Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship prior to IPO

The now-Singaporean Eduardo Saverin

This story has been flooding the airwaves and media: Americans feel defriended over perceived Eduardo Saverin tax dodge. Facebook is having an IPO this week, and in anticipation of his $4 billion windfall, it was reported that Eduardo Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship in order to save on taxes. He’s becoming Singaporean, where he’s surrounded by supermodels and can work on his algorithm to calculate how many Asian girls like Jewish guys. I heard conservative radio talk show host Michael Berry this afternoon using the tax dodge as a means of attacking the United States for its supposedly anti-business tax structure.

I understand that money is important, but something is morally wrong with Saverin’s move. As Mark Cuban tweeted in the article above:

Among them, mogul Mark Cuban who Tweeted a story about Saverin to his more than 1 million followers and added: “This [ticks] me off … If i could realistically stop using facebook, this would be the reason I would. Just wrong.”

According to this article, Saverin was wealthy enough to be unsafe in his native Ecuador, so his family moved him to the U.S. when he was 13.

Case in point, the incredibly ungrateful S.O.B. by the name of Eduardo Saverin. Saverin is child of a wealthy Brazilian businessman. His father was well-enough off in Brazil that young Saverin, at age 13, was on a list of people targeted by Brazilian kidnap gangs, Pando Daily reports.

Seeking safety, Saverin’s father moved the family to the United States. America was willing to take the young boy in, give him a safe home, a home away from kidnap gangs, a home with baseball and apple pie.

Eventually, Saverin wound up at Harvard. His time there wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the United States, for Harvard has long been the beneficiary of not only U.S. dollars, but the best minds America has to offer. One such mind was that of Mark Zuckerberg, an American.

The tax money that Americans pay was used to protect Eduardo Saverin and his family, and the American system allowed him to grow very rich very fast. I think this goes beyond simple patriotism. There’s something wrong when someone takes from America and avoids paying her back.

 

31 thoughts on “Facebook co-founder renounces U.S. citizenship prior to IPO

  1. I got the impression from what I read, that it’s not b/c of him to avoid taxes primarily. It was b/c he couldn’t invest in other countries’ businesses as much as he wanted to vs the U.S. I think he stated that he will still invest in US businesses, but he wanted to do more in Singapore and elsewhere and the US wouldn’t allow it due to regulations.

    Just b/c you are a US Citizen, but you live and do everything elsewhere, you still have to pay taxes so the 50% that don’t pay taxes in the US can still live off the system?
    I don’t think this move has anything to do w/ patriotism. I think it shows how the US wants to keep YOUR money, and wants you keep paying for LIFE. They’re like the British back in the day.

  2. I support his move. The us has the worst and most oppressive tax regime in the world. People who have never even lived in the united states fall victim to the oppressive tax regime. And excuse me but I highly doubt that tax dollars ” protected” him in th united states. He is rich. His own money protected him. O doubt he took anything out of the system that hisA human being family didn’t already put into it.

  3. Linda:

    But isn’t there is a clear money trail between the taxes he pays and what he receives, including the protections he receives while he lives abroad? Sure, 50% may not pay taxes because they make so little, but those who can afford to pay, ought to, don’t you think? It’s why we have a first-class military, police forces, and homeland security. Investment-wise, there are reasons for regulations. I’m not sure why he was disgruntled, but there are reasons for regulations, including embargoes, inability to source, etc.

    MJ,

    It seems that he moved here in part because he was a target for kidnapping. It wasn’t his money that protected him, it was America’s money, which supports the police, the FBI, the legal system, the military, and all the other institutions that make America safe. America makes its money from taxes (and borrowing too, but that’s not really making money, I suppose.) In a sense, he allowed himself to be supported by those who paid it forward, and then he ducked when it was his turn.

  4. There’s something about Facebook and everything about it that is simply very obnoxious. This story proves it further.

    I got rid of Facebook and I don’t miss it. Who needs their reality cluttered with the endless opinions, boasts, insecurities, envies, and banal inanities of a multitude of attention-whoring souls which is what Facebook is all about?

    I got very, very, very tired of keeping track of all the changes they make to it and how that affects your privacy, etc.

    Facebook does not add value to human existence. It is a cheapened, detached, disembodied, and dehumanized version of social relationships.

