The Money Lion | » celebrity All the latest finance, business, money and legal news Fri, 01 Mar 2023 11:41:22 +0000 en hourly 1 The Money Lion | Why does the US election cost so much? Fri, 28 Sep 2023 13:28:59 +0000 Mark McKinlay Becoming the most powerful man in the world isn’t cheap.And as the race has descended into something resembling a boxing prize fight the costs have only continued to rise.

Despite the fact that there is still weeks to go until the polls open, the butchers bill has already passed the $1 billion mark.

American flag flying

Image by buggolo

The US election cost puts our own General Election to shame, with only a measly £30 million spent on the entire 2010 contest by parties - a staggering 120 times less than our super-sized cousins.

So with the 2008 vote costing $5 billion and the introduction of super-PACs further fuelling the financial fire fight - it is expected that electing the Leader Of The Free World and House Of Congress (both take place on 6th November) will cost the country almost $6 billion.

But what do they actually spend it on?


It’s believed that Democrats and Republicans are investing so much into TV ads they will actually run out of airspace and commercial time to buy in the run up to the elections.

TV, radio and flyering still make up the bread and butter of campaign budget spends and is seen as the way to reach traditional voters. And despite the harsh economic times, it is expected that together the Democrats and Republicans will channel more than half of their war chests into such adverts for the Presidential and Congressional race.

However, whilst the money is astronomical, the amount of personal wealth that the challengers are bringing has also grown - with Barack Obama expected to contirbute $1 billion to the campaign alone through personal donations.

Whether burgeoning ad spending will have a tangible effect on the elections remains debatable. As the saying goes, no party wins in a cash race…

Online Campaigns

A small but rapidly expanding aspect to campaign spend is their social media engagement. A recent survey by the University of California found that a single Facebook message placed during a congressional election could drive an extra 340,000 to the polling station meaning that the potential for the Presidential race is huge.

The 2008 election was described as being the ‘social media election’ but Facebook only had 100 million then and Twitter had barely launched. With Democrats and Republicans both needing to get their base support out as well as attract undecided voters, social media spending could have a crucial role to play in these tight elections.

The ‘Super-PAC’ Effect

A ruling by the US courts legalising super-PACs has resulted in a ‘fight fire with fire’ approach to campaign spending.

These groups are allowed to raise and donate as much money as they want and often run campaigns on behalf of their favoured candidate.

It is believed that they will have contributed over $750 million by the time Election Day rolls around, providing yet more fuel for the cash burning campaigns.

So all-in-all America will spend more than the entire GDP of Malawi on these elections - the most ever. Anywhere. The sobering fact is that last year in the ‘Land Of Opportunity’ they spent $7 billion on crisps alone - so guess everyone’s lucky a potato isn’t running for President.

Do you think the US election is worth the cost?


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The Money Lion | Man U Seeks NYSE Listing Wed, 04 Jul 2023 15:11:55 +0000 Margaret Kay  

Manchester United F.C. has applied to join the New York Stock Exchange, seeking a share sale of $100m (£64m).

The decision comes nearly a year after its plan to raise $1bn on the Singapore stock market, which was approved and later put on hold due to overall market instability.

Source: via Stuart on Pinterest


The club is currently owned by the Glazer family, who hope to use their stock exchange earnings to reduce the club’s £423m debt.

According to this BBC report, analysts see the family’s low IPO share sale figure as a sign of just how burdened the club is with large debts and high interest rates. However, the $100m share sale is thought to be only a ‘placeholder’ and it’s expected that the club is actually seeking to raise a far greater amount down the pipeline.

Now, let’s honour the occasion by watching this clip of Rooney from back in his bald days:

What are your thoughts on Man U’s plans to join the New York Stock Exchange? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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The Money Lion | The Louis CK Business Model - will it stick? Sat, 05 May 2023 07:56:56 +0000 Margaret Kay  

Last Decemeber, comedian Louis CK sold his self-produced special Live at the Beacon Theatre online from his own website for $5. Though this may not seem particularly revolutionary, it was.

louis ck

Image by Kelly via Wikimedia Commons

Louis has explained this endeavor as an experiment, saying:

“The experiment was: if I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?”

Well, Louis ended up making $1 million in the first two weeks of sales. Incredible! After all, it wasn’t too long ago that Louis was entertaining audiences with his money woes.

In the wake of Louis’ success, other comics like Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan have follwed suit, selling their own self-produced specials via their websites rather than putting them in the hands of a television network or an online steaming company.

