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Space Businesses The Almighty Buck

Jeff Bezos Says He Liquidates a $1 Billion of Amazon Stock Every Year To Pay For His Rocket Company Blue Origin (businessinsider.com) 96

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spends a tiny fraction of his net worth to fund Blue Origin, the aerospace company he started in 2000. From a report: For a man worth $127 billion, that tiny fraction amounts to $1 billion a year, which he gets by liquidating Amazon stock, Bezos said at an Axel Springer awards event in Berlin, Germany, hosted by Business Insider's US editor-in-chief, Alyson Shontell. "The only way I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel," he said in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner. "Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune." Bezos said he planned to continue funding the company through that annual tradition long into the future. Bezos famously has numerous projects. He runs Amazon, owns The Washington Post, and is working on turning a mansion in Washington, DC, into a single-family home, to name a few. None of these, he said, are as relevant or as worthy of his money as Blue Origin, which he called "the most important work I'm doing."
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Jeff Bezos Says He Liquidates a $1 Billion of Amazon Stock Every Year To Pay For His Rocket Company Blue Origin

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  • by olsmeister ( 1488789 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @04:51PM (#56509515)
    After the earnings beat announced after market close today, their stock should be flying high tomorrow.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      He could make even more by locking the bathrooms in his warehouses and giving all the employees piss bottles.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Look man, I worked at amazon for 6 years. That's NOT the amazon way. He should lock the bathrooms and install vending machines to SELL piss bottles.
    • ...and is working on turning a mansion in Washington, DC, into a single-family home.

      Is that a really challenging project?

  • Meanwhile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @04:51PM (#56509519)

    Meanwhile, Amazon employees in warehouses are scraping together money to buy their kids a model rocket kit for Christmas.

    Man, I wish I could afford just one of his toys from the summary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alvinrod ( 889928 )
      The problem is that Amazon would have no problem replacing any of those employees, so why should they pay any more than they currently do? People who purchase any good or service purchase at the least expensive price available to them when all else is equal or they don't possess sufficient information to discriminate otherwise, so is it any great leap to assume Amazon would behave otherwise?

      If you think that's some morally repugnant statement or line of reasoning, ask yourself how you feel about illegal
      • No what's repugnant is that Amazon "owns" the ability to single-click purchase things "on the internet." Nobody should be allowed to own that. He is a dipshit terrorist who is using our own legal fictions against us.
      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        Even if all illegals were deported, wages won’t go up. Corporations aren’t going to give workers a raise when that would cut into stock buybacks and executive bonuses. It’s so cute that you fell for the illegal immigration scam as the reason wages have been stagnant since the 80s while CEO pay has outpaced inflation by several magnitudes.

        • Unless they get robots to run their factories, they need to pay people to do those jobs. Labor fallows the laws of supply and demand as assuredly as everything else. Why you think this would be otherwise is beyond me.

          Personally I think the immigration is great, precisely because it does drive down the cost of labor and makes many goods and services less expensive for me. What I think is idiotic is bemoaning the poor wages for unskilled labor while thinking it's okay to let anyone who wants to come in to
          • by Desler ( 1608317 )

            Labor fallows the laws of supply and demand as assuredly as everything else. Why you think this would be otherwise is beyond me.

            Because I can read labor charts? So then explain why wage growth for regular emoyees when indexed against inflation has essentially been flat while CEO pay has gone up 1000% when inflation is taken into account.

            • by Terwin ( 412356 )

              Labor fallows the laws of supply and demand as assuredly as everything else. Why you think this would be otherwise is beyond me.

              Because I can read labor charts? So then explain why wage growth for regular emoyees when indexed against inflation has essentially been flat while CEO pay has gone up 1000% when inflation is taken into account.

              And we all know that employers are not abusing the H1B and other visa programs to increase the labor pool and keep wages low, and no one would ever look the other way as to the work authorization(aka immigration status) of someone who offers to do a job at a lower rate.