  5. I doubt that he had his own US police force body guard protecting him when he moved here. ya know, cause there’s so much crime in Harvard……

    Why do the ppl that have any money have to always pay it forward and pay pay pay… and the ones that don’t pay taxes, just get get get and use use use, and whine whine whine, and complain, complain, complain. Most of our police force is used to ….fight crime that taxpayers don’t cause. I know, I’m ranting….but I’m tired of hearing the media hang the rich and uplift the poor. And then hang the immigrants, and uplift “americans.”

    This dude wasn’t even born in the US, yet the US wants him to act like a native and live here FOREVER. Yet, this SAME U.S. country doesn’t want other immigrant kids that have lived here most of their lives and gone to college here, but wait, they aren’t rich? their parents aren’t citizens? shit…..deport them out of this country! I mean, c’mon – this country is out to penalize the rich under this administration. We have tons of immigrant kids attending college and want to PAY IT FORWARD and live and work here and pay taxes, yet ppl want them deported. But the first sign of someone rich that wants to leave the U.S. for good, then we say “you can’t do that!” And we scandalize him.

  6. Gotta love folks like Linda. Anyone brave enough to attempt to parse her convoluted rants would still suffer from the cognitive disonance cause by the clash of both conservative and liberal talking points expressed in the same breath.

    Usually folks who identify with “the rich” and how they deserve less taxes usually DO NOT also spew pro-immigrant whiny rants that seem to support the Dream Act.

    Let me guess. You’re an immigrant who came to the US because of the benefits that it offers. You (or your family) also has economic ties back to the Old Country. Maybe property, investments, or a pile money that would be taxed if the IRS found out or if it needed to cross borders. As a result, you are neither RIGHT nor LEFT but rather combination of self-serving elements from both.

    Therein lies the symptom of the larger problem. Everyone’s just out to game the system to their own advantage, get what they can, and fuck everything else.

  7. I am not an immigrant nor have any economic ties to the mother country. I was born and raised in the US. And I also do support parts of the DREAM act. And I am also a conservative. Is a conservative not allowed to support the DREAM act? and I know I had points from both liberals and conservatives. I was trying to show a point that the liberal MEDIA hangs the rich, whatever they try to do.
    If liberals want more immigrants to be able to access US citizenship, then why give someone a hard time when they want to denounce US citizenship? Do they want everyone in the frickin’ world to be a US citizen?

  8. Facebook supports CISPA and the unlimited sharing of your private information with government and each other’s private corporate security “professionals”.

  9. Linda,

    Mark Cuban is rich (richer than me anyway), and he’s just as horrified as I am. I don’t know if that’s liberal vs. conservative. Michael Berry is a conservative and supports Saverin only because it helps him to make a point, even if it hurts the country or the world (Michael Berry is also pro-global warming).

    I think what most people find distasteful about Saverin is that people don’t like leeches. People feel that he took advantage of the safety that America provides its citizens and then left when his bill was due. Sure, he didn’t have a personal security escort at Harvard, but the American system–the courts, the FBI, the police, even the IRS–created a system of protection that Ecuador couldn’t create. Think about it–if it were easy and cheap to create a stable, safe environment, wouldn’t Ecuador and everyone else do it? This system was built over years of people contributing. Saverin benefited and then fled.

  10. “The country is not over-taxed; in fact, tax rates are near 60 year lows.” -source, http://bonddad.blogspot.com/2012/05/why-keynesian-stimulus-not-supply-side.html

    Saverin is the worst kind of privileged parasite. Everything he has ever received in life is due to a society (world wide) meant to benefit those who “have.” Now he’s set to flee everything he benefitted from because he’s going to be taxed. The kid will still make off with more money than 98% of the world’s population will ever attain. *singletear

    I’m sure the tax breaks he receives are more important than a poor child without health care….(heavy on the sarcasm)

    P.S. THERE IS NO LIBRUL MEDIA. For chrissake, http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-belle/gravitas-nbc-means-kissing-republican

  11. This is a storm in a tea cup, a new five minutes of hate. This is because despite the outrage, people will forget all about this in a few months. They will be pre-occupied with new things. And more importantly, this guy does not represent the more fundamental matters that decides the course of American lives… unless of course “taxing the rich” to feed bloated and opaque government is the new idea.

