Tax is the big story in the Burning Man world right now. This is in line with this year’s Medici theme of patrons. It seems that Patrón is not just a tequila favored by rappers, it’s also a key word in the Nevada Live Entertainment tax legislation amendment called “The Burning Man tax” which BMOrg is insisting “doesn’t apply to them since they don’t provide live entertainment”. Presumably, since the law doesn’t specifically mention “ritual effigy burn in front of a crowd of 80,000 people” as one of the types of live entertainment, they think they have found a loophole to finagle.
Whatever the outcome, it’s holding up ticket sales, and plans, for the Burners who have to actually create Black Rock City and provide all the Live Entertainment (as per the tax code definitions) on our dime.
The Man burns in 219 days. 7 months
Meanwhile, over at the BJ they say What Fuelled the Renaissance? Could it Have Happened Without Cash?
As Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell said last year “The culture of Burning Man can really flourish with money…[for example] to bring great musicians to your camp“. So hopefully the gentrification of Burning Man 2.0 will actually lead to a Renaissance-style flourishing of culture, where the poor are lifted from their wretched conditions to share in the fruits that our modern technocratic civilization is bearing. More art, more gifting, more solar and hydrogen powered camps and installations, more live music, more hip-hop yes please!
Loopholes to get out of paying tax are much favored by banksters, including the Florentine Medici, the Borgias of Naples, the Venetian Del Bancos (ancestors of the German Warburgs), and the rest of the Venetian (or was it Phoenician) Black Nobility. They created the modern banking industry, the Illuminati and Skull and Bones secret societies, and the British system of hereditary feudal oligarchy, with its Dukes, Earls, Barons, and so on. This is the world of Downton Abbey (which is actually a Rothschild castle); or Liz Hurley’s epic new show The Royals, which was filmed at Winston Churchill’s family house Blenheim Palace (he was the Duke of Marlborough, and also a Druid). These wealthy and secretive families financed the arts, railroads, shipping, immigration, architecture, and war – usually, both sides.
In the middle of all these centuries of international finance intrigues were the Rothschilds. They’re at Burning Man, of course:
And not just David. Other members of the clan too.
From Inc magazine:
One Entrepreneur’s Productivity Secret: Burning Man
Great to hear that the
Medici Rothschilds are making five times as much money from Burning Man.
Well, now it seems they’re setting up shop in Reno as well. And by shop I mean “international tax free corporations”.
From Bloomberg Businessweek:
The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States
Moving money out of the usual offshore secrecy havens and into the U.S. is a brisk new business.
The U.S. “is effectively the biggest tax haven in the world” —Andrew Penney, Rothschild & Co.
Last September, at a law firm overlooking San Francisco Bay, Andrew Penney, managing director at Rothschild & Co., gave a talk on how the world’s wealthy elite can avoid paying taxes.
His message was clear: You can help your clients move their fortunes to the United States, free of taxes and hidden from their governments.
Some are calling it the new Switzerland.
After years of lambasting other countries for helping rich Americans hide their money offshore, the U.S. is emerging as a leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, the U.S. is creating a hot new market, becoming the go-to place to stash foreign wealth. Everyone from London lawyers to Swiss trust companies is getting in on the act, helping the world’s rich move accounts from places like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands to Nevada, Wyoming, and South Dakota.
“How ironic—no, how perverse—that the USA, which has been so sanctimonious in its condemnation of Swiss banks, has become the banking secrecy jurisdiction du jour,” wrote Peter A. Cotorceanu, a lawyer at Anaford AG, a Zurich law firm, in a recent legal journal. “That ‘giant sucking sound’ you hear? It is the sound of money rushing to the USA.”
Rothschild, the centuries-old European financial institution, has opened a trust company in Reno, Nev., a few blocks from the Harrah’s and Eldorado casinos, where used to go to gamble, but now a days people also play online so you can sign up to betfred and get £60 using this offer. It is now moving the fortunes of wealthy foreign clients out of offshore havens such as Bermuda, subject to the new international disclosure requirements, and into Rothschild-run trusts in Nevada, which are exempt.
The firm says its Reno operation caters to international families attracted to the stability of the U.S. and that customers must prove they comply with their home countries’ tax laws. Its trusts, moreover, have “not been set up with a view to exploiting that the U.S. has not signed up” for international reporting standards, said Rothschild spokeswoman Emma Rees.
[Source: Bloomberg Business Week]
The whole story by Jesse Drucker at Bloomberg is a great read.
The Shadow Economy
How significant are tax havens to Silicon Valley? Well, tech companies have more cash than countries – yes, even the mighty United States.
…and most of it is offshore
[Source: 2014 data, Citizens for Tax Justice, via Softpedia ]
The Fortune 500 companies alone have $2.1 trillion in tax havens, a pile that is growing 8% a year. 72% of them operate offshore tax haven subsidiaries. The top 5 biggest tech companies had $471 billion offshore, as of 2014. Apple’s cash pile has grown to $216 billion, as of yesterday – $200 billion of that is offshore.
