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The Economy Needs Higher Rates

The Economy Needs Higher Rates

Submitted by The Swarm Blog,

In a RealVision interview, Greenlight capital’s founder David Einhorn recently said:

“I’m not in the transitory-inflation crowd. The private sector is allocating all the…

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The Economy Needs Higher Rates

Submitted by The Swarm Blog,

In a RealVision interview, Greenlight capital’s founder David Einhorn recently said:

“I’m not in the transitory-inflation crowd. The private sector is allocating all the money to the fast-growing software, eating-the-world companies. It’s not allocating money to companies that actually make things and provide other kinds of services that people find less exciting, meaning there are shortages of these things now.”

In fact, after two decades of a downturn in economic activity, it is possible to argue that low interest rates policy has been a failed experiment.

There is no free lunch in economics, meaning that every decision taken by authorities has consequences, even when it comes to supplying cheap money. I have already discussed the negative externalities due to lose monetary policies and infinite bailouts, such as a growing squeeze of working and middle classes (see There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch – Part 1), and capital misallocation (see Part 2).

Those policies are based on the idea that low rates will favor investment decisions and fuel a powerful economic boom, which is a fallacy. Of course, authorities may provide temporary forms of relief when a crisis occurs in order to stabilize the system and to avoid a spiral of defaults. However, such measures should not become the new paradigm, as capitalism is based on the relationship between risk and return. Said differently, interest rates need to be high enough so as to incite wealthy agents to invest in new projects, looking for high returns on equity, and so that they can repeat that again and again on the long run.

Besides, the economy evolves towards a form of punctuated equilibrium, which means that crises should not be treated as “accidents” but rather as structural and necessary events. In other words, the objective of any serious political or monetary authority should not be to avoid downturns at any cost, but to fight distortions and to ensure stability.

Today, we live in countries where what matters the most is to make quick and significant capital gains. People are no longer investing in projects, they are just gambling on markets, willing to be part of the next major vertical move. This means buying stocks of young technology companies with absolutely no balance sheet and selling a vague promise of a killer product, or panic-buying shares of zombie firms with absolutely no future prospect, and let’s not even talk about NFTs.

Even if some people argue that we have entered the so-called “exponential age” where only digital activities would matter, manufacturing remains the lifeblood of an economy. According to Czech-Canadian thinker Vaclav Smil, there is no innovation and no sustainable growth perspectives without a healthy manufacturing sector [1]. And this can only occur in an environment characterized by normalized interest rates.

The economy can survive to higher rates. On the long run, it even needs them. The thing is, everyone is afraid of the consequences of such a move.

Indeed, the corollary of that idea is the necessity for Western countries to solve their debt problem. As long as the debt situation worsens, the economy will continue to evolve towards an ultra-speculative machine that will destroy any serious prospect of creating long-term tangible assets, jeopardizing America and Europe’s chances for the future. Like it or not, but China has taken a reformist turn since 2015.

Unfortunately, I deem such a change very unlikely.

  • First, too many people are being fooled by soaring asset prices. Even in the financial industry, people are convinced that bull runs reflect the fact that the economy is doing well. You would be surprised to find out how many people really believe in the efficient markets hypothesis. Meanwhile, every folk who tries to alert on risks is mocked and called “Cassandra.” Some persons even had the privilege of receiving a visit from the SEC just because of that, as if spreading bearish opinions was a federal crime in some democracies.

  • The second problem is the fact that a worrying number of political leaders are too corrupt to do anything about that. Beyond the case of Fed presidents trading stocks or municipals bonds, everyone should bear in mind that the speaker of the House has been making millions thanks to call options trades. If the people in charge of changing the rules are influenced by market prices, then who is going to push for serious reforms?

  • Last but not least, central banks are trapped as they opened a Pandora’s box in 2020 by adding too much risk to their balance sheet. Indeed, a growing share of the value of major currencies like the dollar or the euro is now backed by risky assets such as corporate bonds (including high yield ETFs). Therefore, the Fed and the ECB must ensure that the market price of those securities never fall, in order to guarantee the value of their currencies. Otherwise, that would mean losing control over the currency. But as capital markets are now conditioned to infinite QE policy, central banks have no choice but to keep expanding their balance sheet to support the value of those assets, meaning that they are forced to buy even more risky things (Janet Yellen once suggested that the Fed should buy stocks), leading to a problematic vicious circle.

