No, this is not Swift, the global bank messaging network, but Taylor Swift who is now a unicorn, worth more than a billion dollars. Bloomberg reports that “the success of the Eras tour — a Super Bowl-sized event spanning numerous cities that has shattered records, sparked ticket frenzies and even caused the equivalent of a small earthquake — has propelled the pop star’s net worth past $1 billion”. Other musical unicorns include Jay-Z, Rihanna and Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber although, being a pedantic, Lord Lloyd-Webber started before 2000 so technically he is not a unicorn.
Similarly, the Rolling Stones are not really a unicorn, but they've also just become billionaires. “You can’t always get what you want,” sang the Rolling Stones in 1969. “But if you try sometime you’ll find you get what you need” ... which in 2023 is a combined wealth of £1 billion.
Billionaires are the new millionaires. For example, as I read that 33 year-old Taylor Swift has just become a billionaire, I was watching a UK politics show where Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir Technologies, was being introduced as the billionaire.
It’s no longer good enough to be a millionaire, you need to aspire to be a billionaire. It made me realise my age. When I was growing up, everyone wanted to be a millionaire.
Now, we all want to be a billionaire. That’s inflation and devaluation for you. Thing is whilst there are over 3,000 billionaires worldwide, as of 2022, a high number of the world's population owns less than 10,000 U.S. dollars.
This goes back to that dystopia of the 1%. In fact, if you think there are more than 8 billion people on Earth, it’s not the 1%. It’s the 0.0005%. That’s the billionaires. The millionaires? Well, they’re common as muck. In fact, there are around 60 million, according to Visual Capitalist:
But then I say they are common, it is still less than 1% of the world's population. The privilieged. The few.
It kind of always brings me back to that hard hitting headline from Oxfam a few years ago, that eight people own half the world’s wealth.
No problem with that … or no problem with that?
Meantime, back to Taylor Unicorn. How come she’s so wealthy so young? Well, the new tour makes a big difference (Eras) as does her re-recording all her backlog to escape the clutches of her original recording company.
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...