Monday, January 11, 2016

With David Bowie's Passing, "A short history of the Bowie Bond" (and some other stuff)--UPDATED

(Turn and face the stranger)
Don't want to be a richer man

-econ commentator David Bowie

Contrary to one of our 2012 headlines* David Bowie did not cause the Financial Crisis.
But he was open to new ideas. Here's a quick look back, with more after the headline piece:

"Every David Bowie hairstyle from 1964 to 2014"
Via Kottke:
 Bowie Hair
The headliner, from FT Alphaville:
Farewell then, David Bowie. A great musician, artist and (this is a compliment) financial opportunist.
In 1997 he hit upon a wheeze, he would sell the rights to future royalties from his extensive body of work. Securitisation — effectively a loan backed by the future payments — was in its innovation stage, a more innocent time before finance moved onto mass destruction world tours.

Bowie’s was actually the first in a line of “Pullman Bonds”, developed by David Pullman.
David Bowie was thinking of selling his masters and I was working with his business manager at the time and we decided it would be in his better interest to securitise the cash flows instead. So now he still owns the masters, the income from the songs are better than ever, and the investors are happy since the principal has gone down every year because these are self-liquidating bonds, plus they got the 7.9 per cent interest they signed up for
Bowie struck a licensing deal with EMI for his back catalogue giving the group the rights to release 25 Bowie albums from between 1969 and 1990. These included his most popular work – Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Hunky Dory and Let’s Dance – as well as unreleased studio and live recordings. He was guaranteed more than 25 per cent of the royalties from wholesale sales in the US.
Those rights were then securitised, turned into $55m of Bowie Bonds, offering a 7.9 per cent annual coupon. The bonds were “self-liquidating”, meaning the principle declined each year, and the rating agency Moody’s blessed the deal with an investment grade credit rating.

A brief vogue for creative rights allowed James Brown and the Isley brothers to sell similar bonds, and Rod Stewart raised $15m from a loan securitised against his future earnings....MORE
Update: "Climateer Line of the Day: That Time David Bowie Traveled The Length of the Trans-Siberian Before Vladivostok Was Open To Foreigners Edition"
*We first touched on the Bowie Bonds in 2008's "Grid: Lights Out: Five Years On, Is Another Big Blackout Likely?" that actually started out with his thoughts on the electrical grid:

As David Bowie, electrical engineer and financier*, said in TVC15:
In 2009 the focus had changed to "David Bowie’s Role in the Credit Crisis" and by 2012 it was just straight-up clickbait: "How David Bowie Caused the Financial Crisis". (he didn't really)

One of our other Bowie posts, "Sir Mick Jagger: David Bowie is 'kind of weird' (how 'bout Bowie as a Weimar Gigolo?)" included this snippet:
David Bowie's Forgotten, Campy Berlin Gigolo Movie
To attempt any ranking of David Bowie's work in movies on a scale of strangeness seems a fool's errand; there's no computer on earth that can tally up respective curiosity points for playing both Nikola Tesla and Pontius Pilate, Andy Warhol and The Snowman, The Man Who Fell To Earth, and The Man Who Would Be Goblin King. That said, it's difficult to find a Bowie performance more abjectly forgotten—and yet so wonderfully bizarre—than the Weimar-set 1978 black comedy Just a Gigolo. Perhaps, you ponder, it was just a cameo? Nope, he's the star and the rest of the cast is filled out by—get this—Kim Novak, David Hemmings, Curt Jurgens, and Marlene Dietrich (in her last film role). It's also alleged to have been the most expensive film made in Germany until that date. Still not ringing any bells? You're not alone....
With my comment:
...As for me, the whole Isherwood, Caberet thing has about as much appeal as this pic of one of the demi-monde, "Koks Emil" der Kokain-Verkäufer (the cocaine seller), a nasty looking piece of work:
Mr. Bowie would have done well in Wiemar Berlin.

The Real Story Behind the Ricky Gervais/David Bowie Sitcom has both the title story and the duet with Bing Crosby on Little Drummer Boy.

Finally, an out the door tribute to Major Tom, "Rocket Man Chris Hadfield Plays Bowie's Space Oddity Live at the International Space Station":