Technology entrepreneurs giving up U.S. citizenship? A U.S. tech startup webforum reacts to one case

On Hacker News, a tech entrepreneurship community that both Phil Hodgen and I frequent, there was a discussion a couple of days ago about one entry in the Q1 2012 loss-of-citizenship list which matches the name of a well-known entrepreneur. (Edit: to clarify, I’m not talking about Eduardo Saverin, the news of whose renunciation just popped up on Bloomberg; I wrote this post before that news came out. This is about another guy, follow the first link in this post if you want to know his name).

Regardless of whether or not that name is indeed him, the news sparked some interesting comments. This should serve as a reminder to us: the Isaac Brock Society is not the only collection of people out there who object to the United States’ citizenship taxation policy. There are many others, most of whom are just going about their daily lives while trying to grin and bear it, and who may never give us “extremists” more than a passing glance — but whose overall silence should not at all be taken to imply acquiescence to this unjust state of affairs, as the mainstream media do every time when they say “1,800 renunciants is such a small number compared to the six million Americans abroad”.

I’m not going to mention the name of the alleged ex-citizen here (and I’ve replaced it with “***” below) because I’m not interested in making this post into a Google Hit for it. His identity is not really the point; if he wants to confirm it publicly, he will. If you want to learn more about the entrepreneur — who of course is not necessarily the ex-citizen mentioned in the list — you can see his website: he moved to Singapore last June. (Incidentally, when he moved, I warned him about the potential tax issues of overseas entrepreneurship). If he indeed gave up citizenship, he would almost certainly be a covered expatriate.

This is the second time in a month that this topic has come up on Hacker News; there was a discussion about CNBC’s article last month, on which Phil Hodgen left a number of relevant comments, and where I also blew up at some guy who counselled a would-be renunciant to spend “$50 and 2 hours learning TurboTax” instead. I didn’t see Phil popping up on this latest thread, but there’s some good comments from other people. First, mbesto, an American living in London, wrote:

Not sure if he reason is tax related, but I will say this…I’m not starting a company abroad without renouncing my US citizenship. I’ve been living in and out of the US for the last 4 years now and the fact that we get taxed when we are outside of the country is ludicrous to say the least. Are we really that arrogant?

mahmud (a Somali by background who used to live in Virginia but then moved to Australia) also posts a series of interesting comments, starting with:

As someone who holds three nationalities, and is 2 years away from a fourth: I look forward to the day I hold none. Beligerence of the “State” knows no bounds, I hope we can free ourselves from this regressive construct and, once again, live in this world judged by our own merit and character, beholden to none …

He then counters the common Homeland myth that American citizens living abroad get “free evacuations” and that’s why it’s so great to hold on to a U.S. passport and keep paying taxes:

The U.S. embassy has evacuated my family and we’re still paying for it. It’s not free. We could have hired a private militia and escaped to safety for 5% of what we paid the state department … Somalia 1991. [two-digit]k per person. Do the math. (I need to ask the family, I remember it being more than 30k).

For those of you who are interested in this issue, Lisa also has an interesting comment about her experience as a Swedish and American dual citizen in Egypt during the evacuations in 2011, contrasting the actions of the governments of each of her passport countries. As for mahmud, he sadly concludes:

I can’t afford not to be a U.S. citizen. I’m a non-millionaire atheist black man with a Muslim name and an American accent. My kind don’t last long in the wilderness, I will be traded by intel agencies like a baseball card.

woe (a new user who joined specifically to comment on that post) left a number of comments, including:

We can only speculate about *** but generally speaking, for a US national residing overseas who will never go to the US, holding US citizenship is more trouble than it’s worth. Look at my daughter. She was born in Europe with three nationalities, including American. Say, for the sake of argument, she spends her entire life in Europe. She will nevertheless be expected to file a tax return with the IRS every year, to possibly pay US taxes, and to file an FBAR every year should she have more than US$10,000 in the bank.

