pretax

Electing Trump Has Put Nostalgic ‘American Dream’ Further Out Of Reach

“About 92 percent of 1940 babies had higher pretax household earnings at age 30 than their parents had at the same age…. For babies born in 1980 — today’s 36-year-olds — the index of the American dream has fallen to 50 percent: Only half of them make as much money as their parents did…. The American economy is far larger and more productive than in 1980…. Per-capita G.D.P. is almost twice as high now. 

By itself, that increase should allow most children to live better than their parents. They don’t, however, because the fruits of growth have gone disproportionately to the affluent…. 

The painful irony of 2016 is that nostalgia and anger over the fading American dream helped elect a president who may put the dream even further out of reach for many people — taking away their health insurance, supporting ineffective school vouchers and showering government largess on the rich.”

 - David Leonhardt of the New York Times

forbes.com
The World's Highest-Paid Musicians Of 2016
What happens when you smash the Rolling Stones’ North American touring record, sell millions of albums and add seven-figure endorsements with the likes of Keds, Diet Coke and Apple? If you’re Taylor Swift, you clock the biggest single-year payday of your career.
By Zack O'Malley Greenburg

Our list measures pretax income from June 1, 2015, to June 1, 2016 before deducting management fees. Numbers are based on data from Pollstar, Nielsen and the RIAA, as well as interviews with managers, agents, lawyers—and some stars themselves.

Forbes World’s Highest Paid Models of 2015

The 21 beauties on this year’s highest-paid models list made a combined $147 million pretax between June 2014 and June 2015 (source)”


1. Gisele Bundchen- $44 million

2. Cara Delevingne- $9 million

3. Adriana Lima- $9 million

4. Doutzen Kroes- $7.5 million

5. Natalia Vodianova- $7 million

6. Miranda Kerr- $5.5 million

7. Joan Smalls- $5.5 million

8. Lara Stone- $5 million

9. Alessandra Ambrosio- $5 million

10. Candice Swanepoel- $5 million

11. Karlie Kloss- $5 million

12. Carolyn Murphy- $4.5 million

13. Kate Moss- $4.5 million

14. Liu Wen- $4.5 million

15. Daria Werbowy- $4.5 million

16. Kendall Jenner- $4 million

17. Hilary Rhoda- $3.5 million

18. Kate Upton- $3.5 million

19. Jourdan Dunn- $3.5 million

20. Anja Rubik- $3.5 million

21. Edita Vilkeviciute- $3.5 million

[ARTICLE] Bigbang Theory: How K-Pop's Top Act Earned $44 Million In A Year

As record executive Joojong Joe weaved through the packed crowd at the 19,000-capacity Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., there to see Korean boy band Bigbang, he spotted a young Russian woman crying. She couldn’t explain why. Confident that she wasn’t in any actual distress, he moved on.

“It’s like the Backstreet Boys back in the day,” Joe says with a shrug. “A lot of people cry.” Even, it turns out, a Russian obsessed with five androgynous Korean boys. Such is the reach of the hottest global pop genre, the campy Korean variant known as K-Pop.

The top act in its niche, Bigbang took home $44 million in pretax earnings over the past year, easily more than the $33.5 million collected by today’s highest-paid American all-male arena pop group, Maroon 5. Bigbang will be appearing on the upcoming

FORBES Celebrity 100 list (due out July 12th), though that’s more attributable to the popularity of the group’s music than the depth of its members’ business savvy.

We made more than Maroon 5?” says front man Kwon “G-Dragon” Jiyong, 27, through a translator. “Did not know that. My mom is in charge of my earnings.” 

Fortunately the group’s finances are being guided by much more than a mommy manager. The real force behind Bigbang is former K-Pop idol Yang “YG” Hyun Suk and his namesake company–a $630 million publicly traded record label, talent agency and concert promoter with fingers in pies from fashion to marketing to film. The company and its founder are responsible for creating not only Bigbang but also, to a great extent, the modern K-Pop movement, which is in the midst of a transformation from regional staple to international craze.

