Money and Its Ability to Change Lives: Good and Bad

| January 6, 2015 | 0 Comments

Never fails: When the mail delivers the Fed’s official envelope, I know, I recognize … something about taxes, and then, I get that little shiver…maybe, hooray, a refund!

There’s no way to begin a new year without thinking about money. We spent too much on the “holidaze”; we bought too much food, too many presents, left nobody out, never mind the December birthdays.

Well, that’s us. Then, along come news reports, one after another, that assures us we’re just…y’know, pikers, small-timers in the financial scheme of things. I can’t quite decide whether the millionaire-billionaires amongst us think about money more than we do, or, because they have so much, they don’t think about it at all.

On the other hand, they must think about it way more than we do, or they wouldn’t have that much.

Sue Ann Hamm, for instance, got nearly $1 billion from Harold Hamm, in their recent ugly divorce settlement. Harold Hamm doesn’t care whether you’ve ever heard of him of not; he’s in the oil game for money, not for fame. (OK, since you asked, he owns the “…largest piece of the greatest oil discovery of our age…in North Dakota.” And, he was named chief energy advisor by Mitt Romney in the recent presidential run.) One billion is a “gulpful,” but don’t get too excited. Ms. Hamm only gets it in monthly installments of $7 million.

If one has that much money, what, we wonder, is there to argue about? Silly us.

In Britain, hedge fund founder Chris Hohn paid his divorcing wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn $531 million; $493.3 million in cash. Money’s not important to him, though, he said. Jamie actually didn’t do as well as Mr. Hohn’s philanthropic recipients, who received $1. 2 billion just last year. She’s reported to be eternally resentful. Could she do better if she declared herself a non-profit? Never mind; she hasn’t answered any of my questions.

Steven A. Cohen (SAC Capital Advisors) has gotten out of various business difficulties, but he has not yet escaped his ex-wife’s demand for her “share” – half of $5.5 million – semi-promised in the wake of their divorce. Okay, that divorce was decades ago, but Patricia Cohen’s probably built up some impressive shopping expenses that need paying.

To my knowledge, baseball’s Pablo Sandoval is not divorcing.
Although now he might, since “The Panda” recently signed with the Boston Red Socks, for a contract for $100 million per year and an option for year five. Is that like an open invitation to boost the family disagreements? OK, that wasn’t nice of me.

Never mind. I’m determined to get some. C’mon: it worked for Bruno Mars, who sang, who swooned, “…I wanna be a billionaire…so freakin’ bad!”

Hey, it worked: He’s sold over 12 million albums and 68 million singles worldwide. Five of his singles are among the best-selling singles of all time. Mars is regarded as one of the most successful solo artists in the world, having achieved this faster than any male singer since Elvis Presley.

Maybe if I change my name… punchier, sexier. Bruno was born Peter Gene Hernandez. I was Laura Kaplan. Boring – or what? Got to think of something, or I’m fated to be forever excluded from the millionaire/billionaire clubs. For now, the Feds are just not going to help. They did send me a refund check – for $1.10.

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