            • You're a shill. You know it, I know it; now fuck off.
      • People who purchase any good or service purchase at the least expensive price available to them when all else is equal or they don't possess sufficient information to discriminate otherwise, so is it any great leap to assume Amazon would behave otherwise?

        Sure, which is why we noticed that things like minimum wages and labor laws have to exist. Otherwise, interchangeable cog work goes to desperate people working in slave-like conditions. And if how people are being worked in Amazon fulfillment houses (as

      • so why should they pay any more than they currently do?

        I've thought a lot like that, but now I feel that pay should be tied closer to the value that the employer gets out of the employee.

        Let's say that the employee is paid $15, and the employer get $17 of value out of the employee. That seems fair enough. But what if the employer gets 2x value out of the employee? 3x? 4x? 20x? 100x? What would correct for an employer taking advantage of the situation? Their capital has been sunk, the employers have already earned a return on their investment, why not let employ

      • by pots ( 5047349 )
        I'm confused by your comment. Are you suggesting that it would be difficult to replace Bezos? What is it that he does that's so unique?
        • Are you suggesting that it would be difficult to replace Bezos? What is it that he does that's so unique?

          He owns a large chunk of stock.. That does make him unique in that he gets a large vote as to who gets his job.

        • I am not commenting on the notion that some people can effort private rockets and some cannot food, however Bezos is unique in that:
          - he created the Amazon corporation selling books online, when books sales were falling down and nobody else thought it was a good idea
          - also cloud computing practically started to matter because of Amazon
          - also electronic book readers

          Lets also not forget, that most of the people having money buy 100th Ferrari, or yet another luxury yacht or cover their toilets with gold a
      • Hmm I see that you are discussing a topic completely unrelated to the agenda that I want to push. ”It generally turns out” that I can shoehorn illegal immigration into unrelated discussions.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        The fact that people that have no problem withh illegal immigration also have an issue with poor wages is normal and logical.
        They want ALL people to have a good life. Not just the rich. Not just the people of one country. All people.

        I would want my neighbor on one side to be as happy as my neighbor on the other side, regardless of any random line in the sand.

        So instead of thinking employer, legal employee, illegal employee, they think Human being, human being, human being. Yes, even the CEO should have a ha

      • Wait wait wait. Why are we totally excusing private companies who employ that illegal labor? They're paying FAR below market wage and often illegally below the minimum wage line. Why is it, whenever illegal immigration is mentioned, that blame never seems to get assigned to companies by Free Market Capitalists? Perhaps the poor wages issue is entirely solvable by shuttering companies who use illegal labor, seizing all of their assets, the assets of all company executives, mandatory jail time for all mid-exe
      • The problem is that Amazon would have no problem replacing any of those employees, so why should they pay any more than they currently do?
        Because it is immoral?

        The whole country where such things even can happen: jobs below the line what you need to feed a small family, that is immoral. And to stick into your face: a waiting fuse for the next revolution/civil war.

    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @06:40PM (#56510151) Homepage Journal

      When I buy stuff, I tend to usually go with the cheapest supplier. If Newegg has something for $10 less than Amazon, then I'm more likely to order from Newegg. If Amazon is cheaper, then I'm more likely to order from Amazon. (Batching issues (e.g. shipping cost) complicate things a little, of course, but it basically works like that.)

      I tend to treat local stores like that too. If one grocery store is cheaper than another (for the exact same items -- the catch is that not everything is quite the same), it'll get more attention. (But distance from home or daily commute is a factor.)

      As a shopper, I will definitely replace shops, and though I don't put lots of effort into competitive research (depending on what we're talking about, of course), I will use whatever info comes to my attention. If you raise or lower your prices, I'll probably notice. If I'm at a competing store and I see they're better at something, they might replace my current store.

      Gosh, I wonder. Maybe everybody does that. Even .. Amazon does it? And my local grocery stores, and Costco and Wal-Mart too?

      Everything involves paying somebody. But I guess there's one special type of paying somebody, where you're not supposed to shop around -- where being a cheapskate changes from a virtue to a vice.