Within YG’s roster, examples abound. Girl group 2NE1 sells out arenas around the world and even did an Adidas commercial with Nicki Minaj, while the video for “Gangnam Style,” from pop-rapper Psy, holds the all-time YouTube record, with 2.6 billion views since its 2012 debut. That sort of virality wasn’t possible a decade ago, when K-Pop was available beyond Asia mostly via illegal download or at specialty record stores.

“In the past there were limitations to distributing and accessing music,” says Yang, whose company is on pace to do a quarter-billion dollars in revenue this year. “Now in the digital age those geographical boundaries are insignificant.”

If the rise of K-Pop seems a relatively recent phenomenon, that’s because it is. American influence came to the peninsula in earnest during the 1950s with the Korean War and its aftermath, as troops staying in the area exposed locals to Western pop and rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that those influences combined with European electronic music, American hip-hop and existing traditional Asian genres, coalescing into the beginnings of modern K-Pop.

Yang grew up in this milieu, spending his high school days emulating the music of Soul Train and practicing the dance moves of Michael Jackson. In 1992 singer Seo Taiji came to Yang to learn how to dance; they teamed up with a third member to create Seo Taiji and Boys, which married hip-hop and catchy melodies. Their first hit, “Nan Arayo (I Know),” made Rolling Stone’s list of the best boy band songs of all time.

At the height of Seo Taiji and Boys’ popularity in 1996 Yang walked away to launch YG, where he created a K-Pop factory. One of his early charges was G-Dragon, who started receiving musical training from him around age 12, along with future group member Dong “Taeyang” Youngbae. After the pair survived an American Idol-style TV competition, Yang did what Simon Cowell would later do with One Direction: pair them with fellow contestants to form a boy band calibrated for maximum appeal.

The band made its debut in 2006 and embarked on a grueling schedule, releasing six albums in the next six years–two in Korean and four in Japanese–with English lyrics sprinkled throughout for good measure. YouTube then took them global. “Didn’t make us money,” says YG’s Joojong Joe. “But still it was good exposure.”

YG is vertically integrated, collecting cash not only from record sales but also from acting as a combination of manager, concert promoter and talent agency. The strategy, not unlike the one adopted more recently by Jay Z’s Roc Nation, means YG isn’t dependent on income from recorded music, which makes up just 25% of its revenues. YG makes just as much from live music as it does from recordings, thanks in large part to Bigbang: The group has been grossing an average of $2.6 million per city on its recent Made world tour.

“Fans are queuing or camping around venues, often starting more than 24 hours before the show,” says Yongbae Cho, managing director of concert promoter Live Nation Korea. “With Western artists we tend not to see these kinds of phenomena.”

Despite Psy’s international breakthrough and Bigbang’s explosive earnings, K-Pop is still largely a regional industry when it comes to cash, at least as far as YG is concerned. South Korea accounts for 40% of revenues, while the bulk of its international audience comprises Japan (36%) and China (20%). Even so, Western brands are circling the genre: LVMH paid $80 million to buy 12% of YG in 2014. Additional cash may be coming from the South Korean government, which has been in talks with YG on a $100 million entertainment-focused construction project outside of Seoul. The proposed joint venture aspires to become the Studio City of K-Pop, complete with a mall, concert venues and recording studios.

The next prize lies in North America, with its abundant modern arenas and free-spending crowds. Though the U.S. makes up only a single-digit portion of YG’s sales, top acts are selling out arenas on both coasts, prompting some major players in Hollywood to get involved. Psy and one of the stars from the 2NE1 girl group have been scooped up by Scooter Braun, whose management roster includes Celeb 100 veteran Justin Bieber and 30 Under 30 honoree Martin Garrix. (YG still handles the two K-Pop idols’ non-U.S. business.)

Remarkably, Bigbang has earned far more than Garrix and almost as much as Bieber. That might come as a shock to most, but not to Yang. “I am not surprised by their success,” he says. “I was certain that they were going to be loved by everyone in the world.”

© Forbes

[Article] BigBang is 54th in FORBES: “CELEB 100: THE WORLD’S HIGHEST-PAID CELEBRITIES OF 2016”

Taylor Swift has a certain attachment to the number 1989–it’s the year of her birth, the title of her latest multiplatinum album and the name of her record-smashing tour. She may soon have a new favorite: 170 million. That’s the number of dollars she raked in over the past year, easily enough to land her the No. 1 spot on the FORBES Celebrity 100 list of the world’s highest-paid entertainers.