Nevertheless, at some point, we will have no choice but to change direction, wishing that this be done with discipline and without malice. Of course, one should expect a significant crisis, given that speculative excesses will not be absorbed smoothly. But everything comes with a price, and the economy really needs higher rates.

If we do not initiate change on our own, then sooner or later our countries will be impacted by even more dramatic events. As Jonathan Tepper conjectured [2], “risk is like energy and cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed.”

* * *

[1] Smil, V. (2013) Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing. MIT Press.

[2] Tepper, J. (2020) "COVID-19 Has Exposed Our Financial Fragility." UnHerd.

Tyler Durden Sat, 10/09/2021 - 16:00

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Problems After COVID-19 Vaccination More Prevalent Among Naturally Immune: Study

Problems After COVID-19 Vaccination More Prevalent Among Naturally Immune: Study

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis…

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Problems After COVID-19 Vaccination More Prevalent Among Naturally Immune: Study

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People who recovered from COVID-19 and received a COVID-19 shot were more likely to suffer adverse reactions, researchers in Europe are reporting.

A medical worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at a vaccination center in Ancenis-Saint-Gereon, France, on Nov. 17, 2021. (Stephane Mahe//Reuters)

Participants in the study were more likely to experience an adverse reaction after vaccination regardless of the type of shot, with one exception, the researchers found.

Across all vaccine brands, people with prior COVID-19 were 2.6 times as likely after dose one to suffer an adverse reaction, according to the new study. Such people are commonly known as having a type of protection known as natural immunity after recovery.

People with previous COVID-19 were also 1.25 times as likely after dose 2 to experience an adverse reaction.

The findings held true across all vaccine types following dose one.

Of the female participants who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, for instance, 82 percent who had COVID-19 previously experienced an adverse reaction after their first dose, compared to 59 percent of females who did not have prior COVID-19.

The only exception to the trend was among males who received a second AstraZeneca dose. The percentage of males who suffered an adverse reaction was higher, 33 percent to 24 percent, among those without a COVID-19 history.

Participants who had a prior SARS-CoV-2 infection (confirmed with a positive test) experienced at least one adverse reaction more often after the 1st dose compared to participants who did not have prior COVID-19. This pattern was observed in both men and women and across vaccine brands,” Florence van Hunsel, an epidemiologist with the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb, and her co-authors wrote.

There were only slightly higher odds of the naturally immune suffering an adverse reaction following receipt of a Pfizer or Moderna booster, the researchers also found.

The researchers performed what’s known as a cohort event monitoring study, following 29,387 participants as they received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The participants live in a European country such as Belgium, France, or Slovakia.

Overall, three-quarters of the participants reported at least one adverse reaction, although some were minor such as injection site pain.

Adverse reactions described as serious were reported by 0.24 percent of people who received a first or second dose and 0.26 percent for people who received a booster. Different examples of serious reactions were not listed in the study.

Participants were only specifically asked to record a range of minor adverse reactions (ADRs). They could provide details of other reactions in free text form.

“The unsolicited events were manually assessed and coded, and the seriousness was classified based on international criteria,” researchers said.

The free text answers were not provided by researchers in the paper.

The authors note, ‘In this manuscript, the focus was not on serious ADRs and adverse events of special interest.’” Yet, in their highlights section they state, “The percentage of serious ADRs in the study is low for 1st and 2nd vaccination and booster.”

Dr. Joel Wallskog, co-chair of the group React19, which advocates for people who were injured by vaccines, told The Epoch Times: “It is intellectually dishonest to set out to study minor adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination then make conclusions about the frequency of serious adverse events. They also fail to provide the free text data.” He added that the paper showed “yet another study that is in my opinion, deficient by design.”

Ms. Hunsel did not respond to a request for comment.

She and other researchers listed limitations in the paper, including how they did not provide data broken down by country.

The paper was published by the journal Vaccine on March 6.

The study was funded by the European Medicines Agency and the Dutch government.

No authors declared conflicts of interest.

Some previous papers have also found that people with prior COVID-19 infection had more adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination, including a 2021 paper from French researchers. A U.S. study identified prior COVID-19 as a predictor of the severity of side effects.

Some other studies have determined COVID-19 vaccines confer little or no benefit to people with a history of infection, including those who had received a primary series.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends people who recovered from COVID-19 receive a COVID-19 vaccine, although a number of other health authorities have stopped recommending the shot for people who have prior COVID-19.

