Everybody hates paying tax, especially rich people. Wesley Snipes didn’t go to jail for tax invasion — he went for tax evasion. If the guy who kills vampires for a living is afraid of paying taxes, it should come as no surprise that Apple, basically a trendy nerd reverse-personified, is terrified of taxes and has been stashing $252billion in cash on an obscure island off the coast of France.
Yes, that figure is correct. Apple quietly moved more than quarter of a trillion dollars to the Chanel Islands of Jersey after Ireland changed its corporate tax laws to save face in the midst of an investigation by the EU into the country’s notoriously corporate-friendly Mickey Mouse accounting practices.
With Ireland no longer suitable as a primary tax shelter, Apple’s lawyers quietly shopped around for a new place to hide their money. They ended up choosing Jersey, a UK Crown dependency with a 0% corporate tax rate. To clarify, not the Jersey that’s next to New York City where Chris Christie is in charge, but the 45 square mile island off the coast of France run by Deputy Bailiff Sir William Bailhache.
All this was hush-hush until a trove of 13.4million documents known as the Paradise Papers “leaked,” exposing the murky world of off-shore finance. Leaked is in quotes because this “leak” is the non-spontaneous product of 381 journalists and almost 100 media outlets working collaboratively, though the initial documents were originally obtained by a German newspaper from two companies based in Singapore and Bermuda.
German news outlets get all the good stuff first because they have arguably the world’s strongest protections for journalists, both legally and practically.
Daphne Galizia, a Maltese journalist involved in the Panama Papers (another trove of incriminating financial documents leaked in 2016; essentially a prequel to the Paradise Papers) was killed by a car bomb on October 16th, 2017 after she published documents alleging financial improprieties by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s wife. The public outrage caused by Galizia’s revelations triggered a snap election in June of 2017. The bad news: Muscat is still prime minister and Galizia is now dead.
That’s why Germans get leaks first: because it’s a lot harder to kill someone with a car bomb in Berlin in 2017 than it is on Malta. But nowhere is better to stash your cash than Jersey. What could Apple buy with that $252 billion? Sky’s the limit:
2/3 International Space Stations
17 years to the day since the International Space Station became continually occupied. pic.twitter.com/fjX278HFd2
— Sarah Cruddas (@sarahcruddas) November 2, 2017
Described as the single most expensive item ever built, the International Space Station’s cost is estimated to be $150 billion. That includes the roughly $100 billion kicked in by the US, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada to and the additional $50 billion it cost to launch the 36 spaceflights required for its construction.
16 Million Mail Order Brides
When you’re shopping for mail order brides, you don’t want to go budget and you don’t want to go designer. We’ll ballpark the cost at $15,000 — that won’t get you a Melania but it will get you something reliable.
Divide $252 billion (fun fact: the calculator on your iPhone can’t even count that high) by $15,000 and you’re left with 16.8 million serviceable, but not flashy, mail order brides — roughly the population of the Netherlands.
All The Gold At Fort Knox And 8 Aircraft Carriers
BREAKING: 2nd aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, joins USS Ronald Reagan in the strike group near NK — aka: Phat BoyLand. pic.twitter.com/eydvqSThXb
— Mike (@JustSayn2018) October 24, 2017
All the gold at Fort Knox (4,582 metric tons) is worth slightly north of $180 billion, leaving $70 billion in fun money left over. The going rate for Nimitz-class aircraft carriers is about $8.8 billion. Those are the good kind; nuclear powered so you never have to gas up and named for the commander of the of United States Pacific Fleet in WWII, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
840 Million Giant Day Geckos
Skirting international taxes to the tune of a quarter trillion dollars is reptilian, in that it’s snake-like and something the Anunnaki would do, so it only makes to invest that money in lizards. Full disclosure (not an alien pun): it was $300 for all the lizards (four in total), this handsome devil was $120 a la carte.