(Part omitted)

The world’s 100 highest-paid celebrities pulled in $5.1 billion pretax during our June 2015 to June 2016 scoring period, more than the GDP of Belize, Gambia and Bhutan combined. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted. Figures are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, Box Office Mojo, Songkick and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders and many of the stars themselves. The result is the definitive index of who’s making what in the global business of fame.

In order to form the Celebrity 100, FORBES evaluates front-of-the-camera talent across the entire entertainment world–idols from Hollywood to Bollywood appear alongside Swedish soccer stars and American basketball players–creating a truly international list. One third of this year’s Celeb 100 honorees hail from outside the U.S.

Among them: British songstress Adele (No. 9, $80.5 million), the only musician on our list who made more than half her money from music; Chinese actor Jackie Chan (No. 21, $61 million), whose mainland movies make him the world’s second-highest-paid actor; South Korean boyband Big Bang (No. 54, $44 million), the top earning K-Pop act of all time; and Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen (No. 99, $30.5 million), who boasts fragrance and beauty deals with Chanel and Carolina Herrera, plus her own lines of lingerie and skincare.

(Part omitted)

There is plenty of geographical diversity on the list, but the Celeb 100 underscores the chronic pay gap in the entertainment world: there are only 15 women on the list, down from 16 last year.

Still, there are hopeful signs–starting with outspoken stars like last year’s cover story subject, Katy Perry, who earned $135 million last year and added another $41 million to claim the No. 66 spot on this year’s list.

Source: Forbes

bc.ctvnews.ca
Vancouver ranked world’s 3rd most unaffordable housing market
Hong Kong and Sydney are the only housing markets that are more expensive, according to the study.

It’s a distinction that likely won’t shock house hunters in Vancouver: The city has just been ranked the third most unaffordable housing market in the entire world.

The dubious moniker was given to the City of Glass by Demographia International, in its 12th annual Housing Affordability Survey.

Hong Kong and Sydney are the only housing markets that are more expensive. San Jose, California, was close behind Vancouver, followed by London.

The study uses 2015 home sale data of 87 major metropolitan areas in nine countries, and ranks average housing prices in the region as a multiplier of median pretax household incomes.

Cities with a multiplier of 5.1 or over are considered “severely unaffordable”; Vancouver was awarded a 10.8.

That means a home in Vancouver costs more than 10 times the average household income.

Compare that to Toronto’s 6.5, Kelowna’s 6.4 and Abbotsford’s 6.1.

The most affordable major metropolitan areas studied were in the U.S., with a median multiplier of 3.7, followed by Japan at 3.9.

Continue Reading.

[Forbes] Bigbang Theory: How K-Pop's Top Act Earned $44 Million In A Year

As record executive Joojong Joe weaved through the packed crowd at the 19,000-capacity Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., there to see Korean boy band Bigbang, he spotted a young Russian woman crying. She couldn’t explain why. Confident that she wasn’t in any actual distress, he moved on.

“It’s like the Backstreet Boys back in the day,” Joe says with a shrug. “A lot of people cry.” Even, it turns out, a Russian obsessed with five androgynous Korean boys. Such is the reach of the hottest global pop genre, the campy Korean variant known as K-Pop.

The top act in its niche, Bigbang took home $44 million in pretax earnings over the past year, easily more than the $33.5 million collected by today’s highest-paid American all-male arena pop group, Maroon 5. Bigbang will be appearing on the upcoming FORBES Celebrity 100 list (due out July 12th), though that’s more attributable to the popularity of the group’s music than the depth of its members’ business savvy.

“We made more than Maroon 5?” says front man Kwon “G-Dragon” Jiyong, 27, through a translator. “Did not know that. My mom is in charge of my earnings.”

Keep reading

J.C. Penney to close 33 stores, cut 2,000 jobs

Dallas Business JournalJ.C. Penney said it will close 33 underperforming stores in the U.S. and cut 2,000 jobs as part of its turnaround efforts.

Penney has roughly 1,100 stores nationwide.