At the moment the requirement to pay US taxes generally only kicks in if your income exceeds certain thresholds, but given the lack of esteem Congress has for overseas US nationals I would not be surprised if the rules governing this became more onerous … These requirements are simply unconscionable for somebody who has never received and will never receive any services from the US government. And yet they will be imposed on her, unless she takes concrete action when she turns 18 to renounce her American citizenship – because she has US nationality, whether she likes it or not, along with the insane obligations that come with it.

and:

US tax practice incents every permanent expatriate to drop their citizenship, regardless of net worth.

Every year around this time I stare at a stack of tax paperwork and contemplate the hours out of my life I’m about to lose to end up with a tax return that ends with “0” on the bottom line and I get sorely tempted. Every year I also wonder if it’s going to be the last with “0” on the bottom line. The foreign earned income exclusion this year is $95,100. My salary’s higher than that. So far I’m always managed to make up the difference on the foreign housing exclusion, but sooner or later I’m probably going to end up being expected to cut a check to Uncle Sam.

Renouncing costs $450. Once my American tax bill hits that amount, that’s probably me making an appointment at the embassy. Let’s be clear: I haven’t set foot in the United States for ten years, and I will never move back. I hold an EU passport. I receive absolutely nothing from the United States. Being forced to file intrusive, time-consuming paperwork every year is bad enough, but having to actually pay taxes would be simply unacceptable.

And finally, the top-rated comment was written by cletus, an Australian living in New York City, who writes:

I can’t think of another developed nation that is quite so overbearing when it comes to foreign income. US citizens who haven’t been in the US for 40 years and work in other countries STILL need to report their income to the IRS (as an Australian who lives and works in the US, Australia doesn’t care about my income as one example). The reporting requirements on tax residents in the US (citizens and non-citizens) is absurd. If I fail to disclose my retirement account in Australia, established well before ever working in the US, the US government can technically imprison me and charge me a penalty of 300% of the value of that retirement account (all in the name of “fighting terrorism”).

What really doesn’t sit well with me is the presumption of criminality that exists in US law (actual and enforced). The presumption of innocence seems to be some kind of anecdote in history. I know I’ll never take up US citizenship. No thanks. I’ll stick with Australia/Britain (dual citizen) thanks. In all honesty the only reason I’m even here is because I want to see it (New York in particular) before it’s gone. The US reminds me of the crumbling, dying days of the Roman Empire.

Unfortunately, a lot of ordinary Hacker News readers weren’t really interested in the story, but came in to start the same old Remocrat vs. Depublican arguments that dominate discussions of renunciation issues on every other mainstream site. There were of course the usual stereotypical Homelander comments opposed to the idea of giving up citizenship:

run4yourlives: Every country has requirements of its citizens. A lot force you to serve in the Armed Forces. The US doesn’t do that. While I agree that the US isn’t as welcoming as it once was and has always had an onerous tax code, for foreigners it is still a huge benefit to work and do business there.

achille2: My parents sacrificed an incredible deal to come to the US. For the life of me I can’t comprehend why someone would do this. Loss of citizenship is permanent. Your kids lose it as well. Why would *** would do this to his kids.

noahc: My understanding is that ~1M a year isn’t enough to justify most people loosing their US citizenship over. However, *** isn’t exactly most people. My general sense on the issue is that money, in particular taxes, is something *** worries about.

And as cletus also points out, the story was not very heavily upvoted (only 70 upvotes, against 159 comments), and appears to have been down-modded off the front page — maybe by the people who don’t like to hear any news that the U.S. isn’t the greatest country in the world, but more likely by the people who came in and saw the usual bunch of raging idiots getting into another fight about taxes in general rather than staying on the specific topic of renunciation. Regardless, anti-emigrant sentiment is especially strong in the tech sector, where U.S. venture capitalists — who have significant trouble investing in non-U.S. ventures — try to make up for their U.S.-imposed tax handicap by instead convincing every ambitious techie that Silicon Valley is the only place in the world you could possibly want to do a startup, and if you don’t move there then clearly there’s something wrong with you.

