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Importance of Consultants in Business Turnaround: Leveraging External Expertise for Success

In today’s dynamic and competitive business environment, companies often face challenges that can significantly impact their performance and sustainability. These challenges arise from various factors such as market shifts, financial difficulties, operational inefficiencies, or strategic misalignment. When a business finds itself in such a situation, one valuable resource that can make a substantial difference is engaging external business consultants. These consultants bring specialized expertise and a fresh perspective, playing a crucial role in facilitating the turnaround process for businesses.


Understanding the Need for Business Turnaround

Before delving into the role of business consultants, it’s essential to understand the signs that indicate a need for a business turnaround. Some common indicators include declining revenue and profitability, market share erosion, customer dissatisfaction, operational bottlenecks, excessive costs, or a lack of strategic direction. Recognizing these warning signs early is key to initiating timely corrective measures.



Leveraging External Expertise: The Business Consultant’s Role

  1. Objective Assessment:External consultants bring objectivity to the table. They can conduct a comprehensive assessment of the business’s current state, including its financial health, operational efficiency, market position, and competitive landscape. This objective analysis forms the basis for developing a turnaround strategy tailored to the company’s specific challenges and goals.
  1. Specialized Skills:Consultants offer specialized skills and knowledge that may not be readily available within the company. Whether it’s financial restructuring, operational optimization, market repositioning, or change management, consultants bring expertise honed through diverse experiences across industries and sectors.


  1. Fresh Perspective:One of the most significant advantages of external consultants is their ability to provide a fresh perspective. They can identify blind spots, challenge existing assumptions, and introduce innovative ideas that internal teams may overlook due to entrenched thinking or organizational biases.


  1. Speed and Efficiency:Consultants operate with a sense of urgency, leveraging their experience to implement turnaround initiatives swiftly and efficiently. This agility is crucial in addressing immediate challenges and mitigating risks, minimizing the impact of prolonged business disruptions.


  1. Change Management:Successful turnaround efforts often require significant organizational change. Management Consultants excel in such organizational change, helping companies navigate transitions, align stakeholders, communicate effectively, and build resilience to sustain improvements over the long term.


When to Engage Consulting Services

The decision to engage business consulting services for a turnaround should be strategic and based on several factors:

  • Complexity of Challenges:If the challenges facing the business are complex and multifaceted, external consultants can provide the expertise and resources needed to tackle them comprehensively.


  • Resource Constraints:When internal resources are stretched thin or lack the required expertise, consultants can fill the gap and augment the company’s capabilities during the turnaround process.


  • Urgency:Time is often of the essence in turnaround situations, especially when financial stability is at stake. Business Consultants can expedite the diagnosis, planning, and execution phases, driving rapid results.



In the ever-evolving landscape of business, challenges are inevitable, but how companies respond to these challenges often determines their fate. Recognizing the signs of distress and taking decisive action is paramount for survival and success. External consultants play a pivotal role in corporate turnaround efforts, offering objective assessments, specialized skills, fresh perspectives, and efficient execution capabilities.

By engaging business consultants strategically, organizations can leverage external expertise to navigate complex challenges, overcome resource constraints, and drive rapid, data-driven results. Moreover, consultants facilitate organizational change management, ensuring that improvements are sustainable and aligned with long-term strategic objectives.


Sterling Cooper, Inc.

Sterling Cooper, Inc. is a premier business acquisition advisory and management consultant firm in the USA, boasting decades of experience. Catering to a wide spectrum from budding startups to well-established enterprises, Sterling Cooper’s bespoke strategies nurture innovation, streamline operations, and cultivate market dominance. Their adept team employs a rigorous selection methodology, coupled with financial proficiency and industry acumen, to seamlessly assimilate acquired entities into a synergistic and vibrant portfolio. For business inquiries, fill our short feedback form or call us at our Toll-Free Number 1-866-285-6572.



World’s richest: Palm Beach is home to 58 billionaires, says 2024 Forbes data

The mega-wealthy, for the most part, got mega-wealthier over the past year in Palm Beach, a town that can count at least 58 billionaires among its property owners, according to an exclusive Palm Beach Daily News analysis of the list of the world’s wealthiest people.

The majority of the Palm Beach billionaires — 40 in all — watched their estimated net worth increase over the past year, while 15 saw their wealth shrink. And another three saw their fortunes remain flat. (See the complete list of Palm Beach billionaires below.)

Among the Palm Beach billionaires who saw their wealth drop over the past year is former President Donald Trump. The estimated net worth of the town’s most famous resident decreased from $2.5 billion in April 2023 to $2.3 billion on the new list.