Louis CK’s business model may seem a bit obvious. When I first heard about his success, I was  surprised that no one had thought to do it like this before. But even though it may seem so simple now, the decision to forgo the usual business model was actually a major risk. Louis CK explained the risks on his website:

“The risks were thus: every new generation of material I create is my income, it’s like a farmer’s annual crop. The time and effort on my part was far more than if I’d done it with a big company. If I’d done it with a big company, I would have a guarantee of a sizable fee, as opposed to this way, where I’m actually investing my own money. “

So, the trick to this method is that it requires saying ‘no’ to guarenteed money. Instead, you must back yourself to be able to bring in sales. It’s risky. It takes chutzpah. Do I think it will stick around? Yes.

A decade ago, this business model may not have been feasible. But with the power celebs and entertainers now have to communicate directly with their fans (yep, social media. you guessed it.), it’s clearly the way forward.

What do you think of Louis CK’s business model? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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The Money Lion | Outrageous things celebrities insure Mon, 02 Apr 2023 09:04:30 +0000 Katelyn Chisholm  

Celebrities are known for their crazy antics and wild money-spending habits.

Are we really surprised to find out that there is also a list of celebrities who invest in outrageously priced insurance policies - on body parts?
I guess it’s logical: if you’re famous for one specific trait or part you’d do anything to ensure that the money still comes in after time and ageing have their say.

We’ve assembled a list of the top 5 celebrities with insurable bits:

Bruce Springsteen


The Boss has a distinguishable voice that has had fans hooked since 1975. Through his defining musical days he obviously recognised the value of his vocal chords to his livelihood and insured his voice for a reported $6 million (US). Should anything happen to his hoarse voice, Springsteen will still be one step up.

J Lo


J-Lo’s booty has been the talk of the town since she appeared on the scene in the 1997 biopic Selena. She rose to celebrity status in the music and dance scene and used her booty to her advantage. Women everywhere have lunged and squatted for days on end trying to mimic the shapely rear-end. J Lo’s behind is insured for a whopping $1 billion.

Dolly Parton

Source: via Grand Ole on Pinterest


We can all guess what Dolly has had insured and you’d be right to assume the obvious. This lovely and chipper country star has a range of talents and admirers. She has written some of pop’s hottest hits, including Whitney Huston’s I Will Always Love You. She has founded the Imagination Library, a foundation to promote children’s literacy. Her lady parts, which are a distinguishable characteristic of the otherwise tiny star, are insured for $300,000 each.

Tom Jones

Source: via Renee on Pinterest


Tom Jones, the original sexpot, knows what the ladies (of his generation) love: His chest hair. The suave singer, who is now a silver fox, had his chest hair insured for $7 million. We’re not sure about the terms of the insurance payout, but we assume shaving or waxing do not apply.

David Lee Roth

Source: via Shannon on Pinterest


Van Halen’s David Lee Roth was (and maybe is?) a desired icon of fans and groupies everywhere. The cocky rock star not only has the confidence to still wear tight leather trousers, but actually insured his sperm against any possible (likely) paternity suits from backstage groupies. Ew, David Lee Roth, ew.

There’s a high likelihood that these insurance policies come with specific and lengthy fine print terms and conditions. However, if Tom Jones were to unfortunately lose his chest hair, we’d all rest easy knowing that though he’d be hairless at least he’d still be rich.

Do you know of any outrageous insurance policies, celebrity or not? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


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The Money Lion | Warren Buffet Singing, and Other Wacky Rich Guy Gems Mon, 23 Jan 2024 15:12:26 +0000 Margaret Kay  

In one of his trademark expletive-filled rants, comedian Adam Carolla recently discussed how, back in the old days, people used to look up to rich guys.

He said that there was once a day when a kid would see a guy drive by in his Rolls-Royce and the kid’s father would say, “There goes Mr. Jenkins - look up to him. That guy works hard. That guy built a company.” But nowadays, Carolla explains, people look at the rich man and think “Why does he need that car? Let’s go up there are throw a rock at it!”

warren buffett

Image via

While the Ace Man may be making an astute observation about the millennial generation’s propensity for envy and blame-shifting, I must defend our ability to laugh at rich guys. No, I am not advocating being jealous of their success and throwing rocks at their Bentleys, but the truth is that rich guys are often hilarious and laughing at them is OK.

Plus, it seems like rich guys have gotten wackier in recent years. Perhaps it’s just the rise of YouTube that has brought these hilarious individuals into the spotlight, but there definitely seems to be a correlation between being wacky and being wealthy.

Take, for example, US Billionaire Warren Buffet’s serenade to the Chinese people.

The video of Warren Buffet singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” aired yesterday on China’s state-run TV’s New Years gala.

And how about that time that Richard Branson jumped off the Palms Hotel in Vegas? Brilliant.

Russian oligarchs aren’t immune from the rich-guy-wackiness syndrome either, and in some cases it even leads to violence.

Of course, a wacky rich guy blog post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of  London mayor Boris Johnson, whose ridiculousness is exemplified by his amazing head-first tackle in a charity football match.