Incidentally, while looking at an earlier Federal Register list I came across a name matching that of another famous tech guy — one who is well known to have started a new venture outside of the U.S. recently after a number of years living abroad. (Edit: to be clear, again I’m not talking about Saverin). If he did not renounce but instead remains a U.S. citizen, his new venture would be a Controlled Foreign Corporation, with all the negative implications that will have for his business partners. I’m reasonably sure the renunciant listed is him and not another guy by the same name: a name matching his wife’s name is listed in the same quarter, and neither name is very common. I don’t think I’ll mention his name publicly right now; it may be better just to leave him and his kids in peace. (Maybe I’ll e-mail and ask him, though he’s famous enough that he might never see my email).

It’s too bad, because his story is another strong counterexample to the pervasive American myth that the only land of opportunity for technology entrepreneurs is the Bay Area. But I’m sure there will be other counterexamples as well in the future, from people who are more willing to go public with their stories.

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59 thoughts on “Technology entrepreneurs giving up U.S. citizenship? A U.S. tech startup webforum reacts to one case

  1. The point that having a US passport in Egypt is proof that the US’s magical evacuation assistance is compensation for all the IRS / FATCA hassle is laughable. Pay any Joe Bloggs enough money and they would’ve flown a plane in and moved people out. If the price was right Richard Branson would’ve come with champagne.

    While the Egyptian situation was volatile and dangerous depending where you were, it was hardly a full fledged warzone. The Rodney King riots in LA probably posed as much danger to some people. It was hardly a scene of war refugees, in torn clothes, hungry, and by virtual of the US passport was lucky enough to cross some magical border for self-preservation. Pppleeaase – In this case the US acted more like a travel agent, providing a service at a price (and pretty bloody expensive as well). That’s it. That’s all there was to it.

    Most bloggers on this site I think the US passport offers very few fringe benefits abroad if any. The level of service reminds me of the embassy scene in the movie Frantic (wind ahead to 55 seconds to watch).

  2. If I had been in Egypt I would have been much better off with my Australian passport than my American one – the Australian government also performed evacuation, but they did it for free.

  3. Eric, tell mahmud I completely agree with him. That’s why the stateless thing doesn’t sound too bad sometimes. (but stateless only for residents that aren’t in complicated situations). That’s toooo funny about the baseball cards! 🙂

    I always thought that the State Department would rescue you for a fee. This is really good to post because this is the #1 benefit that most resident US Citizens claim as a justification for NOT giving up US Citizenship.

    You didn’t say a whole lot about the tech. entrepreneur. I think I saw a news article about this person the other day. Maybe so… Ex-creator of a popular online social site that is living it up in Singapore. Is it this one?

  4. @Gabriel: Amusingly enough, the North Koreans (another country who are famous for taxing some of their overseas citizens) didn’t evacuate any of their nationals either from Libya or from Egypt. They told them to stay put.
    http://www.npr.org/2011/06/15/137192600/north-korea-doesnt-evacuate-its-people-from-libya

    I wonder what the Burmese and the Eritreans did (Burma still taxed overseas Burmese citizens back then. They stopped at the beginning of this year).

    @geeez — “ex-creator of a popular online social site” — maybe him too, though I’m not too sure. The one listed in the Federal Register seems to have a different middle name.
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3944467

    The guy I’m talking about in this post (the second one, I mean) renounced a while ago. He was listed well before this quarter, but seems to have slipped by the media’s notice. Probably because there wasn’t as much attention given to renunciation back then.

  5. @Eric – fabulous post!!

    @all

    The question is not whether a U.S. passport has any value. The question is whether it has value that could possibly be the worth the cost. It most certainly is not worth the cost.