Former President Donald Trump saw his net worth decline over the past year.
Former President Donald Trump saw his net worth decline over the past year.

In all, the Palm Beach billionaires’ wealth for 2024 totals $494.7 billion, the analysis by the Palm Beach Daily News shows.

Billionaires landed on the Palm Beach list if they own real estate in town, whether it’s a primary home, a vacation house or an investment property. There may be more billionaires who own real estate in Palm Beach, but if so, their identities have so far remained cloaked behind the entities they used to buy their properties.  Others may not have met the criteria uses to determine eligibility, which figures in the value of their stock portfolios and other assets, including private companies, real estate and art collections.

The list of Palm Beach billionaires is missing one famous name that appeared on it last year. “Margaritaville” singer and businessman Jimmy Buffett , a longtime Palm Beach homeowner, died at age 76 in September, five months after Forbes said his wealth hit the $1 billion mark for the first time.

New to the Forbes list this year is Palm Beach resident Avram Glazer, who is part of the family that owns the Tampa Buccaneers and is majority owner of the Manchester United soccer team in the United Kingdom. His net worth is $1.7 billion, according to Forbes.

The late singer and businessman Jimmy Buffett
The late singer and businessman Jimmy Buffett

On the latest list, Forbes named a record-setting 2,781 people across the globe whose wealth totaled at least $1 billion each, up from 2,640 last year.

Those on the Palm Beach list who saw their wealth rise over the past year are right in line with the vast majority of their global counterparts, the Forbes list shows. Of the billionaires on the global list, three-fourths experienced a year-over-year increase in wealth.

“What a year it’s been for the planet’s billionaires, whose fortunes continue to swell as global stock markets shrug off war, political unrest and lingering inflation,” says an article accompanying the new Forbes list.

Once again, Julia Koch and her family lead the Palm Beach list with an estimated net worth of $64.3 billion, up from $59 billion a year ago. Her late husband, David Koch of Koch Industries, had for years been identified as Palm Beach’s wealthiest billionaire until his death in 2019.

Private-equity mogul Stephen Schwarzman this year stepped into the No. 2 spot on the Palm Beach List. That rank was held last year by hedge-fund manager and securities titan Ken Griffin, who lives in Miami but owns the largest estate in Palm Beach.

Private-equity mogul Stephen Schwarzman
Private-equity mogul Stephen Schwarzman

Hedge-fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin

Hedge-fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin

Schwarzman’s year-over-year wealth rose from $27.8 billion last year to $38.8 billion this year, according to Forbes. Griffin’s fortune, meanwhile, grew from $35 billion a year ago to $36.4 billion, according to Forbes.

On the new global list, French fashion and cosmetics mogul Bernard Arnault and his family were ranked No. 1 with $233 billion, a position they first assumed in 2023. Tesla and Space X tycoon Elon Musk — and his $195 billion net worth — landed in the No. 2 slot among the world’s billionaires. That was slightly ahead of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who ranked No. 3 with a fortune of $194 billion.

Taking the fourth spot in the global ranking was Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg of Meta with $177 billion. And ranked No. 5 — with $147 billion — was Oracle Corp. software tycoon Larry Ellison, who owns an ocean-to-lake estate in Manalapan south of Palm Beach.

Among the celebrities on the global list is singer Taylor Swift, who for the first time has been ranked as a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion. Other celebrities on the overall list include NBA hall-of-famer Magic Johnson ($1.2 billion), filmmaker George Lucas ($5.5 billion), NBA legend Michael Jordan ($3.2 billion) and businesswoman and television personality Kim Kardashian ($1.7 billion).

Palm Beach’s wealthiest: Local billionaires on the 2024 Forbes’ ranking of the world’s richest

Here is the Palm Beach Daily News’ list of Palm Beach billionaires ranked by Forbes among the world’s richest people. All of the billionaires on this list are American unless otherwise noted. The list includes each billionaire’s rank on the global list, in descending order, and compares 2024 net-worth estimates to the ones Forbes published last year at this time. At the end of the list is a note about the methodology Forbes used to compile its rankings.

Julia Koch, widow of industrialist David Koch

Julia Koch, widow of industrialist David Koch

Julia Koch, 61 (widow of industrialist David Koch), and family, in 23rd place on the global list, with $64.3 billion, up from $59 billion in 2023.

Private equity titan Stephen Schwarzman, 77, in 34th place, with $38.8 billion, up from $27.8 billion.

Hedge-fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin, 55, in 42nd place, with $36.4 billion, up from $35 billion.

Discount broker pioneer Thomas Peterffy, 79, in 44th place, with $34 billion, up from $25.3 billion.

