(At wealth’s end …)/II

Math:

(At wealth’s end … ) / II = 2 Rich Bezos


Well, although I blogged about Jeff Bezos wealth in May, (At wealth’s end ...) and posited ideas for ways to put his wealth to use, I did not see Occam’s razor edge coming for half of it with a divorce, but there you have it. Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is probably the most correct.

On January 9, 2019, Jeff & MacKenzie Bezos issued a joint statement on Twitter that they will divorce.

And silly me. Occam’s razor again. I assumed the simple reason for the split would be money. Not how much, but how the money is used.

  • The company Jeff Bezos founded, Amazon, has grown to be a trillion dollar company. While we watched in 2018 as cities manufactured elaborate tax structures and infrastructure plans with the hope of being crowned the next location for Amazon headquarters, it was reported that Amazon employees augment their low pay with Food Stamps, taxpayer-funded programs.
  • Amazon builds and tests literal rockets.
  • And there is the 500′ clock keeping time in a geologic basement in Texas.

The optics are bad. Communities prostrate themselves for the blessing of a wealthy man who spends lavish amounts of money wasting 500′ on time while his employees live in scarcity.

Yeah MacKenzie, I’d divorce myself from all that too.


As a couple out at wealth’s end, I was heartened to read that pre-divorce announcement the Bezos’ seem truly devoted to each other. MacKenzie was a partner in the formative days and the eventual success of Amazon. She is a published author (HarperCollins) and Jeff was her first reader. Aw, shucks! And there’s more … if you’re interested, “Strange things about Jeff Bezos’ marriage”, by Stassi Reid at Nikki Swift is well-documented reading. Other sources: Business Insider & The New York Times.

And in this day of conscious uncoupling and as stated in their announcement, I hope they remain friends after the divorce.


But this time I was wrong about Occam’s razor and it’s not about the money! It’s Occam’s dick.

Jeff has a new companion, Lauren Sanchez. And throughout history, men have thrown in for other loves, fortune be damned. Or halved. This is not new and Ms. Sanchez appears to be all that — gorgeous, glamorous, TV personality, helicopter pilot. Set aside all the salacious details – not interested – and the participants in this break-up are all grown-ups — Bezos & Bezos, Sanchez & Whitesell (her husband).

Often when lots of zeroes are involved, stereotypical men in mid-life crisis couple up with women half their age. But not this time. Ms. Sanchez is a year older than Ms. Bezos.


If the Bezos’ do not have a prenuptial agreement, MacKenzie gets half or $69B (USD) more or less to which we say, “Go get it girl!”

This will double the number of Bezos on the list of billionaires. Two separate economic whales that can move markets.

And so I’m looking forward to following what MacKenzie Bezos does free and away from the economic wake left by Jeff. Calendar time and wristwatch time will tell.

Jump. Make a difference. Make a splash. We’re watching.


Coda

Projects one could fund with a big lottery win:

  • scoop up one of the big 5 publishers
  • start a new publishing imprint
  • start a Life-type hardcopy magazine focused on photographs that contain a thousand words and writing that captures this era beyond the 24-hour news cycle, (see also Laurene Jobs)
  • fix up Puerto Rico and flip it as the 51st state!

At wealth’s end …

Monday morning over coffee and I am waving goodbye to Jeff Bezos who has walked so far out on the pier of net worth that he is crossing his own ocean and did I mention I’m all in for mixed metaphor?

Jeff Bezos net worth today is approximately $130B. Stratospheric net worth. Net worth expressly worthy of expression in scientific notation¹:

Jeff Bezos’ net.worth ≅ $1.3 X 10¹¹

And it has been reported that Mr. Bezos doesn’t know what to do with all that net worth which disappoints me.  At the end of the pier in which his peers lag behind him by ∼$40B, at the pinnacle of wealth, at wealth’s end, Jeff Bezos doesn’t know what to do with all that net. Worth.  Casting about with rockets and a 500′ clock that operates off the earth’s thermal cycles, Jeff Bezos with more money than God Warren Buffett, appears to be searching for some sentimental hygiene

And aside: A clock that works off the earth’s thermal cycles?

Hmmm. Seems that will be short lived as we burn this muffin cycle to hot, hot, hot.

And time is a man-made construct. What’s up with that Mr. Bezos?

Evidently, on that long walk on a long pier, Mr. Bezos bypassed the reason for the walk. He accumulates steps on his financial FitBit but hasn’t expanded the view past his own wrist. Or casting rockets into the sea. Or a 500′ thermal clock buried in a West Texas mountain tracking time in units of what? What for?

So if Mr. Bezos is fishing for some ideas to spend at wealth’s end, some ways to cast a bit of net.worth for more immediate tangible results, well, here we go:

  • Purchase a country. Or two. Or maybe fix buy Puerto Rico. Instead of Puerto Rico, (Rich Port), we could call it Bezos Rico. Afterall, buy low, put in a little work and flip it as the 51st state, why not? It could be the grandest episode of Fixer Upper.
  • From Twitterer Matthew Chapman: Buy every homeless person in the US a median price home.  This could be an epic Oprah-chart-chanting moment: “And YOU GET a house, and YOU GET a house, and … ad nauseam, you get the idea … ” Mr. Bezos would still have a net.worth of $1.9 X 10¹º (USD)!

  And he would still qualify for the TOP 25 list of Ricos.

Aside: Being a homeowner myself, I am not a fan of this idea on account of the cost of ownership – insurance, utilities, maintenance, it’s a long list and gifting houses, in the end, may just be cruel. So … 

  • Economic experiment! Give each one of your employees a $192,000 bonus and watch what happens! Kill those nasty stories about corporate welfare and Amazon employees on public assistance. And then the stories about Jeff Bezos is one Rich Rico on account of social welfare can stop.
  • My personal favorite: Get creative and start a new currency! Call it the Bezos. Index the Bezos to a combination of US, Chinese, and Euro exchange rates. Seed the new exchange by awarding Bezos with every purchase made on Amazon. It’s a win-win.

Based on the reach of Amazon into our pockets, the Bezos will become currency quicker than you can say ‘mining for Bitcoins!’ Economies thrive on a healthy exchange of goods and services and we’re dying here in the wait for the trickle down of USD.  We can trade up in Bezos.

And another win! Competitively, Alibaba/Jack Ma will be put on what-for-what-just-happened-catch-up-already notice. Jack Jeff it up!

Ah, poor Jeff Bezos. He can’t make a financial move without moving markets, influencing outcomes, turning the tide. It looks lonely out at wits the end of wealth’s end¹

You’re an economic whale, Mr. Bezos.  Go ahead. Make a difference. Jump.

Make a splash.


¹ I love English. Words can be used and repurposed within a geometrically proximate distance of instance — “… net worth expressly worthy of expression … ” Mmmm. Low hum yummy.

² Sentimental Hygiene by Warren Zevon. Totally singable.

10¹¹: 10 raised to the 11th power. Written out = 100,000,000,000