  6. @all- if this is true then it makes a person wonder how U.S. citizenship taxation may in the long run actually undermine national security? If the technilogically savvy and the venture capitalists are finding U.S. citizenship to costly to retain then that will reduce the pool of capable people who are availabe to work on sensitive national security and military development issues.

  7. And, what does someone tech savvy make of the huge information security problems that the IRS is experiencing with identity theft using the very information that taxpayers must disclose to the IRS with their returns? This is INSIDE the US. They want us outside the US to disclose all personal and non-personal bank and asset account identification numbers, balances, the institutions where the assets are held, plus all the usual: SSN, address, and other identifiers etc. So, if those INSIDE the US can’t get help with the theft of their personal identity and tax return information, why are we put even more at risk by having to disclose our account and asset information – for zero taxes owing? Those inside the US have no effective recourse, and the IRS is not responsive in helping them even when it agrees that identity theft has taken place using their return and tax ID – so what recourse would we have? Those outside the US will be putting at risk all their personal and business account information, as well as any other non-personal accounts we report (ex. through power of attorney, treasurer in volunteer positions, workplace accounts).

    See:
    http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/IRS-Social-Security-Tax-Fraud-Identity-Theft-62581-1.html?ET=webcpa:e2474:243968a:&st=email
    ……..”Under current circumstances, it is simply not possible for the IRS both to process legitimate returns rapidly and to combat identity theft effectively.”……

    ….”Olson said she is concerned about the IRS’s ability to develop procedures to promptly assist taxpayers who are victimized by identity theft, in part because of how the IRS has handled a related issue involving fraud by tax return preparers. “The IRS has struggled to unwind the harm done to victims—even when it had plenty of time to develop procedures,” ……..

  8. Could be a client of Phil’s. Phil travels to Singapore a lot although I think this guy is up in a whole different echelon than what Phil deals with.

  9. What character is this guy in the movie. He isn’t the guy with the underage girls drinking beer at the end of movie during the police raid.

  10. And the BBG article already has 62 comments:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-10/entrepreneurs-in-france-flee-from-hollande-s-rejection-of-wealth.html

    edit: oops, wrong link, here’s the right one:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-11/facebook-co-founder-saverin-gives-up-u-s-citizenship-before-ipo.html

    To be blunt this could be PR nightmare for ordinary US Persons abroad. The last time this many high-profile wealthy renunciants came down the pipeline (1996 with the whole Kenneth Dart Belizean consul scandal), we got HIPAA name-and-shame, and the exit tax …

  11. What I want to know is what nationality the entrepreneur now has if he did indeed renounce? I assume that Singapore does not grant nationality after only one year residence and in the link above the entrepreneur describes himself as thoroughly American, implying to me a lack of an EU or other ancestral passport connection. Only other options then are that he is now stateless or got a Dominica or St Kitts and Nevis passport through their investment programmes.

  12. Oh I must have missed that. In the article about moving to Singapore he said he was born in California?

  13. @Don Pomodoro — the one born in California is the guy I was talking about in my original post (the one whose name I’m not mentioning).

    The news about Saverin didn’t come out until just an hour ago, I didn’t know it when I first wrote this post. I’d seen the name in the list but I thought it was probably some other guy.

  14. @Eric

    Oh – Apologies! I completely missed that link in the comments feed. Thanks for clarifying.

  15. Speaking of St. Kitts and Nevis, are there any less expensive passport islands? If I could get one for the price of a car, I’d do it. $250,000 is a little too much IMHO.