Australian mining mogul Gina Rinehart, 70, in 56th place, with $30.8 billion, up from $27 billion.

Investments/finance executive Abigail Johnson, 62, in 58th place, with $29 billion, up from $21.6 billion.

Mortgage loan magnate and NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, 62, tied in 73rd place, with $26.2 billion, up from $18 billion.

Hedge-fund manager and NFL’s Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, 66, tied in 94th place, with $20.6 billion, up from $18.5 billion.

Cosmetics executive Leonard Lauder, 91, tied in 126th place, with $15.1 billion, down from $21 billion.

Cosmetics executive Leonard Lauder

Cosmetics executive Leonard Lauder

Financier Henry Kravis, 80, tied in 169th place, with $11.7 billion, up from $7.5 billion.

Businessman and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 82, tied in 188th place, with $11.1 billion, up from $10.6 billion.

Real estate developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, 83, tied in 221st place, with $10.1 billion, down from $11.6 billion.

Discount brokerage pioneer Charles Schwab, 86, tied in 232nd place, with $9.8 billion, up from $9.2 billion.

Investments mogul Robert F. Smith, 61, tied in 266th place, with $9.2 billion, up from $8 billion.

Medical equipment heiress Ronda Stryker, 69, tied in 312th place, with $8.2 billion, up from $6.9 billion.

Hedge-fund manager Paul Tudor Jones II, 69, tied in 317th place, with $8.1 billion, up from $7.5 billion.

Real estate investor Jeff Greene, 69, tied in 354th place, with $7.5 billion, up from $7.2 billion.

Energy and real estate investor Jeff Greene
Energy and real estate investor Jeff Greene

Real estate mogul Neil Bluhm, 86, tied in 453rd place, with $6.3 billion, up from $6 billion.

Hedge-fund manager Chase Coleman III, 48, tied in 522nd place, with $5.7 billion, down from $8.5 billion.

Money manager Charles B. Johnson, 90, tied in 572nd place, with $5.3 billion, up from $5.1 billion.

Money manager Ron Baron, 80, tied in 597th place, with $5.1 billion, up from $5 billion.

Investments tycoon, inventor and optometrist Dr. Herbert Wertheim, 84, tied in 624th place, with $4.9 billion, up from $4.3 billion.

Private investor Dr. Herbert Wertheim
Private investor Dr. Herbert Wertheim

Cosmetics executive Ronald Lauder, 80, tied in 686th place, with $4.6 billion, unchanged since 2023.

Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and family, 72, tied in 686th place, with $4.6 billion, up from $4.4 billion.

Marvel Entertainment owner Isaac Perlmutter, 82, tied in 712th place, with $4.4 billion, up from $4 billion.

Logistics entrepreneur Bradley Jacobs, 68, tied in 775th place, with $4.1 billion, up from $3.7 billion.

Media and automotive heiress Katharine “Kathy” Rayner, 79, tied in 785th place, with $4 billion, down from $5.5 billion.

Media and automotive heiress Margaretta Taylor, 81, tied in 785th place, with $4 billion, down from $5.5 billion.

Philadelphia Phillies co-owner and tobacco heir John Middleton, 69, tied in 871st place, with $3.7 billion, up from $3.4 billion.

Philadelphia Phillies owner and developer John S. Middleton
Philadelphia Phillies owner and developer John S. Middleton

Hedge-fund manager John Paulson, 68, tied in 920th place, with $3.5 billion, up from $3 billion.

Casino and resort mogul Steve Wynn, 82, tied in 949th place, with $3.4 billion, up from $3.2 billion.

Johnson & Johnson heir and New York Jets owner Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV, 76, tied in 991st place, with $3.3 billion, down from $3.4 billion.

Cosmetics executive Jane Lauder, 51, tied in 991st place, with $3.3 billion, down from $5 billion.

Real estate mogul Charles Cohen, 72, tied in 1,104th place, with $3 billion, down from $3.7 billion.

Hedge-fund manager Glenn Dubin, 66, tied in 1,143rd place, with $2.9 billion, up from $2.7 billion.

Investor C. Dean Metropolous, 77, tied in 1,143rd place, with $2.9 billion, up from $2.6 billion.

Real estate magnate Dwight C. Schar, 82, tied in 1,286th place, with $2.6 billion, up from $1.9 billion.

Canadian liquor magnate Charles Bronfman, 92, tied in 1,330th place, with $2.5 billion, unchanged from 2023.

Private-equity specialist Scott Shleifer, 46, tied in 1,330th place, with $2.5 billion, down from $3.5 billion.