Another New Study

In another new paper, South Korean researchers outlined how they found people were more likely to report certain adverse reactions after COVID-19 vaccination than after receipt of another vaccine.

The reporting of myocarditis, a form of heart inflammation, or pericarditis, a related condition, was nearly 20 times as high among children as the reporting odds following receipt of all other vaccines, the researchers found.

The reporting odds were also much higher for multisystem inflammatory syndrome or Kawasaki disease among adolescent COVID-19 recipients.

Researchers analyzed reports made to VigiBase, which is run by the World Health Organization.

Based on our results, close monitoring for these rare but serious inflammatory reactions after COVID-19 vaccination among adolescents until definitive causal relationship can be established,” the researchers wrote.

The study was published by the Journal of Korean Medical Science in its March edition.

Limitations include VigiBase receiving reports of problems, with some reports going unconfirmed.

Funding came from the South Korean government. One author reported receiving grants from pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/15/2024 - 05:00

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‘Excess Mortality Skyrocketed’: Tucker Carlson and Dr. Pierre Kory Unpack ‘Criminal’ COVID Response

‘Excess Mortality Skyrocketed’: Tucker Carlson and Dr. Pierre Kory Unpack ‘Criminal’ COVID Response

As the global pandemic unfolded, government-funded…

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'Excess Mortality Skyrocketed': Tucker Carlson and Dr. Pierre Kory Unpack 'Criminal' COVID Response

As the global pandemic unfolded, government-funded experimental vaccines were hastily developed for a virus which primarily killed the old and fat (and those with other obvious comorbidities), and an aggressive, global campaign to coerce billions into injecting them ensued.

Then there were the lockdowns - with some countries (New Zealand, for example) building internment camps for those who tested positive for Covid-19, and others such as China welding entire apartment buildings shut to trap people inside.

It was an egregious and unnecessary response to a virus that, while highly virulent, was survivable by the vast majority of the general population.

Oh, and the vaccines, which governments are still pushing, didn't work as advertised to the point where health officials changed the definition of "vaccine" multiple times.

Tucker Carlson recently sat down with Dr. Pierre Kory, a critical care specialist and vocal critic of vaccines. The two had a wide-ranging discussion, which included vaccine safety and efficacy, excess mortality, demographic impacts of the virus, big pharma, and the professional price Kory has paid for speaking out.

Keep reading below, or if you have roughly 50 minutes, watch it in its entirety for free on X:

"Do we have any real sense of what the cost, the physical cost to the country and world has been of those vaccines?" Carlson asked, kicking off the interview.

"I do think we have some understanding of the cost. I mean, I think, you know, you're aware of the work of of Ed Dowd, who's put together a team and looked, analytically at a lot of the epidemiologic data," Kory replied. "I mean, time with that vaccination rollout is when all of the numbers started going sideways, the excess mortality started to skyrocket."

When asked "what kind of death toll are we looking at?", Kory responded "...in 2023 alone, in the first nine months, we had what's called an excess mortality of 158,000 Americans," adding "But this is in 2023. I mean, we've  had Omicron now for two years, which is a mild variant. Not that many go to the hospital."

'Safe and Effective'

Tucker also asked Kory why the people who claimed the vaccine were "safe and effective" aren't being held criminally liable for abetting the "killing of all these Americans," to which Kory replied: "It’s my kind of belief, looking back, that [safe and effective] was a predetermined conclusion. There was no data to support that, but it was agreed upon that it would be presented as safe and effective."

Carlson and Kory then discussed the different segments of the population that experienced vaccine side effects, with Kory noting an "explosion in dying in the youngest and healthiest sectors of society," adding "And why did the employed fare far worse than those that weren't? And this particularly white collar, white collar, more than gray collar, more than blue collar."

Kory also said that Big Pharma is 'terrified' of Vitamin D because it "threatens the disease model." As journalist The Vigilant Fox notes on X, "Vitamin D showed about a 60% effectiveness against the incidence of COVID-19 in randomized control trials," and "showed about 40-50% effectiveness in reducing the incidence of COVID-19 in observational studies."

Professional costs

Kory - while risking professional suicide by speaking out, has undoubtedly helped save countless lives by advocating for alternate treatments such as Ivermectin.

Kory shared his own experiences of job loss and censorship, highlighting the challenges of advocating for a more nuanced understanding of vaccine safety in an environment often resistant to dissenting voices.