  16. @all- The U.S. needs to start thinking of itself like a retailer. Retailers know that for every customer that leaves your establishment because of poor service that that translates into the loss of an exponential number of many more potential customers. This man will spread the news of the U.S. regressive taxation policies amongst the very group of people that the U.S. will need to attract if it is to be competitive.
    There is no better advertiser for your competition than a disgruntled former customer. For the U.S. to attempt to clamp down on renunciation will only make the problem worse and the need to renunciate all that more urgent.

    http://www.customerservicemanager.com/dealing-with-disgruntled-customers.htm

    http://www.deluxeknowledgeexchange.com/KQArticle_KQ32011_TheCustomerServicePayoff.aspx

  17. @geeez: Dominica is the only cheaper straight cash-for-citizenship program. Costs $75k and the whole process takes about a year. All the others have got out of the market. (Tonga and Marshall Islands used to be really popular options in Hong Kong before 1997.) Straight from the government website:
    http://www.dominica.gov.dm/cms/index.php?q=node/678

    There are also “facilitators” who can get you naturalisation in the Dominican Republic for about $20k, The normal Dominican Republic residency requirement for naturalisation is already very short (2 years) and there was no official requirement that you actually lived there, just that you had a residency visa. So facilitators would bring you in once and put you in a hotel to get your initial residency visa, again a year later to renew it, and again a third time to apply for naturalisation (at which point they’d bribe someone to put your application at the top of the pile so it got done faster). It wasn’t blatantly illegal like selling a fake passport, but it wasn’t totally above board either. But apparently they’re clamping down on this now, because actual DR citizens got sick of shady international folks using their passports — it meant that almost every other country in the world made them get visas, even in Latin America.
    http://www.tdvpassports.com/

    Other than that there’s the guys like Vince Cate (an encryption expert) who seems to have straight-up bought a Mozambican passport for $5k and then went and renounced US citizenship:
    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/tech/98/09/cyber/articles/06encrypt.html

  18. HAAHAHHAHAHA the ex-facebook founder wants to invest in Brazilian companies. I think his timing is a bit off. Unless he knows how to do business here, many people are going to siphon a lot of money off him.

    Brazil was only dented by the recession back in 2008, but now 4 years later, consumer demand is starting to dry up. The Government is lowering interest rates (which are sky high) to try to stimulate demand. But many people are already extended as it is. Capital outflows last week were very high. Now is not a good time… but if he wants to give it a whirl, it’s his money.

  19. @ badger who wrote
    And, what does someone tech savvy make of the huge information security problems that the IRS is experiencing with identity theft using the very information that taxpayers must disclose to the IRS with their returns?

    That’s a good point about identity theft. I listed all the key bits of info the FBAR extracts from my husband and realized all anyone might need is his Canadian SIN and his mother’s maiden name to access his bank accounts and THEN I realized that 8938 will collect the same info as FBAR and we’ve always sent a copy of our Notices of Assessment in with our 1040s so our SINs are on file too. Forgive us big brother IRS for we have SINs. (Couldn’t resist that. 😉 ) Anyway that just leaves one identifier left so I’m thinking any less-than-honest employee at the IRS literally has the key to my husband’s Canadian bank accounts. They will never get this info from me though because I feel I must guard my accounts or we could end up living a cold and hungry retirement either via absurd IRS penalties or identity theft. It sounds paranoid I know but just because I’m only thinking it might happen, doesn’t mean it actually won’t happen. Perhaps it even has happened to someone. We can send a FBAR and 8938 in using the most secure mail we can buy but who knows what can be done with that info after it arrives at its destination. If someone would like to assuage my fears, please do so. I’ll admit I don’t think like a thief so I really don’t know if it’s possible to do what I am suggesting and I would like to hear that it would be totally impossible.

  20. @all- I have twice been the victim of identity theft from people in the States. The first time was with regards to a credit card account and this was even though I had never been out of the country let alone anywhere near where the card was used. Thankfully the credit card company caught the transaction and phoned me to see if it was me who was attempting to use it.
    The second time happened after my mother passed away and I had gone to conduct the funeral service. It seems that after she died someone broke into the house and stole all of her checks. The checks had bore the name of my mom, my brother and me. When the checks bounced my brother started receiving phone calls threatening legal action. Thankfully it became easily clear that the checks were being used fraudulently and we were not prosecuted.
    I have absolutely no trust in the IRS’s capability or even willingness to protect our privacy. If you have completed your tax filings and renounced your citizenship it seems to me that the best thing to do is to change the account numbers you believe are most at risk.