The closures are expected to save the company $65 million annually beginning this year. In connection with the initiative, Penney (NYSE: JCP) also expects to incur estimated pretax charges of $26 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 and approximately $17 million in the future.

Photo via www.bizjournals.com

Deflation is the Federal Reserve’s worst nightmare for many reasons. Real gains from deflation cannot be easily taxed. If a school administrator earns $100,000 per year, prices are constant, and she receives a 5 percent raise, her real pretax standard of living has increased $5,000, but the government taxes the increase, leaving less for the individual. But if her earnings are held constant, and prices drop 5 percent, she has the same $5,000 increase in her standard of living, but the government cannot tax the gain because it comes in the form of lower prices rather than higher wages.

Deflation increases the real value of government debt, making it harder to repay. If deflation is not reversed, there will be an outright default on the national debt, rather than the less traumatic outcome of default-by-inflation. Deflation slows nominal GDP growth, while nominal debt rises every year due to budget deficits. This tends to increase the debt-to-GDP ratio, placing the United States on the same path as Greece and making a sovereign debt crisis more likely.

Deflation also increases the real value of private debt, creating a wave of defaults and bankruptcies. These losses then fall on the banks, causing a banking crisis. Since the primary mandate of the Federal Reserve is to prop up the banking system, deflation must be avoided because it induces bad debts that threaten bank solvency.
—  James Rickards, The Death of Money

I’ve always wondered why governments fear deflation so much. I always chocked up to propaganda wins in the quest for public opinion in favor of inflation. But really it’s just to prop up the debt financed economic system the government has constructed for us. Almost every action taken by monetary and fiscal policy central planners has been to perpetuate the debt driven, consumerist economy.

Deflation is good for the savers and ghastly for the debtors. Conversely, inflation is a saving grace for debtors and a slow cancer for savers. It all starts to make sense. You guys should read this book. I’m only into the introduction and I like it.
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The World’s Highest-Paid Models 2015

The 21 beauties on this year’s highest-paid models list made a combined $147 million pretax between June 2014 and June 2015, proving that flawless genes and stellar business acumen are a killer combination. Read more >

Why There Are So Few Women Among The World's Highest-Paid Entertainers

Taylor Swift tops the Celebrity 100 with a $170 mill payday, but women are the minority on the ranking.

Taylor Swift may top this year’s Global Celebrity 100 list of the 100 highest-earning entertainers, but she is one of only 15 women to make the cut. The ranking, which tallies annual earnings for celebrities around the world is comprised 85% of men—who earned a combined $4.2 billion, compared to the women’s $892.5 million. The imbalance reflects the gender pay gap endemic across industries–and national borders.

In this uneven showing, female musicians are best represented with eight singers joining the list. Pop powerhouses Taylor Swift and Adele are the only women in the top 10, earning an estimated $170 million and $80.5 million pretax respectively. They lead musical millionaires Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears and Katy Perry on the ranking.

“I’m an entrepreneur…I don’t want to shy away from it,” Perry told Forbes in 2015.

This year’s ranking includes two businesswomen, Kim Kardashian West and Ellen DeGeneres, who pivoted from the small screen. Kardashian has moved from reality TV to mobile gaming, since expanding into emojis and a personalized subscription app.

“When people looked at me in a way like, ‘Why is she stepping into the tech world? That’s not her territory! Stick to reality TV!’ I was like, ‘No,’ ” Kardashian recalls in the FORBES cover story.

Kim Kardashian West banked an estimated $51 million pretax this year, largely from digital endeavors (Jamel Toppin for Forbes)

DeGeneres banked an impressive $75 million, largely from her daytime TV show, though she has also diversified into a mobile game and digital network. Judge Judy Sheindlin ($47 million) and Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara ($43 million) round out the highly-paid women onscreen. Vergara, meanwhile, has figured that lucrative endorsements can mint more than roles in which women are oftentimes paid unevenly: Most of her income comes from advertising and licensing deals, including a line of Rooms To Go furniture, a coffee maker and even cheetah-printed nurse uniforms.

While all the women on the ranking make millions more than most can dream of, they are still out-earned and outnumbered by male counterparts. On the silver screen, Jennifer Lawrence and Melissa McCarthy were the only female film stars to bank over the $30.5 million cut off, compared to 11 male actors on the list.