      Or maybe shopping around is just a vice in the eyes of some people. I bet those people wouldn't ever buy a disk from Newegg instead of Amazon (or vice versa, depending on which company they're supposed to be "loyal" to) just to save $10, abstaining from shopping-by-price on general principles. Now those people are rich! Probably even richer than Bezos.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Woldscum ( 1267136 )

        Newegg is dead to me. They refuse to collect sales tax and turn over sales info to the state on purchases. Amazon does collect the sales tax. Newegg is a last resort now.

        • Newegg is dead to me. They refuse to collect sales tax and turn over sales info to the state on purchases.

          Uh, of all things, that bothers you?

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Unless you are a tax cheat liar taker, it is a big deal. Amazon collects required tax, which means you don't have to track it.
            If your state charges a use tax/sales tax and you don't properly account for it, you are committing tax fraud. That has serious consequences if you get caught.

            I have enough crap to track, i don't need to be audited because Newegg tells the state I owe $1 in tax on a cable i forgot about. Sure they will accept an honest mistake at the end but i don't want to have to worry about needin

            • Has any individual ever been audited for not declaring Use Tax? I know that it's nominally a requirement, but I know of exactly zero people who actually do so and exactly zero people who have ever been audited because of it.

              • Actually, yes. I know of one state (not naming names but it's small and liberal, just like my cock). Their neighbor state has no sales tax. The state tax dept gets ahold of sales reciepts from big ticket stores just across the border and sends out nasty letters. I don't know the full details (subpoenas? addresses from credit cards?) because I don't live there. But it does happen.
              • by erice ( 13380 )

                Has any individual ever been audited for not declaring Use Tax? I know that it's nominally a requirement, but I know of exactly zero people who actually do so and exactly zero people who have ever been audited because of it.

                Businesses do. Individuals not so much unless their purchases are large. Generally speaking, audits only happen when the suspected fraud is large and the revenue service is likely to win. For most individuals, use tax is just not big enough to trigger an audit. if I were doing other things that were likely to trigger an audit, I would be more concerned about use tax.

          • Yes. An unneeded pain in the ass for income taxes. I will not buy from ANYONE who does not collect sales tax. Newegg just reports a single Gross purchase amount for the calendar year. I then need all invoices to go back and itemize and figure the percentage. Large enough and the state wants quarterly estimated prepayments. Newegg is committing suicide. This is killing the small business guy. Just buy from Amazon and taxes are collected.

            • by houghi ( 78078 )

              We seem to have it so much easier in Europe. You buy something including taxes and you will get a bill that explains how much the taxes are. Makes it a lot easier to compare between countries.

              e.g. sometimes Amazon Germany is cheaper, sometimes the UK and sometimes France.And these for the identical same goods, often even from the identical same supplier.

              As prices include everything, it is easy to compare. That was the main point for the EURO.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If we really believe that as a society, then we should have stronger labor laws. Realistically, Amazon's workers would not be treated remotely as badly if they were allowed to form a union, for example. If you're against unions, we can talk about worker protection laws instead for things like requiring breaks and forbidding employers from penalizing employees from taking them.

        That doesn't mean we shouldn't also shame employers for doing less than the socially acceptable minimum even if it's above the legal

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        I tend to buy stuff from a reliable store closest to where I live. So if there are any problems, one phone call and an irate visit is enough to get the problem fixed within the hour. That is worth between 10% to 20% more to me. Cheap is rarely best and in fact more often than not it is the worst. I would buy from Amazon mainly because it was the only readily accessible supplier. So I might use it to look for products and then see if I could buy it locally and pick it up and whether the higher price is worth

      • Everything involves paying somebody. But I guess there's one special type of paying somebody, where you're not supposed to shop around -- where being a cheapskate changes from a virtue to a vice.

        Shopping around is fine when the playing field is level. When the playing field is tilted dramatically in one direction (e.g. in Amazon's favor), shopping around has undesirable consequences. We're inching toward a situation where Amazon and Walmart are the only retailers left. Nobody else has the scale to be able to compete with them. Setting up a new competitor would require billions in investment to get to the scale to be able to compete with them.