  21. @Em: I don’t think you’re paranoid. I think your fears are very valid and real.real

    For non-Canadian Brocks, SIN is Social Insurance Number–like SSN. The US and IRS seem to think we have SINned just by having a SIN–even though many of us have been Canadians for decades–and some for their entire lives.

    About eight years ago, I got called for jury duty in Pennsylvania through a notice sent to me at my parent’s address–which I moved out of decades earlier at age 17. At the time, I thought it was amusing. My mother was 81 then and I was 53, but my mother called the jury duty folks and told them I had lived in Canada for over 30 years. The people she called also thought it was all very strange, but said they would remove my name. Neither I nor my mother heard anything further.

    Now, I wonder if someone in the US has stolen my identity. How else would I get on a jury duty list in a state where I haven’t lived for 45 years?!?

  22. Two discussions about Saverin on Hacker News.
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3960000
    http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3960028

    About the identity theft thing. I try to the extent possible to avoid sending the IRS the same set of data I’ve used with the bank. Obviously you have to tell them the account numbers, but you can make everything else different. For example, the address and phone number on my bank account are my office ones; I put my home address on my IRS forms. My “security question” is not my mother’s maiden name. I do not use my middle name with the IRS. I also make sure to sign my IRS forms with a very different signature than I gave to my bank. I’m not sure how much this actually helps, but maybe it puts a barrier in the way. The IRS also does not know my Hong Kong ID number or my Chinese name; I’ve never sent them my local tax forms, but for others this may be unavoidable.

    Second, even if an identity thief has all your numbers and your signature, they still need to be able to give instructions to your bank. Obviously they can’t do it in person. I told my bank not to accept any transfer instructions from me by phone (this will probably kill me one day when I’m trapped in rural China and desperately need money, but oh well). I suppose an identity thief could still fax a form in. Not sure how to guard against that.

    For avoiding identity theft in the US, it’s possible to put a lock on your credit record so someone cannot apply for loans or anything in your name (because the bank will pull the record for a credit check, and see that it is frozen). I had a bookmark about this somewhere, I’ll go dig it up.

  23. Bonehead Barry should get out more. You can’t force people to keep US citizenship and pay its taxes if they leave. All it means is that the future Facebooks would be developed outside the US and hence not liable to US tax. – wake up.

    If you US has squandered away previous generations accomplishments, well Barry – don’t expect the rest of the world to pay for Congress’s past choices.

    Barry thinks you can build a financial wall around the US and succeed. Let him try.

  24. @ Eric
    Sounds like some pretty good advice. I think we will take some precautions although we don’t have any other names we can use. We stupidly provided our SINs because we were just being honest and wanted to demonstrate to the IRS that ALL our income was reported on the 1040s. It wasn’t necessary and in hindsight we shouldn’t have done that. Live and learn!

  25. @All

    This makes me very worried because his having renounced could cause a huge backlash. All we need are a few more “rich jerks” to renounce for Levin & friends to easily pass whatever they want. I wouldn’t put it past the US to pass a law to retroactively forcibly restore citizenship to renunciants seeing as they’ve already done it before. Maybe the next move will be to lower the exit tax threshold to 600,000 in assets or to just ban renuncation all together. Dying empires tend to lash out violently when all else fails..

  26. @Don Pomodora

    The U.S. is clearly not capable of learning anything. I suspect that we will see in three stages:

    1. Everybody becoming a “covered expatriate”; (meaning they will have to actually pay an exit tax). This will have the effect of accelerating the pace of renunciations because people will believe it will get worse; followed by

    2. Requiring VISAs to leave the U.S.; followed by

    3. A prohibition on renunciations.

    Levin and the boys are living in some kind of alternative universe that presumes that the U.S. is the world.

