I was quite taken by South Park’s co-creator Matt Stone talking to Bloomberg, about a deal where he and his co-founder Trey Parker just got paid $900 million to make six more seasons and 14 movies. His specific comment:
“As you can see from this deal, we have f**k you money now”
… made me think.
Being friends with many early bitcoin investors, they have f**k you money now.
What is f**k you money? It’s when money means nothing anymore. You have more than you need. You are no longer driven by work, but by a different motivation. You can do what you want.
Many FinTech start-up founders have f**k you money:
As do many technologists. We all know that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Jack Ma, Pony Ma and more have f**k you money.
I like f**k you money. When you have f**k you money, you can pretty much do whatever you want.
Watching The Wolf of Wall Street, Hustlers and similar movies about investment banking success, these guys have f**k you money, as do Warren Buffet and many other fund and hedge fund managers.
The question is, when you reach a level of f**k you money and can do whatever you want, what do you do with it?
Some blow it on sex and drugs and rock and roll.
“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” George Best, footballer
Some move on to philanthropic pursuits, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Some shoot for the stars, like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.
Some just pursue their dreams like Matt and Trey:
“We have a ‘South Park’ 3D video game, release date unknown. We’re doing deep fakes. We have a studio with a dozen people who are deep fake artists. We’re working on a little more of this deep fake movie we’re trying to piece together. We have a horror movie. A musical. I think we’re really for the first time going to bring Tegridy Weed into real life. We are gunning for this restaurant that’s just been abused in Colorado. It’s Trey’s dream to revamp Casa Bonita.” Matt Stone
In other words, f**k you money allows you to do whatever the hell you want to do. That’s why it’s called f**k you money. The system no longer controls you; you control the system.
Although you may think there are millions of people who have f**k you money – by my calculation around 100 million people on Earth are in the millionaires category and almost 3,000 people are billionaries – there are still billions of people who are not. They have nothing. We can watch films like Crazy Rich Asians, but most of us are not crazy rich. In fact over a billion are dirt poor, and around four billion are living paycheck to paycheck.
A new report by Pymnts and LendingClub in June, says that 53 per cent of Americans and 70 per cent of millennials now live paycheck to paycheck.
Not everyone is rolling in it.
In other words, four out of five people struggle to just live, whilst around 1 in 80 have f**k you money.
So, if you are rolling in it, what should you feel? What should you do? Sex and drugs and rock and roll; or a deeper sense of responsibility – with great power comes great responsibility; or an achievement of your dreams; or all three? Or something else?
I don’t know, as I’m not quite there yet. However, if I was, I would go for saving the animals. One of my circles of influence tried to convince me there is no climate emergency; it’s just a natural circle of life. My response was that I’m not about climate and environment; I’m about the fact that wildlife is being destroyed:
- According to the World Wildlife Fund, world wildlife populations fell by 58% in 40 years between 1976 and 2016;
- The Great Barrier Reef is disappearing, and yet the Australian government continues to issue grants to businesses to make it worse;
- Sharks are being killed by the truckload for shark fin soup in Asia, even though they do no harm;
- Orangutans natural environment has been decimated for palm oil; and
- Elephants and rhinoceros are soon only going to be seen in zoos.
I could go on, but my mission is nothing to do with ESG or the climate emergency. It’s all about why should humans consider themselves above the circle of life?
So yea, if I had f**k you money, I’d fix that and, in the spirit of openness, I do try in my own little way:
Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...