    Most importantly, Americans will not be able to decide. Their outrage aside, to what extent should the public have to impose on the private affairs and decisions of individuals? To what extent should the public or even government have to dictate an individual’s financial affairs?

    I understand that it is constantly drummed into the middle class that taxes are good and not paying them is bad. But in the business and corporate worlds, not doing what you can to limit your tax exposure (and thus de facto paying less) would be a very stupid thing to do. So are notions of national loyalty, when more money can be made with a global footprint. Saverin does nothing more than embody and personify the ideals of the corporate culture in the flesh.

  12. He may be banned from the US as he should be.
    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/facebook-co-founder-eduardo-saverin-could-banned-ever-155120715.html

    It isn’t magic that in the US companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Ford, P&G, and very long listed are created. Had he been a citizen of many other countries and lived there he would almost never have been now worth 3billion or even 10% of that.

    It is a lie 50% of the people dont pay taxes. Maybe federal. But they pay state and local taxes (sales tax).

  13. ” Saverin was wealthy enough to be unsafe in his native Ecuador, so his family moved him to the U.S. when he was 13.’…………wait, what? if I’m not wrong he is brazilian, he born in Sao Paulo, btw as south american man I know we have our issues with security and violence, but I hope the kidnapping stories not serve as a stigma, there are tons of rich individuals in Brazil and other south american countries enjoying our cities, streets and natural beauty…..last but not least, what is so relevant about this guy in this forum?………ooohh yeah, a white guy who likes asian women (roll eyes)

  14. “what is so relevant about this guy in this forum?………ooohh yeah, a white guy who likes asian women (roll eyes)”

    Usually less attractive men are into Asian women, and that includes many Asian men.

    Yes, there isn’t anything relevant about him in this forum other than the fact that he’s Jewish and successful. Something that Byron likes to harp about; the speil about Jews tramping over Asians when it comes material success and being influential, partly due to their utmost appreciation of the Liberal Arts.

    I think Mr. Saverin would fully utilize his talents in Israel than in Singapore. Instead, he apparently discovered a win win situation because of his alleged liking of Asian women.

  15. Lingyai,

    Agreed.

    BTW, does anyone have any opinion on the Facebook IPO?

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/facebook-raises-16-billion-in-i-p-o/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120518

    “Investors now consider Facebook more stalwart than start-up. At $104 billion, the social network’s market value is higher than those of McDonald’s, Citigroup, Amazon and all but a handful of other American companies.”

    I’m probably wrong, but I don’t get it. I just don’t see where the revenue is coming from. I think it’s a great idea and a great company, and I agree that it has revolutionized communication…but worth more than Amazon? I just don’t see where the money is coming from or how advertisers get real value from advertising on FB. But maybe that’s why I’m not a billionaire. :(

  16. Facebook is a rather open platform for people to download applications and programs that then have access to information that they would normally deem private.

    Facebook is, or was before this, a map of human networks. Before the internet age, this map of human networks and human activities was something that could not be drawn with any accuracy. People could only guess and approximate.

    Now with the ubiquitious use of Facebook, and applications that track and store your every move and action via “cloud computing”, people have in essence allowed themselves to be surveyed twenty four hours a day.

    An individual’s data is not so important. But the data of the individuals within a city, a state, a country, a continent. Software can be used to track and monitor trends and flows of information, public moods, discourses et cetera down to the minute. This is of inesteemable value to corporate interests as well as other interests.

    In my opinion Facebook is just a beta version of what is come. The platform is a very rough proof of concept. It is not tamper-proof. The most moneyed tech investors probably have a technological hierarchy where the next thing is introduced only after the first thing has become well obsolete, with lessons from the first implemented in the next. What is to come next has already been decided.

    As for the millions in bucks supposedly to come from the Facebook IPO, in the world of business perception creates reality. In actual fact only the bigger shareholders in Facebook will have any say in the management. They can do things that the minority shareholders cannot. The minority shareholders are just hopping along for the ride, hoping to share in the windfall.