    Put this comment in a bottle and open the bottle in 25 years.

  27. You know what I’ve noticed from the thousands of comments reacting to this story? Almost everyone critical of him writes without proper punctuation, shouts in capital letters, writes incomprehensible rubbish sprinkled in with profanity or almost seem to be foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog. Most people who “get it” tend to write more than three rambling sentences and painfully try to demonstrate the injustice of the US citizenship-based taxation system. This critical message is being drowned out and we need to be on the defensive.

  28. This guy was born a Brazilian anyway…. our angle should be “Why give people citizenship if they are going to do this?” instead of “rich naturalised guy renounced”.

    Kill the problem at the roots with naturalisation. If the US accepts people to be citizens, they have to deal with the good and the bad.

  29. I’m not going to write either a defense or condemnation of Saverin. Let me just say that from a purely utilitarian perspective, his timing is horrible both for himself and for us. If he had renounced three years ago when he left the US, no one would have noticed (like the other guy whose name I’m not mentioning). He could have done it as soon as he landed, he’s been a Brazilian all along. And Facebook did not have this kind of valuation back then. His tax would have been less and he wouldn’t have been seen as doing it for the IPO. Instead his news comes out almost simultaneously with the IPO. And worse it’s a day after Brian Knowlton’s excellent article, meaning the beneficial publicity from that gets drowned out.

  30. Eric: I’ve spoken to two journalists today; hopefully our story will also see the light. But I agree; Saverin is so high profile that it will drown out the voice us little guys.

  31. @sonpomodoro- you would think that somehow the U.S. is responsible for his very thoughts. No one thinks of the possibility of serendipity being an ingredient. He was just in the right place at the right time. Americans have this idea that human creativity belongs exclusively to America and everyone else is just an American wannabe.
    Way too conceited.

  32. @tim- if that happens then the U.S. would have completed its transformation into becoming the Soviet Union. I wonder if the alternate U.S. will then arise where Russia now is?

  33. @All

    I can’t tell if any publicity good publicity or not. Petros, have you gotten any tv interview requests or is just print and online media so far. Unfortunately while very good the Knowlton article wasn’t getting that much pickup compared to what this thing is getting.

  34. @ tim, Unbelievably there was talk of a TV interview, but I think that time has passed. I am not sure how I would do on TV; I would do it for Isaac Brock, but I have a much better face for radio and phone interviews. The first journalist asked me for photo–but my best recent photo is with Tertia kitty distracting the reader.

  35. @Tim the advantage of NYT is that all the TV editors read the NYT. So our story thus becomes part of the media narrative, and that is extremely important for us.

  36. Well, I can’t see the positive side of this publicity at all. All that people have learnt is that “rich guy renounces citizenship” and “that he had perfect timing to make a huge saving on his tax bill”. There was no mention of FATCA or citizenship-based taxation anywhere, and the article almost reads as if he bailed this week from the US and set up shop in Singapore overnight. 99% of people reading this article will still have no idea that the US taxes outside of its borders or that FATCA exists – They will only see this, in their eyes, ungrateful playboy billionaire and demand for blood from the political classes. I imagine that Levin & Co are already brainstorming!

  37. If someone was to go on TV it would probably best for one of the female contributors to do so. If you look at the Federal Register list it is more than half women.

  38. @Petros: glad to hear about the additional press/media coverage in the works. Thank you for being willing to be a public spokesperson and advocate.

  39. @Blaze, You must give Petros the uniform but just for the interview.. wouldn’t that be funny!

  40. My hunch is MSNBC will ignore but Fox News will probably do something. Perhaps on Napolitano’s show.

  41. @Petros. You may have to get an Isaac Brock suit of your own for the future. You could start with the hat?

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