        You might be okay with that, but I intensely dislike havi

      • by Jahta ( 1141213 )

        When I buy stuff, I tend to usually go with the cheapest supplier.

        While that approach is, to a point, understandable, it is also increasingly part of the problem. Basically we live in a world where too many people, as Oscar Wilde said, know "the cost of everything and the value of nothing".

        Retail price wars have led to excessive downward cost pressure all the way along the supply chain; pressure to meet an arbitrary retail sale price, without any regard to the realistic costs of production. The easiest way for companies to square that circle is to slash employee terms and

      • It is a matter of "time".

        If I go shopping, I usually have no plan. I go into a certain grocery store and by what I find attractive. And then I go home (and not to another shop).

        Online I used to buy basically books from Amazon, and one or two machines. I don't frequent other online stores or use "price compare shopping sites".

        The hassle to spent another 10 minutes to set up an account for this or that is to much for me.

        On the other hand, except for books, I don't buy much online anyway.

        In simple words: my ti

  • If he just keeps doing it for a couple of more years, then hopefully, Blue Origin in 2020 will be where SpaceX was earlier this year. Of course, he's also got the ULA to fall back on if the New Glenn doesn't work out as they may need his rocket engine to stay in the game.
  • So heâ(TM)s turning the White House into a single-family home? Now thatâ(TM)s ambitious!
  • Spendy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @05:02PM (#56509589)

    Wow, that's a LOT, SpaceX has said that the total cost for Falcon Heavy development was $500M, he's spending 2x that every year with zero ROI at this point. How can ULA hope to compete with a competitor taking most of the commercial launch market on one hand, and a rocket company with a sugar daddy with that deep of pockets on the other?

    • Re:Spendy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Thursday April 26, 2018 @05:23PM (#56509711) Homepage Journal

      Wow, that's a LOT, SpaceX has said that the total cost for Falcon Heavy development was $500M, he's spending 2x that every year with zero ROI at this point. How can ULA hope to compete with a competitor taking most of the commercial launch market on one hand, and a rocket company with a sugar daddy with that deep of pockets on the other?

      ULA has a much bigger sugar daddy in the form of the federal government.

    • NSA launches of Black Projects.

      Almost every ULA launch is NSA now.

  • Liquidates = Sells

  • Could he not join forces w/ SpaceX? Would it be good or bad overall?

    • Let me help you answer your own question:

      Do you (or would you, assuming this isn't the case for you) like only having the option to buy internet service from a single ISP?
      • If that means the best service at cost, then yes.

        • Ask anyone with and stuck with Comcast if they believe they're getting the best service at cost.
          • My point exactly. Quality of service can vary, it depends on who's giving the service and how much they charge above cost.

            Competition can help raise quality and lower prices but it isn't the only way to do it, and ir's maybe not the best.

    • The only thing Bezos has that SpaceX could use is money. Perhaps in exchange for a $1B payment the BFR can be renamed Amazon Rocket.

  • Puff Piece (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Bezos famously has numerous projects. He runs Amazon, owns The Washington Post, and is working on turning a mansion in Washington, DC, into a single-family home, to name a few.

    "Owning" a business that you do not actually manage is called an investment. In this case, it's an investment into protecting Amazon when the federal government finally decides to separate Amazon and Amazon Web Services (or some other carving of Amazon). Bezos runs Amazon quite well, although clearly by making some pretty one-sided de

  • If you buy AMZN today, you are paying $350 for every $1 of annual profit the company makes. A that rate, it'd take 350 years to make your money back. Good luck!

  • Bezos has been described as a "hyper intelligent alien being with a passing interest in human affairs.".
    I guess he doesn't like it here on Earth and is preparing for his voyage home.

    Or he's gearing up for inter-continental ballistic delivery drones. I'm betting on the trip home.

  • Im sure its not an unlimited amount. Doesn't that also put him at risk of loosing his majority share of the company?

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