Eduardo Saverin, American Hero

Petros, in view of your latest post below, I hope you take some comfort from the fact that there are many people, including those with access to public pulpits like Forbes, who are on your side.    Today at Forbes, John Tammy writes (De-Friending The U.S., Facebook’s Eduardo Saverin Is An American Hero; emphasis mine):

Saverin’s essential maneuver will at first glance hopefully get Americans thinking once again about our wrongheaded system of taxation.  As it stands now, Americans, through taxes levied on income and capital gains, are explicitly forced to “prove” their income to the IRS.

Think about the above for a moment. A nation founded on skepticism about politicians and government now has as one of its most powerful institutions a revenue agency meant to badger its citizens about how much they owe a government utterly contemptuous of constitutional limits.  To this insatiable beast, Saverin is apparently saying no. Good for him!

Read the whole article.

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16 thoughts on “Eduardo Saverin, American Hero

  1. when a government shameless takes on immigrants retirement savings — any method of avoiding being rip off is a noble action, my hats off !

  2. Great find, Ladyhawk. Thank for posting something that tells the other side of the story in such firm language.

    Does anyone know if Eduardo is married? Oh well, he’s too young for me.

  3. You know, I completely support Eduardo’s decision… however, I know that he will be used to hold the rest of us moderate income folks up as tax evaders. It’s too bad that those with a more mainstream income bracket can’t get this kind of publicity. It saddens me to be accused of dishonorable intentions in my relinquishment when it is I who has been betrayed, not the other way around.

  4. Could FATCA and it’s resulting restrictions cause more rich people to renounce US citizenship? I found the following excerpt from the above linked to article the most interesting part:

    Saverin maintains that his renunciation of American citizenship, which actually took place last September, wasn’t a ploy to skip out on American taxes, but rather an attempt to free himself from burdensome restrictions on American investors abroad. “U.S. citizens are severely restricted as to what they can invest in and where they can maintain accounts,” the Wall Street Journal quotes a spokesman for Saverin saying. “Many foreign funds and banks won’t accept Americans. This was a financial rather than a tax motive.”

    What if Eduardo Saverin is just the beginning of the exodus of rich people who find they have to renounce US citizenship not to avoid US taxes but so that they can invest freely in emerging markets.

  5. And the geniuses in the Democrat controlled Congress that passed FATCA said it wouldn’t cost anything because all the costs would be borne by the foreign banks. They thought they’d come up with the most brilliant plan ever getting other countries to pay the cost of collecting taxes for the IRS.

    This Eduardo is the real genius. He’s grabbed the barrel of the gun and pointed it right back at them. He’s saying he’s forced to renounce his US citizenship if he wants to remain a participant in free markets.

  6. @OMG: this could induce others to look at US restrictions on investments and make noises. If a guy this rich is leaving because he can’t invest megabucks where he wants, then he also won’t be investing in the US. And that won’t help Expat4ever’s college grads. Anyone who is capable of seeing past the Dems class warfare rhetoric to the damage being done to the US economy by tax rules will understand that something has to change. Hopefully in November.

  7. Both of the articles emphasize something important that will be missed by the Americans who know nothing other than American.
    The fact that more investment and growth resonates more with the capatalism of American than the whining about tax cheats.

    I commented at Time but don’t have the energy for the endless drivel about how traitorous we are all. Yawn.

  8. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/facebook-co-founder–america-is-ok–it%E2%80%99s-the-rules-that-are-a-pain.html

    Saverin’s high profile (along with others’ such as Terry Gilliam) should be serving to raise awareness of US tax issues. It’s interesting to note how the mass media (as exemplified in the article above) are quick to air critics’ views, including that of the Treasury department, which says they “don’t see evidence of a systemic problem for Americans living abroad arising from FATCA.” Maybe these homeland-based critics should take a look at sites such as the American Citizens Abroad. I see a lot of denial of reality and little hope for reform.

    BTW, of course the Treasury doesn’t see any systemic problems… FATCA hasn’t been implemented yet.

  9. @ Wellington, Until 2008, when the first Obama budget came out, I was pro-US investment. I even lost 70k in a bad real estate deal. But I decided when I saw the first planned deficit of 1.5 trillion, that the time was to short the United States. I’ve been shorting it ever since. In the coming weeks, I may increase my short position more. The reason is that the Bernanke put option is always there to make sure that there is plenty of money out there and that the second Great Depression won’t happen. Instead, Helicopter Ben will bring on the Great Hyperinflation–at least this is my view of what will happen as long as Uncle Ben is in charge of the Fed.

    Uncle Ben is our Friend.
    He gives us money and that ain’t funny.
    So quick buy stocks before it’s too late–
    before the dollar meets its untimely fate.
    It will come to me as no surprise,
    when the greenback meets its demise.

    [disclaimer, this is a poem, not investment advice, please I am not recommending that anyone buy stocks]

  10. Petros,
    The problem is that the other horses in the race are even worse and that helps the USD. Look at Euro. As for the Indian Rupee it lost 22% against the dollar in the last six months. The Chinese RMB is pretty much pegged to USD. Since there does not appear to be an alternative fiat, the only other bench mark is gold. However Gold can be confiscated by an executive order if situations come to that point. I cannot but wonder how with repeated deficits of trillion dollar plus and a weak economy can still keep the dollar as a reserve currency and relatively stronger than the other currencies. Not sure how the canadian currency is doing?

  11. Desi, You’re right. That’s is the premise of Zero Hedge–there is no way to protect oneself.

    The CDN dollar, the loonie, suffers from zero percent interest rates in an effort to maintain parity with the greenback. This policy has had a detrimental effect on seniors’ ability to live off their savings and has caused a real estate bubble throughout most of the country, not least of all Toronto and Vancouver (though foreign investment has been a great stimulus as well).

  12. Also what I don’t like about the media spin is the constant, “oh, he’s saving taxes by renouncing.” You hardly see stories about dual-citizen middle-aged mothers getting their pensions ripped off by the IRS (I personally know a few). The issue tends to be portrayed as rich people getting bigger profits through tax savings when renouncing, and not in terms of human costs.

    In fact, when someone living in a foreign country, for example, finds out they have to give up a big chunk of their hard-earned pension to a far-away government that gives nothing in return, I would go so far as to say it ultimately comes down to being human rights issue.

    How long will it be until someone brings suit against the IRS Commissioner at The Hague?

  13. Another good article in the Economist: Did Eduardo Saverin do anything wrong?.

    Mr Saverin is actually taking a bit of a gamble. This is a bet that his post-IPO shares will be worth more than his pre-IPO shares. There’s a good chance that he’s getting a discount relative to the prospective, immediately post-IPO valuation of his Facebook shares, due to the potential difficulty of offloading privately-held stock. But stocks go down as well as up. Should the value of his Facebook stock decline below the amount at which it has been valued for exit-tax purposes, Mr Saverin may end up having donated handsomely to the Treasury.

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