Apple’s tiny little office in Reno runs the largest tax-free cash hoard the world has ever seen.
[Source: Zacks.com via qz.com]
Image via blogs.rgj.com
Named after the Granny Smith and Lady Hamilton apple hybrid, Braeburn Capital’s sole purpose – just like Apple Operations International – is to avoid paying taxes. Apple created the Reno, Nevada-based company in 2006 as an asset management company.
Apple’s headquarters may be located in Cupertino, Calif, but by placing an office in Reno – roughly 200 miles away from headquarters – to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.
California’s corporate tax rate is 8.84%, compared to Nevada’s whopping 0%. Setting up an office in Reno is just one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars each year.
It’s no wonder that the US wants a cut of all these billions and trillions.
Reno is being used to get the money out of the country, but how does it get back in? This article from a Venture Capital blog offers an interesting clue:
[Source: The Venture Alley]
So the offshore company invests in a pooled fund which invests in a management company in another country. This company then invests in whatever VC funds and startups it wants. For example the London office can invest in the Reno office. Which cycles the money through Ireland and the Netherlands Antilles in a Double Irish With A Dutch sandwich (no, really). Lord Sandwich was a member of the Hellfire Club; the Hawaiian islands were once known as the Sandwich Islands, in his honor. But I digress; back to Black Rock.
One of the first Silicon Valley venture capital firms was called Venrock – Rock as in Rockefeller. They are the money behind Apple, Intel, Fairchild, and many others – $2.5 billion in 442 companies over 41 years (to 2010), resulting in 125 IPOs and 128 M & A exits.
Yes, Rockefellers are Burners too. BMP Director Rae Richman used to run the Silicon Valley office of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
Another BMP Director, Jennifer Raiser, is also on the board of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, #18 (above). She gets paid to advise BMOrg on their annual report, and gets to make money on her book about Burning Man which they promote through their official channels.
You’ll notice that none of the various Rockefeller or Rothschild entities (now publicly combined) show up on these lists. The richer you get, the deeper in the shadows you can hide it. Controlling the propaganda channels helps.
As big as the corporate Shadow Banking System is, it pales in comparison to private offshore wealth – which Forbes claim was $21 trillion in 2015.
Big Names on the Big Donor List
The 2014 Annual Report published a list of Major Donors to the Burning Man Project. These are the 1% of the 1% of the 1%. It reads like a who’s who of Big Banking families.
“Confirmed” means these people are definitely from the prominent families; “Unconfirmed” means that they may just share a name (and also be wealthy enough to be listed as a substantial donor to the Burning Man Project).
André Heinz is from the famous beans family, and John Kerry’s stepson.
Drew Schiff was married to Al Gore’s daughter.
Miranda von Stockhausen:
In 1787, Christian Ludwig von Stockhausen (1746-1820), became the honored recipient of the Ordre Pour le Merite (also known as the “Blue Max”)….the highest military decoration in the Prussian army until the end of the German Empire and monarchy in 1918…
Although our family had noble status before Christian, it was somehow lost. However, renewed admittance to the German nobility by Royal Decree occurred on July 6, 1798 by Prussian King Friederich Wilhelm III, by reasons of prior/old nobility coupled with Christian’s dedicated exemplary service as a courageous artillery captain of the Prussian army…
According to an Imperial sealed declaration of October 3, in the year 997,the German Emperor Otto III gave the Stockhausen Estate, then a convent and part of the Meschede religious sovereignty, the predicate of nobility.
The Stockhausen estate is located in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, in the Olpe district.
The Federal Reserve and Burning Man?
In 1910, in a secret mission in private rail cars to the Jekyll Island Club in Georgia, the plan was hatched to create the Federal Reserve. A private company owned by the banksters that creates money out of thin air and lends it to their banks at ultra-low interest rates. They then invest this money back into markets they rig. It is above the law, according to its former director Alan Greenspan.
Cutting the long story of The Big Short short, the concept of fiat currency enshrined in this private bank and the modern perpetual war petrodollar economy has led to most of the horrors of the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. The people are better off, because we have cars, planes, Internet, drugs, and Burning Man…right? Meanwhile the bankers are most certainly better off. And the hundreds of millions dead, wounded, tortured, imprisoned, or made homeless by endless, meaningless wars are definitely not better off.
President Woodrow Wilson was the banking cartel’s stooge, with the mysterious Colonel House his controller. We have him to thank for the Federal Reserve (the value of US$1 has dropped 98% in the century since its formation), the Income Tax and the IRS (a privately held Puerto Rico corporation), and America’s participation in World War I.
Wilson said, in his later years:
“I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world — no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”
As he was leaving office, Wilson realized he’d been hoodwinked by this crew of bankster robber barons – but by then, it was too late. The damage was done to all of us, and we still suffer today from economic bubbles and busts. The rich get richer, the poor get the picture, as Midnight Oil once said – before The Man got to them, too.