What do you think of society’s view of the wealthy? Who’s your favourite wacky rich guy? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.


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The Money Lion | How hard is it to spend a footballer’s salary? Mon, 28 Nov 2023 10:36:54 +0000 Tim Chow £50 notes

Image Via Images Money

We all know that top footballers have earnings that not only border on the ridiculous, but go crashing through the check-point into the land of the ludicrous.

Cameroon superstar Samuel Eto’o ‘earns’ a reported £300,000 a week playing for billionaire funded Russian outfit Anzhi Makhacakala. If you were on a footballer’s salary, wouldn’t you run out of things to buy?

There are only so many flash cars and bling you can buy. It’s clear Wayne Rooney faces the same dilemma. His next investment went on…wait for it… a shed.

But this isn’t any old shed. He’s only gone and hired an award winning team of architects to design one for the back of his £4 million mansion. It may seem like an odd request for the crack team of architects who are more accustomed to designing shopping centres and residential homes.

This is a good example of footballers receiving so much money they don’t know what to do with it, but Mario Balotelli trumps them all I think.

For instance, it was suggested he had received parking fines worth around £10,000. Forever parking his Maserati on double yellow lines on the streets of Manchester, the car was impounded 27 times. He’s now hired a £3,000 a week chauffeur who works for him full time.

Elsewhere, he was once pulled over by police while having £25,000 in cash on the passenger seat. Asked why he had so much money, he replied ‘Because I can’. Similarly, when he crashed his car, the police found he had £5,000 in cash in his back pocket. When questioned he replied ‘Because I am rich’.

After a successful night where he won £25,000 at the casino, he gave £1,000 of his winnings to a homeless man. Why? Because he had ginger dreadlocks and a beard. Apparently his generosity knows no bounds, often giving £20 notes to Big Issue sellers without taking a magazine. He also handed a mime artist who was performing on the street a £20 tip.

And lastly, his mum asked him to nip out and get an iron, an ironing board and other cleaning products. Her son returned with none of the items from the list his mum provided. But he didn’t come home empty handed. In a five hour trip he returned with a large trampoline, a Scalextric set, two Vespa scooters and a table tennis set.

Who said footballers are overpaid?

Are footballers overpaid? Tell us in the comments section below.


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The Money Lion | eBay Celebrity brings you closer to the stars Mon, 14 Nov 2023 14:26:25 +0000 Tim Chow eBay

Image Via Ryan Fanshaw

Just in time for the Christmas gift giving season, eBay have come up with a stellar idea combining celebrities and charity auctions. Yes, the ‘better to give than receive’ notion is slowly creeping up on us again as we make a list of things we want and what to give others. With this new concept from eBay, I think we’ll all be hoping we receive rather than give.

The world’s largest online marketplace has launched eBay Celebrity. It’s part of the online giant’s eBay Giving Works program that has already raised millions this year by selling Limited edition Nike Mag trainers, the proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

The concept follows a similar principle. Celebrities will sell exclusive items and the money raised will go to a charity of the celebrity’s choice. There’s a whole host of charities taking part including American Red Cross, No Kid Hungry and The Whaleman Foundation.

Each celebrity has their own page where they can post updates. So far there are a number of A-list names stars such as Katy Perry, Brad Pitt and Robert Duvall have all contributing to the scheme. So you could be receiving Katy’s dress, meeting Brad or even getting a private workshop with Robert!

There are more celebrities expected to join the list but no details of which stars has been yet. eBay have said they will not be taking a percentage of the money raised. I think it’s a terrific idea especially if it means getting an exclusive item or meeting your icon.

Do you think this is a good program? Which celebrity would you most like to see join? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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The Money Lion | Why Always Me? - ‘Super Mario’ the new David Beckham? Fri, 28 Oct 2023 15:40:23 +0000 Tim Chow Despite winning against arch rivals Man Utd almost a week ago, Man City fans can celebrate in style. The 6-1 score line wasn’t the only talking point from the game. A certain Mr Balotelli again grabbed the headlines, this time with a message on his t-shirt of all things.

Super Mario Why Always Me t-shirt

Image Via The Independent

‘Super Mario’ scored the first goal of the game as he calmly slotted the ball home and had a celebration to match. He revealed a message that read ‘Why Always Me?’. It wasn’t before long #whyalwaysme? began trending on Twitter.

Although Man City have a ton of money to spend, they’re still a business and can see an opportunity to make some pocket money. They’ve decided to make an official t-shirt to cash in on the incident. The official kit makers Umbro have also jumped on the bandwagon amongst numerous websites. The Umbro limited edition t-shirt sold out by late afternoon, showing the potential of the controversial Italian striker.

At the first game since the infamous derby win, scores of Man City fans could proudly be seen donning replica shirts. With Carlos Tevez receiving a cool £200,000 a week, how else are they going to pay the extravagant wages?