Canadian sports-franchise owner Larry Tanenbaum, 78, tied in 1330th place, with $2.5 billion, up from $2 billion.

SlimFast founder S. Daniel Abraham, 99, tied in 1,380th place, with $2.4 billion, down from $2.5 billion.

Cosmetics executive William Lauder, 63, tied in 1,438th place, with $2.3 billion, down from $3.4 billion.

Real estate developer and former President Donald Trump, 77, tied in 1,438th place, with $2.3 billion, down from $2.5 billion.

Fashion designer Tom Ford, 62, tied in 1,496th place, with $2.2 billion, unchanged from 2023.

Fashion designer Tom Ford

Fashion designer Tom Ford

Homebuilder Paul Saville, 68, tied in 1,496th place, with $2.2 billion, up from $1.7 billion.

Hedge-fund manager James G. Dinan, 86, tied in 1,545th place, with $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion

Fashion and retail entrepreneur Aerin Lauder, 53, tied in 1,545th place, with $2.1 billion, down from $3.1 billion.

Insurance magnate and New York Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch, 70, tied in 1,545th place, with $2.1 billion, up from $1.7 billion.

Industrialist, investor and education entrepreneur William “Bill” Koch, 83, tied in 1,623rd place, with $2 billion, up from $1.6 billion.

Energy businessman and private-school founder William "Bill" Koch
Energy businessman and private-school founder William “Bill” Koch

Food and beverage distributor Duke Reyes, 67, tied in 1,694th place, with $1.9 billion, up from $1.5 billion.

Money manager Mario Gabelli, 82, tied in 1,764th place, with $1.8 billion, up from $1.7 billion.

Industrial equipment heir Mitchell Jacobson, 73, tied in 1764th place, with $1.8 billion, up from $1.3 billion.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United co-owner Avram Glazer, 63, tied in 1851st place, with $1.7 billion (new to list in 2024)

Investor Nelson Peltz, 81, tied in 1,851st place, with $1.7 billion, up from $1.5 billion.

Canadian financier Gerald Schwartz, 82, tied in 2,046th place, with $1.5 billion, up from $1.2 billion.

Reebok founder Paul Fireman, 80, tied in 2287th place, with $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion.

Private-equity specialist J. Christopher Flowers, 66, tied in 2,410th place, with $1.2 billion, down from $1.4 billion.

Real estate asset manager Jane Goldman, 68, tied in 2,545th place, with $1.1 billion, down from $2.1 billion.

*If you would like to join the ranks of billionaires, contact


The 95,000-ton Dali was carrying 4,700 cargo containers weighing up to a collective 262,000 tons when it knocked down the Francis Scott Key Bridge early Tuesday, creating what is known in the media business as “a news event” in Baltimore Harbor that dominated the airwaves and headlines for days.
But the story is not only in Baltimore Harbor. The story is global. The story spans every sea lane, river, harbor, and port across the world.
Epoch Times PhotoThe steel frame of the Francis Scott Key Bridge sits on top of a container ship after the bridge collapsed, Baltimore, Md., on March 26, 2024. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
The story is this: Just 16 companies—eight shippers, three factory groups, and five container lessors—control 81 percent of the world’s commercial ocean transport, container production, and box-leasing capacity.
The eight global corporations—none based in the U.S.—that dominate international maritime commercial shipping are aligned in three self-serving “cartels” that have divided sea lanes and “cargo slots” among themselves with little concern for interests beyond their bottom lines.
And, so, they are building bigger and bigger ships. The bigger the ship, the more cargo it can carry. For international shipping firms, that offers an economy of scale in saving fuel and lowering the cost of transportation per container. It works for consumers with lower-cost goods. Usually.
Container ships have been steadily increasing in size since they were created in 1956. But it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the “Big Boat Era” truly began.