Back in Ye Olden Dayes, in 1911 John Moody and George Turner published an article Masters of Capital in America: The Seven Men. They named Seven Men – 6 family names – that controlled Wall Street and by extension, the entire U.S. economy.
How interesting to see that every single one of those names is on the Burning Man major donor list – along with Goldman, Sachs, Russell, and many other titanic names in the financial world.
Sharp-eyed readers, or paid trolls waiting eagerly for us to slip up on a fact or a claim, might say “but Baker is not on the list”. Drew Schiff is the great-great-grandson of BOTH George Fisher Baker and Jacob Schiff (and, a Warburg). The Schiff, Rothschild, and Oppenheimer banking families have been closely intertwined since the founding of the Illuminati in 1776, and before (back when the Rothschilds were the Bauers, they worked for the Oppenheimers and lived in the same house as the Schiffs).
The 1% of the 1% of the 1% of the 1%
Recently, the world was shocked to learn that the number of people who have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50% of people on the planet had dropped from 388 in 2010 to 62 today
Oxfam said, in their report to the World Economic Forum at Davos about a week ago:
The Oxfam report An Economy for the 1%, shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world’s population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 38 percent. This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile, the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to $1.76tr. The report also shows how women are disproportionately affected by inequality – of the current ‘62’, 53 are men and just nine are women.
Although world leaders have increasingly talked about the need to tackle inequality, and in September agreed a global goal to reduce it, the gap between the richest and the rest has widened dramatically in the past 12 months. Oxfam’s prediction, made ahead of last year’s Davos, that the 1% would soon own more than the rest of us, actually came true in 2015 – a year earlier than expected.
But this isn’t the 1%. More than half (53.4%) of Black Rock City earns US$50,000/yr or more, which puts them in the top 0.3% of the world’s wealth. We can probably say every Burner is in the 1%, globally.
This is not even the 1% of the 1% – or the 1% of the 1% of the 1%.
As I write this, the world population clock reads 7, 398,025,067. So 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of the world’s population is 74. Less people even than that, own half the world’s wealth.
Here’s the data that is based on, from the Forbes 2015 Billionaires List:
The big questions: how many Burners are on the list?
I have it on trusted authority that Bill Gates hasn’t been, but is thinking about it. He hasn’t tripped since the 70s, according to Playboy.
Larry Ellison and Stefan Persson were both named (outed?) as Billionaire Burners at Burning Man’s official web site, but that may just have been irony, or propaganda…or both.
Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sergei Brin, and Larry Page are all confirmed Burners.
Three other names come up in the Big Donors list that are also in the 62: Misty Roberts Thomson, Charles Ergen, Maggie Li. This could be coincidence; all three family fortunes are in the tech/media space. If anyone knows any other Burners from families in this list of 62, please let us know in the comments or a private message.
A simple solution to the world’s problems (for those who still believe that “Gifting” is “an economy”) might seem to be “those 62 people should give their wealth to the other 3.5 billion”. Unfortunately, that works out to a mere $507.89 per person – roughly the same as a Burning Man ticket after handling fees, vehicle pass, and taxes.
Giving the fish to people doesn’t solve the problem; teaching them to fish can solve it – provided corporations stop over-fishing and dumping toxic chemicals in our oceans, of course.
Who Was the Chicken, and Who the Egg?
According to Danger Ranger, it is because of Burning Man that Billionaire Burner Elon Musk located his Gigafactory in Reno.
The Tesla factory happens to be in the 6th largest industrial park in the world (the biggest in the US), a designated Foreign Trade Zone. Reno is a natural logistics hub, the intersection of multiple cross-country railroads and highways. It is close to world renowned ski fields, and has its own luxury resorts and casinos. For 2 weeks a year it hosts Hot August Nights, the largest nostalgic car show in the world: also a thirty-year old event this year, one that brings more than 500,000 people and $250 million to the city. And, it is also the hottest new tax haven for the Shadow Economy.
How much of Reno’s success in luring billionaires and now trillionaires is due to all of that…and how much to Burning Man? Are they completely independent, totally inter-related, or somewhere in between?
The Gigafactory under construction kind of looks like a giant Burning Man structure:
Can BMOrg really claim credit for all the rest, though? $100 billion – just from one company locating one building near Reno? Let alone these Rothschild and Rockefeller ventures? What about the 1000 people working for Billionaire Burner Bezos’ Amazon in Fernley?
Did the Borg create the Medici…or did the Medici create them?
And what does all this influx of billionaire money mean for We The Burners? More art? More gifting? More culture spreading around the world and helping others? Or just, higher ticket prices, more wristband-only camps, and more Default world rules and politics?
[Update 1/30/16 1:54am]
I just watched this movie tonight. It came up during the research and it is really the perfect fire-roasted marshmallow with hot chocolate apértif to my story. Highly recommended.