"I wrote a book called The War on Ivermectin and the the genesis of that book," he said, adding "Not only is my expertise on Ivermectin and my vast clinical experience, but and I tell the story before, but I got an email, during this journey from a guy named William B Grant, who's a professor out in California, and he wrote to me this email just one day, my life was going totally sideways because our protocols focused on Ivermectin. I was using a lot in my practice, as were tens of thousands of doctors around the world, to really good benefits. And I was getting attacked, hit jobs in the media, and he wrote me this email on and he said, Dear Dr. Kory, what they're doing to Ivermectin, they've been doing to vitamin D for decades..."

"And it's got five tactics. And these are the five tactics that all industries employ when science emerges, that's inconvenient to their interests. And so I'm just going to give you an example. Ivermectin science was extremely inconvenient to the interests of the pharmaceutical industrial complex. I mean, it threatened the vaccine campaign. It threatened vaccine hesitancy, which was public enemy number one. We know that, that everything, all the propaganda censorship was literally going after something called vaccine hesitancy."

Money makes the world go 'round

Carlson then hit on perhaps the most devious aspect of the relationship between drug companies and the medical establishment, and how special interests completely taint science to the point where public distrust of institutions has spiked in recent years.

"I think all of it starts at the level the medical journals," said Kory. "Because once you have something established in the medical journals as a, let's say, a proven fact or a generally accepted consensus, consensus comes out of the journals."

"I have dozens of rejection letters from investigators around the world who did good trials on ivermectin, tried to publish it. No thank you, no thank you, no thank you. And then the ones that do get in all purportedly prove that ivermectin didn't work," Kory continued.

"So and then when you look at the ones that actually got in and this is where like probably my biggest estrangement and why I don't recognize science and don't trust it anymore, is the trials that flew to publication in the top journals in the world were so brazenly manipulated and corrupted in the design and conduct in, many of us wrote about it. But they flew to publication, and then every time they were published, you saw these huge PR campaigns in the media. New York Times, Boston Globe, L.A. times, ivermectin doesn't work. Latest high quality, rigorous study says. I'm sitting here in my office watching these lies just ripple throughout the media sphere based on fraudulent studies published in the top journals. And that's that's that has changed. Now that's why I say I'm estranged and I don't know what to trust anymore."

Vaccine Injuries

Carlson asked Kory about his clinical experience with vaccine injuries.

"So how this is how I divide, this is just kind of my perception of vaccine injury is that when I use the term vaccine injury, I'm usually referring to what I call a single organ problem, like pericarditis, myocarditis, stroke, something like that. An autoimmune disease," he replied.

"What I specialize in my practice, is I treat patients with what we call a long Covid long vaxx. It's the same disease, just different triggers, right? One is triggered by Covid, the other one is triggered by the spike protein from the vaccine. Much more common is long vax. The only real differences between the two conditions is that the vaccinated are, on average, sicker and more disabled than the long Covids, with some pretty prominent exceptions to that."

Watch the entire interview above, and you can support Tucker Carlson's endeavors by joining the Tucker Carlson Network here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 03/14/2024 - 16:20

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Shakira’s net worth

After 12 albums, a tax evasion case, and now a towering bronze idol sculpted in her image, how much is Shakira worth more than 4 decades into her care…

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Shakira’s considerable net worth is no surprise, given her massive popularity in Latin America, the U.S., and elsewhere. 

In fact, the belly-dancing contralto queen is the second-wealthiest Latin-America-born pop singer of all time after Gloria Estefan. (Interestingly, Estefan actually helped a young Shakira translate her breakout album “Laundry Service” into English, hugely propelling her stateside success.)

Since releasing her first record at age 13, Shakira has spent decades recording albums in both Spanish and English and performing all over the world. Over the course of her 40+ year career, she helped thrust Latin pop music into the American mainstream, paving the way for the subsequent success of massively popular modern acts like Karol G and Bad Bunny.

In late 2023, a 21-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Shakira, the barefoot belly dancer of Barranquilla, was unveiled at the city's waterfront. The statue was commissioned by the city's former mayor and other leadership.

Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

In December 2023, a 21-foot-tall beachside bronze statue of the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer was unveiled in her Colombian hometown of Barranquilla, making her a permanent fixture in the city’s skyline and cementing her legacy as one of Latin America’s most influential entertainers.

