Mick Jagger’s kids are shuffling nervously. This week the everlasting Rolling Stone said he might not leave his back catalogue income to his children. The post-1971 Stones bounty, if it were to be sold in the manner of Springsteen’s or Dylan’s, would earn him and Keith Richards a nice coin. Jagger reckons he’d have $500 million to pass on.
“The children don’t need $500 million to live on,” he said, triggering, you’d think, some frantic chat on the offspring’s WhatsApp group. Suddenly, Mick will be getting messages out of the blue telling him She’s The Boss is REALLY GREAT. And he should be proud of all he achieved. And he always brings satisfaction to the world – LOL! And anyway, £500m between eight of them isn’t THAT much. So….
Mick Jagger has said he might leave it to charity, and “maybe do some good in the world”. A noble aim. It would be a significant bequeathment. The Rolling Stones have a history of supporting charities from Children in Need to Medecins Sans Frontieres. Relationships may be getting warmed up again.
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As a student of the London School of Economics (LSE), Mick would be well aware of the tax implications of passing on that lump of dough. The great messy sprawling Stones classic Exile On Main Street was largely recorded in Villefranche-Sur-Mer during a period as tax exiles. But if he were to give it all away the volume of cash heading to the exchequer in the UK, or the public purse wherever his money sits, would not really be of relevance. It doesn’t feel like his idea is motivated by any personal greed.
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The idea of giving it all away is fascinating. There are a few of the global super wealthy who have signed up to the Giving Pledge, set up by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. At present many of the world’s billionaires have pledged to give away $600 billion. That could help a huge number of people move out of poverty for good. So, don’t wait lads until you shuffle off. It leads to questions over whether private individuals should be funnelling money into projects to help plug gaps left by nation states. I don’t have any issue with that. If your personal wealth is beyond the GDP of the majority of the nations on the earth, you have something of an obligation to get some of that back for greater good.