We look at some of our favourite billionaires looking for a bailout or handout.
During these difficult times, it’s the most vulnerable in society that need the greatest care, attention and help.
Billionaires have worked so hard for what they have built and barely get to see the benefits. With the most to lose in these situations, they of course are the main focus for governments to help – and rightly so!
Imagine amassing enough money to buy an island or a spaceship, only to see a few zeros disappear and a potential drop in the Forbes list. How could they lose this Scrooge McDuck sized pile of cash, you might ask?
It can come in many simple ways, like stock market drops, falling property values or drunken riverboat gambling trips.
But for billionaire business owners, the painful losses come from paying lazy workers who aren’t even at work, contributing to something called a pension and paying other landlords the rent money they earned elsewhere.
But fear not, simple reader, some of our favourite billionaires are exploring options to keep their fortunes intact – hopefully allowing you, the taxpayer to happily pick up the bill for a bailout.
Philip Green – Arcadia Group – $4.9 BillionMoney can’t buy happiness…
The loveable Sir Philip Green is known by many for his dealings with BHS, the retailer. Somehow, unbeknownst to Phil at the time of his departure and sale of the company, there was over £500m missing from the pension scheme. Meanwhile Sir Green sailed off in his £115m yacht, with a healthy bank balance – feeling terribly sorry for all those who had lost out.
An all-round great man, Sir Philip is also known to dabble in sweatshop labour, tax avoidance and sexual harassment.
But now, this Knight needs the shining armour of the government to protect him and his company Arcadia, owner of brands such as Top Shop. He’s already back at it again with the pensions, suspending contributions with the blame of coronavirus.
Now he’s asking the government and taxpayers to pick up the bill for paying his employees, while negotiating rent decreases for the company’s premises.
Let’s just hope that the government has the sense to help this poor man out and subsidise more cocktails for that yacht of his.
Richard Branson – Virgin Group – $4.3 BillionLoving the island life
Yet another Knight that needs saving, is Sir Richard Branson.
Less interested in slave labour or pension plundering, Branson has had an appetite for tax evasion and served a short prison sentence for his troubles. Now, with a multi million pound private island to keep him safe, he doesn’t need to worry about paying taxes or ending up back in the klink.
Similar to Sir Philip however, Sir Branson has money troubles with a company of his, Virgin Atlantic.
It’s not the first time that Branson has faced a challenge like this. Only in 2017, did a failed rail venture require taxpayer money for a bailout regardless of the profits his trains have made from UK rail privatisation.
This time, he asked the government for £500m to keep his planes in the sky and the wage bills off his expenses list.
Even with an offer of his own island as collateral, it seems the government isn’t itching to help – a big surprise to many seeing Tories turn down a tax haven sun destination!
Donald Trump – $2.1 Billion ($10 Billion according to himself)Meanwhile Melania is also digging…
There are no knights in the Trump family to continue the theme, but there are a few Bar(r)ons. The name is ubiquitous today with politics, but in the past it was recognisable for reality TV and failed businesses.
Donald Trump knows his way around loan defaults, bankruptcies and bailouts when it comes to his businesses.
From failed casinos, to airlines, to the fraudulent Trump University – the Don could perhaps call himself the greatest billionaire screw up, like you’ve never seen before, huge!
As the President, he has renounced his business empire to his sons where there is definitely no conflict of interest.
Regardless of who is pulling the strings, the small matter of paying employees at the Trump golf courses in Ireland and the UK need to be dealt with.
Mr ‘America First’ and his company are asking the Irish and British government to pick up the tab for his employees.
However, unfortunately for the company’s American employees, the US government won’t be doing the same for them and many have instead hit the queues for unemployment centres.
If there’s one thing for sure, Trump will come out of this one alright, so there’s no need to worry!