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U2 frontman turned social activist Bono, whose net worth is believed to be around $700 million, called capitalism “amoral,” warning that this “wild beast” may chew up a lot of lives if not “tamed.”
The economic system might have brought many out of poverty but it comes at a cost, the rock icon, whose real name is Paul Hewson, said as he joined business circles at a panel on efforts to eradicate global poverty at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“Capitalism is not immoral – it’s amoral. It requires our instruction,” Bono told the audience on Wednesday, as cited by media. “Capitalism has taken more people out of poverty than any other ‘ism’. But it is a wild beast that, if not tamed, can chew up a lot of people along the way.”
The “amoral” system actually brought Bono huge wealth as his rock band is listed among the world’s highest-paid musicians. In 2018, U2 took the top place in the Forbes rating as it earned some $118 million in that period.
The 58-year-old frontman was once rumored to be a billionaire, but further recalculations showed he has not made it to the club yet. His net worth is estimated at $700 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
While the rock star has earned a reputation for being a social justice and anti-poverty campaigner and is a co-founder of charity One, last year he got into hot water over his tax arrangements. In 2017, the rock champion of the poor was exposed in the Paradise Papers data leak among other stars. The documents claimed that Bono invested in a Lithuanian shopping center through a company based in low-tax Malta. The singer himself has rejected allegations that he is a tax cheat.
In another instance of shielding his assets from the tax office, the rich singer moved the tax residence of his band from his homeland Ireland to the Netherlands, after a cap on artists’ tax exemptions was introduced in 2011. The move triggered some criticism and was marked with a protest, when a huge sign with the message “U pay tax 2?” was displayed at U2’s performance at Glastonbury.