It’s not the first time a replica t-shirt has been made in his honour. When asked to where a ‘I love MCR’ shirt, he added ‘City’. It seems his fashion statements generate a large amount of media coverage – a marketers dream.

Super Mario and chicken hat

Image Via The Telegraph

It poses the question, could Mario Balotelli be a sponsor’s dream? Is he the next David Beckham? Is a clothing label on the cards? Maybe not, he once sported a ridiculous chicken hat. However, it did get people talking, not only in football circles but on fashion websites too. It prompted 48 pages on the subject and some companies did make replicas.

There must be a company willing to take a punt and exploit the amount of attention he gets, whether it’s good or bad.

For example, this year he is the face of a fireworks safety campaign after the media covered the story of him setting of fireworks from his bathroom window, in the process creating a fire in his home. The campaign gained more coverage as journalists reported on this too.

Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing any more on field t-shirt antics, Mario suggests, as he would get booked every game for lifting his shirt to reveal a message. Sad really, I was looking forward to more grammatically incorrect slogans from the unpredictable Mr. Balotelli.

Do you think he could be the next David Beckham? Tell us in the comments section below.

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The Money Lion | The Young Apprentice Returns Tue, 18 Oct 2023 12:49:51 +0000 Andrew Moir

You're Fired (Image via 28misguidedsouls)

Is there any more endearing quality in a child than a desire to make money? Awww, look he sold puppy to the butcher for a quid - too sweet. That’s why it’s so great to see The Young Apprentice back on TV.

The name has changed (it was The Junior Apprentice last time)  but the format remains the same. Eleven upwardly mobile teens, from different backgrounds of course, split into teams to perform a series of contrived enterprise tasks while talking in a special language known only to people in management. If they win they get a £25,000 fund tailor-made to kick-start a business career. Plus all the exposure of having most of the country shouting abuse as you as you dither about on the screen.

Lord Alan Sugar plays Fagan,  giving these two London gangs money-making tasks with each member hoping that they don’t end up being Oliver - did that kid ever bring home the goods or was he too busy singing? Arts don’t make money therefore have no value, get a grip and a trading portfolio Oliver!

If you get a kick from egotistical, self-involved, profit-obsessed adults vying for power and backstabbing on the original show then imagine how amazing  it is to see young people do the same. Just like Muppet Babies was so much better than The Muppet Show.

It’s easy to sneer but these 16 and 17 year olds show great initiative. How many can say that they knew what they wanted to be when they were that age? Most teenagers are too busy discovering that listening to loud music and drinking alcohol is fun while alienating all around them (not really but the teenage journalism cliche dictates this must be written, sorry kids).

So it’s admirable that these youngsters have looked at the world, decided laziness and lack of focus is not for them and to go out and make the most of it. While their peers will spend a lifetime unable to pay off the massive debt incurred in gaining a degree, these Apprentice candidates will probably be retired by 40. And it’s all because they spent their childhoods with no friends.

Tonight’s show sees the boys take on the girls in a challenge to create a new frozen treat - an ice cream, sorbet or frozen yogurt - and then sell them to the public. Does anyone know where the profit from these tasks goes? Probably to something worthy, but it’s nice think Lord Sugar, Nick and Karen will sit eating the ice cream treats counting the money the young entrepreneurs brought them.

The show will air from 24 October at 9pm on BBC1 and run for 8 episodes.

Here’s a clip of one of last year’s candidates crying when she gets fired. Happy now?

Are you looking forward to see these young people succeed at business? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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The Money Lion | The $39,000 rucksack Tue, 04 Oct 2023 12:50:10 +0000 Kim Hutton When Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen first hit our screens when they were just 1 year old in 1987, it was impossible to judge just how popular they would become as they grew up. While they have taken a step back from acting , the 25 year old twins are now authorities in the fashion world.

Image via Daily Mail

The girls are so popular  they have even managed to launch a label called The Row, with the new accessories line showcasing some beautiful but expensive handbags. The most popular of these is an alligator backpack with a ridiculous price tag of $39,000. The Row accessories range starts at around $4,700 for some of the smaller pieces, with the price tag rising for larger items.

While it may seem insane to pay that much for a backpack, and not a very big one from the looks of it, the bag is actually a bestseller and the twins are finding it hard to keep up with the demand for the item. The backpack was one of the first items to sell out when the new accessories range was launched.

While it may seem like a lot to pay for a bag, fashion critics are calling it a classic bag, and the sort of piece you would carry for you entire life. I’m sure that even if I bought every bag I ever plan to own out of somewhere cheap and nasty, I still wouldn’t end up with a bill of $39,000, but maybe that’s just me?

Do you like the look of the alligator backpack? Would you pay $39,000 for it? Let us know in the comment section.


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