  17. @bww – what? americans don’t like leeches? hypocrisy. I think the US and Americans have probably done a lot of leeching off other countries, and our own govt as well.
    I think ppl don’t like Saverin b/c he is rich and they are not, and they think rich ppl don’t get the right to save some money as well.
    He is doing things legally and is also doing what every corporation does anyways.

    and if he and his family has already paid taxes while living in the US, isn’t that good enough for the “protection” the US offered him? He shouldn’t be made to pay for this “protection” for the rest of his life after he stops using it. It’s not like US citizenship is like a gym membership. lol…where they make you pay forever and not let you out of your “contract.” OR Verizon….

  18. But if people don’t like Saverin’s actions because he’s rich, how does that explain Mark Cuban (rich) and Chuck Schumer (also rich)?

    I heard Mike Huckabee on the radio today saying that he was glad Saverin made a statement by leaving and that we should think about changing America because we’re clearly at fault. At the end of the day, however, there’s a reason why companies like Google and Facebook start here more often than in other countries, and it has to do with a combination of structures, capital, culture, and educational investment, all of which take money and contributions over years. Sure, taxes are high, but that’s part of the cost of not becoming Ecuador.

    In any case, I agree that what Saverin did is legal. I just don’t respect it from a moral standpoint.

  19. so morally we should have remained British?

    Saverin doesn’t want a vote and doesn’t want to be a US anything…. so why is it morally wrong that he can chose to be a part of another country?

    cuban is rich, i know, but there are rich ppl that want american ppl to like them. I mean, he is on shark tank and obviously likes some fame. so I think Cuban would do whatever to keep the American ppl thinking he’s one of those “cool rich white guys.” And then there are rich ppl that would like to live their lives how they see fit and proper, regardless of the popularity vote. I think it is morally wrong to say he is not allowed and shouldn’t want to denounce his citizenship, especially since he, nor his family, is not originally from here.

  20. Linda,

    First…are you saying Mark Cuban isn’t being genuine? That he really is saying that just for fame? I mean, sure, he’s in the fame biz, with all the media projects (including Shark Tank). But when it comes to opposing a system that encourages extreme inequality, there are lots of rich guys who do that. Look at Warren Buffett with income tax reform, or Buffett and Gates with estate tax reform, or Nick Hanauer:

    Second, here’s the “moral wrong” that I’m talking about:

    We don’t live in a “pay per play” society. If I don’t have kids, I still have to pay property taxes to subsidize other kids’ education. If I don’t ever visit Yosemite, my tax dollars fund its upkeep. If I had been alive when Kennedy sent people into space, I would have subsidized that, even though I didn’t get to go to space.

    The American system is very much pro-rich, which is one reason why people move here–to get rich. Savarin wouldn’t have gotten to where he is today, had he stayed in Ecuador or moved to Singapore for college. I think it’s reasonable to expect a person to give back to the society that helped make him his money. It may be legal to take one’s money and run, but I don’t see it as moral. It’s biting the hand that fed you.

    Do you see what I’m saying? An action doesn’t have to be illegal to be immoral. Nor should citizenship be a tool for pure self-aggrandizement. (The book I reviewed today doesn’t talk about Saverin, but the topic is relevant.)

    Tuks,

    Thanks for the info. A definitely busy week for them. They actually make an attractive couple. Congrats to them.

  21. He’s originally from Brazil and not from Ecuador.

    In terms of the immorality issue, what’s wrong with him leaving the country so he can pay less taxes? US Corporations have been setting up shops overseas so they can pay less in taxes and save money in expenses by paying third world living wages. Further, they take away jobs from Americans. And yes, they were built on American soil. Why aren’t people upset at these mega companies for the country’s undoing, yet ponder if Mr. Saverin is a petty thief when he leaves for Singapore ?

    As a tax guy, I can safely say that he will not be evading taxes. It’s not like he’s a crook leaving the country without paying a dime. He will have to pay something known as a departing alien tax or what some call an “exit” tax. Then as of tax year 2012, he needs to file a final tax return and pay money on the capital gains earned from his stocks, and this is because he’s been here for at least 183 days in a consecutive 3 year period.

  22. “Usually less attractive men are into Asian women, and that includes many Asian men.”

    so what? since when you need to be good looking or not to feel attraction to asian women?