After 12 albums, a plethora of film and television appearances, a highly publicized tax evasion case, and now a towering bronze idol sculpted in her image, how much is Shakira worth? What does her income look like? And how does she spend her money?

Related: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's net worth: How the new TKO Board Member built his wealth from $7

How much is Shakira worth?

In late 2023, Spanish sports and lifestyle publication Marca reported Shakira’s net worth at $400 million, citing Forbes as the figure’s source (although Forbes’ profile page for Shakira does not list a net worth — and didn’t when that article was published).

Most other sources list the singer’s wealth at an estimated $300 million, and almost all of these point to Celebrity Net Worth — a popular but dubious celebrity wealth estimation site — as the source for the figure.

A $300 million net worth would make Shakira the third-richest Latina pop star after Gloria Estefan ($500 million) and Jennifer Lopez ($400 million), and the second-richest Latin-America-born pop singer after Estefan (JLo is Puerto Rican but was born in New York).

Shakira’s income: How much does she make annually?

Entertainers like Shakira don’t have predictable paychecks like ordinary salaried professionals. Instead, annual take-home earnings vary quite a bit depending on each year’s album sales, royalties, film and television appearances, streaming revenue, and other sources of income. As one might expect, Shakira’s earnings have fluctuated quite a bit over the years.

From June 2018 to June 2019, for instance, Shakira was the 10th highest-earning female musician, grossing $35 million, according to Forbes. This wasn’t her first time gracing the top 10, though — back in 2012, she also landed the #10 spot, bringing in $20 million, according to Billboard.

In 2023, Billboard listed Shakira as the 16th-highest-grossing Latin artist of all time.

Shakira performed alongside producer Bizarrap during the 2023 Latin Grammy Awards Gala in Seville.

Photo By Maria Jose Lopez/Europa Press via Getty Images

How much does Shakira make from her concerts and tours?

A large part of Shakira’s wealth comes from her world tours, during which she sometimes sells out massive stadiums and arenas full of passionate fans eager to see her dance and sing live.

According to a 2020 report by Pollstar, she sold over 2.7 million tickets across 190 shows that grossed over $189 million between 2000 and 2020. This landed her the 19th spot on a list of female musicians ranked by touring revenue during that period. In 2023, Billboard reported a more modest touring revenue figure of $108.1 million across 120 shows.

In 2003, Shakira reportedly generated over $4 million from a single show on Valentine’s Day at Foro Sol in Mexico City. 15 years later, in 2018, Shakira grossed around $76.5 million from her El Dorado World Tour, according to Touring Data.

Related: RuPaul's net worth: Everything to know about the cultural icon and force behind 'Drag Race'

How much has Shakira made from her album sales?

According to a 2023 profile in Variety, Shakira has sold over 100 million records throughout her career. “Laundry Service,” the pop icon’s fifth studio album, was her most successful, selling over 13 million copies worldwide, according to TheRichest.

Exactly how much money Shakira has taken home from her album sales is unclear, but in 2008, it was widely reported that she signed a 10-year contract with LiveNation to the tune of between $70 and $100 million to release her subsequent albums and manage her tours.

Shakira and JLo co-headlined the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show in Florida.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

How much did Shakira make from her Super Bowl and World Cup performances?

Shakira co-wrote one of her biggest hits, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” after FIFA selected her to create the official anthem for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. She performed the song, along with several of her existing fan-favorite tracks, during the event’s opening ceremonies. TheThings reported in 2023 that the song generated $1.4 million in revenue, citing Popnable for the figure.

A decade later, 2020’s Superbowl halftime show featured Shakira and Jennifer Lopez as co-headliners with guest performances by Bad Bunny and J Balvin. The 14-minute performance was widely praised as a high-energy celebration of Latin music and dance, but as is typical for Super Bowl shows, neither Shakira nor JLo was compensated beyond expenses and production costs.

The exposure value that comes with performing in the Super Bowl Halftime Show, though, is significant. It is typically the most-watched television event in the U.S. each year, and in 2020, a 30-second Super Bowl ad spot cost between $5 and $6 million.

How much did Shakira make as a coach on “The Voice?”

Shakira served as a team coach on the popular singing competition program “The Voice” during the show’s fourth and sixth seasons. On the show, celebrity musicians coach up-and-coming amateurs in a team-based competition that eventually results in a single winner. In 2012, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Shakira’s salary as a coach on “The Voice” was $12 million.

