nevertheless, an entertaining one:

Bono, was playing a U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland when he asked the audience for total quiet.Then in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands ... once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence, he says into the microphone,

“Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”
A voice with a broad Scottish accent, from near the front of the crowd, replies ...

... ... ... ... ... ... “Well, ... stop clappin’ then!”

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