    “Yes, there isn’t anything relevant about him in this forum other than the fact that he’s Jewish and successful”.

    not all jews are white, but most of them are whites to my standards, visually speaking this guy is white

    “I think Mr. Saverin would fully utilize his talents in Israel than in Singapore”

    hmmm interesting, placing people according to their ethnic origins, I thought the segregation time was over

    ” Instead, he apparently discovered a win win situation because of his alleged liking of Asian women”.

    lol, money gives you power, if I were rich I would not hesitate to do the same, I also would go to Asia

  23. “not all jews are white, but most of them are whites to my standards, visually speaking this guy is white”

    Ok, what’s your point on this one?

    “so what? since when you need to be good looking or not to feel attraction to asian women?”

    Not a requirement, but my observations has led me to conclude that good looking White men usually don’t dig Asian women. Good looking Asian men would also have more opportunities in dating with the rainbow than to stick with the run of the mill Asian women.

    For him to leave for Israel makes a lot more sense. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Israel a tech/startup powerhouse? The same could not be said of Singapore. The fact that he’s a Jewish, Israel seems more suitable for him both culturally and professionally.

  24. Chr:

    Point taken on Brazil–not sure how I got that mixed up. I’ll change the OP. Thanks.

    He won’t evade all taxes, but he’ll avoid a lot of them. According to the Washington Post and Bloomberg, he’ll save 67 million.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/facebooks-eduardo-saverin-saves-67-million-in-tax-by-leaving-us/2012/05/17/gIQAtj1SWU_story.html?tid=pm_business_pop

    “Why aren’t people upset at these mega companies for the country’s undoing, yet ponder if Mr. Saverin is a petty thief when he leaves for Singapore ?”

    People ARE upset at mega companies, Chr! But it’s one thing to be upset at corporations which are non-living entities whose fiduciary commitment is to shareholders, vs. being upset at an individual who benefited from U.S. citizenship and then fled for his own enrichment.

  25. rich individuals have to get upset at Saverin. It just makes them look bad too.

  26. Curious about Chr.. comments

    “Usually less attractive men are into Asian women.”

    So does this mean that less attractive women are into Asian men?

    Or does it only apply to Asian women?

  27. To Chr.

    when I said: “not all jews are white, but most of them are whites to my standards, visually speaking this guy is white”……I don’t know if I get confused but I thought you were infering that jews are not whites given that you said: “Yes, there isn’t anything relevant about him in this forum other than the fact that he’s JEWISH and successful”…………………you quoted “JEWISH” as if they were a race apart, that’s what I understood.

    second, you said: “Not a requirement, but my observations has led me to conclude that good looking White men usually don’t dig Asian women.’…………….according my observations that’s not true, I know plenty good looking white men who go for asian women, besides I don’t think appareance is relevant in this situation, I mean, is bad or good be ugly or not and be attracted to asian women?, why you make emphasis on masculine beauty?, and I’m not surprised if “Good looking Asian men” would also have more opportunities in dating with the rainbow given that ALL good-looking men, have more chances getting women than “ugly”or “average” guys, that’s not rocket science dude, that situation is common in individuals of all races.

    “For him to leave for Israel makes a lot more sense. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Israel a tech/startup powerhouse? The same could not be said of Singapore. The fact that he’s a Jewish, Israel seems more suitable for him both culturally and professionally.”

    Dude if I were a black man interested in mineral oils, would I go to Nigeria or Angola to reinforce my professional and cultural interests? why not Alaska, Texas, Ukraine, Brazil, or Colombia?, besides you already know that technology changes everyday and Singapore is an node in that regard, so I think he is well located, I don’t understand your tribalist vision on this issue, but I see you are upset because he is a non-asian guy who is rich and have interests on asian women, dude, if he has the power to travel around the world and get asian women, what is the problem?, ok ok, he has asian fetish, and you are a little worried for that, but it is what it is, there are white guys with asian fetish but not all white guys who are dating asian girls have fetish for them, is just the reality and you have to learn to deal with it, don’t accept b.s against asian guys, or misconceptions about asian women, but don’t attack people for this, you must to be open minded and understand that there are also grayscales in this reality, not all is black and white or north and south, don’t go to extremes, I know plenty of asian women who have dated white guys all their life and end up marrying Asian men……..so, this is a long disscusion

  28. Pingback: Chuck Schumer, a hero for patriotism on this Memorial Day | bigWOWO

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