Related: John Cena's net worth: The wrestler-turned-actor's investments, businesses, and more

How does Shakira spend her money?

Shakira doesn’t just make a lot of money — she spends it, too. Like many wealthy entertainers, she’s purchased her share of luxuries, but Barranquilla’s barefoot belly dancer is also a prolific philanthropist, having donated tens of millions to charitable causes throughout her career.

Private island

Back in 2006, she teamed up with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame and Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz to purchase Bonds Cay, a 550-acre island in the Bahamas, which was listed for $16 million at the time.

Along with her two partners in the purchase, Shakira planned to develop the island to feature housing, hotels, and an artists’ retreat designed to host a revolving cast of artists-in-residence. This plan didn’t come to fruition, though, and as of this article’s last update, the island was once again for sale on Vladi Private Islands.

Real estate and vehicles

Like most wealthy celebs, Shakira’s portfolio of high-end playthings also features an array of luxury properties and vehicles, including a home in Barcelona, a villa in Cyprus, a Miami mansion, and a rotating cast of Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Philanthropy and charity

Shakira doesn’t just spend her massive wealth on herself; the “Queen of Latin Music” is also a dedicated philanthropist and regularly donates portions of her earnings to the Fundación Pies Descalzos, or “Barefoot Foundation,” a charity she founded in 1997 to “improve the education and social development of children in Colombia, which has suffered decades of conflict.” The foundation focuses on providing meals for children and building and improving educational infrastructure in Shakira’s hometown of Barranquilla as well as four other Colombian communities.

In addition to her efforts with the Fundación Pies Descalzos, Shakira has made a number of other notable donations over the years. In 2007, she diverted a whopping $40 million of her wealth to help rebuild community infrastructure in Peru and Nicaragua in the wake of a devastating 8.0 magnitude earthquake. Later, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Shakira donated a large supply of N95 masks for healthcare workers and ventilators for hospital patients to her hometown of Barranquilla.

Back in 2010, the UN honored Shakira with a medal to recognize her dedication to social justice, at which time the Director General of the International Labour Organization described her as a “true ambassador for children and young people.”

On November 20, 2023 (which was supposed to be her first day of trial), Shakira reached a deal with the prosecution that resulted in a three-year suspended sentence and around $8 million in fines.

Photo by Adria Puig/Anadolu via Getty Images

Shakira’s tax fraud scandal: How much did she pay?

In 2018, prosecutors in Spain initiated a tax evasion case against Shakira, alleging she lived primarily in Spain from 2012 to 2014 and therefore failed to pay around $14.4 million in taxes to the Spanish government. Spanish law requires anyone who is “domiciled” (i.e., living primarily) in Spain for more than half of the year to pay income taxes.

During the period in question, Shakira listed the Bahamas as her primary residence but did spend some time in Spain, as she was dating Gerard Piqué, a professional footballer and Spanish citizen. The couple’s first son, Milan, was also born in Barcelona during this period. 

Shakira maintained that she spent far fewer than 183 days per year in Spain during each of the years in question. In an interview with Elle Magazine, the pop star opined that “Spanish tax authorities saw that I was dating a Spanish citizen and started to salivate. It's clear they wanted to go after that money no matter what."

Prosecutors in the case sought a fine of almost $26 million and a possible eight-year prison stint, but in November of 2023, Shakira took a deal to close the case, accepting a fine of around $8 million and a three-year suspended sentence to avoid going to trial. In reference to her decision to take the deal, Shakira stated, "While I was determined to defend my innocence in a trial that my lawyers were confident would have ruled in my favour [had the trial proceeded], I have made the decision to finally resolve this matter with the best interest of my kids at heart who do not want to see their mom sacrifice her personal well-being in this fight."

How much did the Shakira statue in Barranquilla cost?

In late 2023, a 21-foot-tall bronze likeness of Shakira was unveiled on a waterfront promenade in Barranquilla. The city’s then-mayor, Jaime Pumarejo, commissioned Colombian sculptor Yino Márquez to create the statue of the city’s treasured pop icon, along with a sculpture of the city’s coat of arms.

According to the New York Times, the two sculptures cost the city the equivalent of around $180,000. A plaque at the statue’s base reads, “A heart that composes, hips that don’t lie, an unmatched talent, a voice that moves the masses and bare feet that march for the good of children and humanity.” 

Related: Taylor Swift net worth: The most successful entertainer joins the billionaire's club

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