J. K. Rowling Is No Longer a Billionaire
March 10, 2012, 06:51 PM
J. K. Rowling isn't a billionaire any longer due to the fact that she has given a reported $160 million to various charities and, of course, to her taxes:
The billionaires club has hit J.K. Rowling with a banishing spell. According to the newly updated Forbes Rich List, the Harry Potter author has gone from billionaire to millionaire
(several hundred times over, of course). She apparently broke a few
rules of how to stay rich by giving away a lot of her fortune —
reportedly $160 million of it — to charity and by paying her top-rung
There’s no way that the socially minded
Rowling, who once lived on welfare, gives two Quaffles about her
standing on the list, and no one should shed a tear over a
stratospherically rich woman becoming slightly less so. But I always
liked knowing that an author of imaginative, timeless,
honest-to-goodness books became a billionaire.
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Doubly second V-J; if all the wealthy and companies paid taxes and had some sort of social responsibility then may be the whole world would be a better place for everyone not just the select few. Well done J.K. Rowling. What a great a example to set for others. I am sure she is real worried about not being a billionaire …… not. Nice to know she has not forgotten what it is like to struggle.
LunaLuver: I think this is a case where something “everyone knows” is actually wrong. Jo hasn’t suddenly started paying tax or giving to charity, so I think it more likely that her fortune has always been less than popularly reported.
These lists are generally estimates because they have no access to the true figure, so they work it out based on estimated income, taxes and expenditure which will assume things such as a certain amount of tax avoidance, which Jo has never done. Jo has often been quite quiet about what she gives to charity, so I think her fortune has always been overestimated.
I don’t see how this is a bad thing. I mean honestly, is the exact opposite of bad! I’m very happy for Jo and even happier for the charities she helped :)
The answer to the question of whether or not JKR was ever a billionaire depends on whether you are British or American. In America the word ‘billion’ means a one followed by nine zeroes, or what the British would call a ‘thousand million.’ In the UK a ‘billion’ is a one followed by 12 zeroes, or what Americans would call a ‘trillion.’ Forbes being an American-based magazine undoubtedly has the 1,000,000,000 figure in mind when it characterizes someone as a ‘billionaire.’ And of course, it depends on whether you are counting pounds or dollars.
I fear the old UK billion (which would now be called a trillion) was officially replaced, at least for financial purposes, in 1975, when Denis Healey was the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and our milliard/thousand million became a billion. Some of us have tried to fight a rearguard action, but now I think it’s been comprehensively lost. So I assume they are talking about thousands of millions, and probably dollars.
Echoing V-J and others, I wish that there were more wealthy people like JKR who set an example by not trying to dodge their tax responsibilities. In America especially, I always have to laugh (ruefully) at the Tea Partiers, the Ron Paul supporters and others make such a huge deal over having to pay taxes, as if that were our worst problem. Most Americans have no clue how low our taxes are per capita compared to the rest of the Western democracies.
That should of course be ‘MAKING such a huge deal,’ not ‘make.’
Her new book will put her back in the ‘club’… I do not think she really gives a flying fudge one way or the other!
Good for her. I’m really glad that she donated so much.
What a wonderful example to set. Sadly, alot of others do not see fit to follow suit. Great woman Jo Rowling!
That is really awesome :)
She’s still rich but most importantly, she still has a heart. :)
Yay Jo! You are awesome! You are my hero and role model!
I believe she shows ‘moral fiber’ and merits full marks!