🕺🏻🎸🤑 A US private equity giant is setting up a $1bn fund to buy up pop stars’ back catalogues. Blackstone is joining forces with Merck Mercuriadis, whose music-rights business, Hipgnosis, has spent the past three years building up a $2.2bn portfolio of almost 61,000 songs by everyone from Barry Manilow to Beyoncé.
Mercuriadis says his company has established songs “as an asset class” – and he may be right. Investors are clamouring to get in on the streaming boom, which has transformed an industry that only a decade ago was facing financial ruin because of CD piracy. In December Bob Dylan sold his entire back catalogue of 600 songs to Universal Music Group for a reported $300m. Last month Universal floated on the Amsterdam stock exchange, with a £38bn valuation. The $1bn deal with Blackstone, says Mercuriadis, is “just the start”.
The CEO who’s never asked for a raise
🥤🙅🏻♀️ 💸 Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, has bragged that she has “never, ever, ever asked for a raise”. Even when her subordinates asked her to demand more pay, as their salaries were linked to hers, the 65-year-old refused on the basis that it was “cringeworthy”. In her final year at PepsiCo, she earned a cool £23m. “Isn’t it funny,” says Arwa Mahdawi in The Guardian, “how the only people who think money isn’t important are the ones who have gobs of it?”
Switching jobs can boost your pay
🏃🏻💨 🏢 “They call it the Big Quit,” says Sarah O’Connor in the FT – Americans are moving jobs at the highest rate since the turn of the millennium. That’s good news for the workers: research in the UK has shown that movers enjoy earnings growth of 7.3%, compared to a measly 3% for stayers. It’s also good news for the economy. People who move around typically end up able to better “utilise or advance” their skills – which boosts productivity.
In 2019 Andy Haldane, then the chief economist at the Bank of England, blamed British workers’ reluctance to switch jobs following the financial crisis for a “lost decade” of pay and productivity growth. Boris Johnson wants to create a “high wage, high productivity” economy. Perhaps we can do our bit by quitting our jobs for something better?