Top women can earn between $10 million to $20 million a film and negotiate for a share of the movie’s profits, but given the box office brawn of action movies and the genre’s male-dominated characters, it’s much rarer for women to get the sort of blockbuster roles that warrant the massive backend deals many leading men demand.

Like Vergara, McCarthy looks elsewhere for impact. She launched an all-sizes clothing line in 2015, with the thought that “if I could do anything to build women up rather than the constant tear down I’m going to do it,” says McCarthy.

The movie pay gap is even more obscene overseas. This year, two Bollywood actors make the cut, but not a single woman. That’s because prominent Indian actresses can receive as little as one sixth of their male costars’ quotes, sources say.

Stateside, entertainment’s pay gap is persistent industry-wide in salaries of all scales. On average, white women get paid 78 cents to every dollar a white male makes, while Hispanic women earn 56 cents to a white male’s dollar, Black women 64 cents and Native American women just 59 cents to that.

Given those depressing stats, it becomes necessary to inspire readers of all genders. But that’s difficult when the few women who are making bank are cautious to own their success by discussing it, dollar amounts included. Female entertainers “feel like it’s flaunting or flashy,” to discuss finances, suggests Perry, though their male counterparts have no such hangups.

“Whether it’s being a mom but still having a great job and loving what you do, if you work hard, you can break barriers,” says Kardashian.

Here’s hoping many more women in the spotlight step up to own their success.

Adam Lambert Is Forbes’s Top Idol Earners Champion, Bringing in $10 Million

When it comes to American Idol’s top earners, Adam Lambert is the champion, my friends. The Season 8 runner-up, who released his third solo album in June 2015 and famously moonlights as the lead singer of Queen, raked in a pretax income of $10 million last year, according to Forbes’s annual American Idol earners list. It’s a career high, and a Forbes high, for the Original High singer.

Although this isn’t really rebound per se for Lambert, who’s always been one of Idol’s biggest success stories since competing on the show in 2009, it’s still a spectacular feat. This news comes after his very public departure from both RCA Records in 2013 (he left the label due to conflicts over the direction of his third LP; RCA wanted him to record an ‘80s covers compilation) and 19 Management in 2011, along with a new label deal with Warner Bros. in 2015.

Last year, Lambert spoke to Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks about getting out of his rut after his split with RCA. “I think one of things I realized after [sophomore album] Trespassing was I was a little disappointed with the commercial life of it. I expected it to have more life. I was in a little bit of a rut because I was like, ‘Well, what do I do?’ I was trying to figure out if I wanted to make this album or not. What I realized was, I don’t know how it came into my head, ‘You got to let go of the fear here. You know you’re always going to work.’ I had a conversation with a close friend of mine who kind of shook me and was like, ‘You’re always going to have work. You’re not going to starve. You’re going to be able to put food on your table. You have a talent you can put into a number of different things. Just relax and go for it.’ It was so simple, this idea of not putting so much pressure on everything and not being so hard on myself. I’ve gotten a lot more relaxed.”

Apparently this attitude is working for Lambert.

Forbes only released a top five list this year, which is indicative of Idol’s diminishing power to create and sustain superstars. But the paychecks earned by the rest of this year’s lucky list-makers are nothing to sneeze at. Forbes’s top five is rounded out by the usual Idol A-listers: Kelly Clarkson ($4 million), Scotty McCreery ($4 million), Phillip Phillips ($5 million), Chris Daughtry ($6 million), and Carrie Underwood ($8 million).

In most of these cases, it was touring, not album sales, that brought in the big bucks. Lambert of course had his lucrative Queen stadium gig, while McCreery, Phillips, and Daughtry respectively played 55, 83, and 91 concerts during Forbes’s scoring period of June 2014 through June 2015. (Clarkson would have ranked higher, but she only played three shows during Forbes’s eligibility window.) Underwood is likely to reclaim her top spot on the Forbes list, which she held in 2013 and 2014, next year, since she is about to embark on her Storytellers tour.

American Idol’s farewell season premieres tonight. Will the 15th and final Idol ever come close to the success of Lambert et al? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, check out Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks two-part interview with Lambert below about his illustrious career.

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