Of more than 50,000 merchant ships now plying the world’s maritime trade routes, at least 5,500 are regarded as mega-ships. There are seven major types:
    • Small Feeder—Up to 1,000 TEUs (Twenty-ton equivalent units)
    • Feeder—1,001 to 2,000 TEUs
    • Feedermax—2,001 to 3,000 TEUs
    • Panamax—3,001 to 5,100 TEUs
    • Post-Panamax—5,101 to 10,000 TEUs (the Dali is in this category)
    • New Panamax—10,000 to 14,500 TEUs
    • Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV)—14,501 and higher TEUs
But they pose risks, such as cargo concentration, like what happened in Long Beach, California, in late 2021—that can degrade supply chain resilience because only a relatively few ports can accommodate them. And when one is disabled in a sea lane, such as now in Baltimore Harbor or in March 2021, when the Ever Given grounded in the Suez Canal, it can bottleneck maritime trade for weeks and cause worldwide inflation.
In the big ship era, one ship’s problem becomes the world’s problem.
The big ships pose hazards in confined waterways and the “cartel” is forcing ports— where possible—to retrofit infrastructure to accommodate them at great expense.
“If you build it, they will come,” Salvatore Mercogliano, a professor who analyzes maritime commerce at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, told The Epoch Times.
If not, your port, your town, your industries become backwaters—or maybe your bridge gets knocked down. Baltimore’s Key Bridge joins the Lixinsha Bridge in southern China’s Guangzhou province and the Zárate-Brazo Largo Bridge on the Prana River in Argentina as 2024 victims of mega-ship allisions—a new word to learn when a massive ship runs over a stationary victim—in confined waters. And it’s still March.
This puts American ports in an ever-narrowing crosshair. Without a cohesive national ports and commercial maritime policy—remember when the United States had a robust merchant marine fleet?—the “shipping cartel,” as labeled by the Biden administration, will rule the waves.
“The way we do things in the U.S. is very unique; ports are run locally by municipal governments or states and then the waters are run by the federal government, so it creates a big problem,” Mercogliano said. “And so, you get this competition and then you have the ocean carriers” dictating winners and losers.
No American port can handle the newest ultra-large container vessels. It cost taxpayers $1.7 billion to raise the Bayonne Bridge so New Panamax-sized carriers could enter the Port of New York/New Jersey. It cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion to improve the Port of Savannah, but less than two years later, another study is warranted because the mega-ships can’t get up the lower Savannah River and under the Eugene Talmadge Bridge.
“Mega container ships are changing our ports,” acknowledges xChange Solutions, a global container-leasing company based in Hamburg, Germany, in an April 2022 analysis. While providing “benefits like high freight volume and low fuel costs” the also impose “massive port infrastructure demands” on port operators.
Ports around the world are struggling to cope, writes Evangelos Boulougouris a professor of naval architecture, ocean and marine engineering at the University of Strathclyde for the Maritime Safety Research Centre. “The cost of such projects is immense: the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016 to accommodate bigger ships ended up costing over $5 billion.”
“Ocean carriers and the financial institutions that bankroll them aren’t paying for updated ports, increased dredging, new warehouses, highways and so on to accommodate these ships. That cost is getting off-loaded to the public,” American Economic Liberties Project Director Matt Stoller told FreightWaves in May 2022.
 “We have a lot of ports in this country but we don’t have enough ocean carrier firms,” Stoller said. “The ocean carrier firms’ boats are too big for most ports.”
Many ports will soon be backwaters, the 54-member nation International Transport Forum’s 2015 “Impact of Mega-Ships” report predicted, noting the ever-growing big ships were generating cost savings for carriers and decreasing maritime transport costs for shippers, but reducing the number of ports that can accommodate them.
Which brings us back to Baltimore Harbor.
“A long-term fear of Baltimore’s is they may lose business permanently because of [the Dali crash] and that’s because they’re saying in New York/New Jersey, ‘You can just shift your cargo here,’” Mercogliano said. “
I hate to say it—you know, no one will say it— but you there are four port directors up and down the East Coast are going. ‘Thank God that’s not my port … but, how can I use this to get some business my way? You know, how can I grow Philadelphia? How can I grow Savannah? Because that’s what they do. They have to compete against each other. There’s a finite amount of cargo out there.”

Six Early Warning Signs to Identify When Your Business Needs a Turnaround – Insights from Management Consultants

The process of managing a business is riddled with various obstacles and hurdles, and at times, these challenges can become quite daunting. It is of utmost importance for businesses to possess the ability to identify the early indicators that suggest a significant requirement for business turnaround.

Neglecting these warning signs can result in severe repercussions, such as financial turmoil and even the eventual shutdown of the business. To avoid such outcomes, it is crucial to be aware of the early warning signs of underperformance and take corrective measures. By implementing practical and effective strategies for business turnaround, one can prevent from ever reaching a crisis point. STERLINGCOOPER.INFO provides turnaround services and its book has a section called: “Medicine for Troubled Companies”.

Six Early Signs that Indicate the Need for A Business Turnaround.

  1. Downward-sliding profits: A strong business is indicated by financial expansion. If your earnings have declined instead of increasing for five or more quarters in a row, this is a clear indicator of issues. Even if the numbers are flat, it should still be a red flag.
  2. Cash flow struggles:Having difficulty in meeting the financial obligations or depending on credit to meet your expenses indicates that the cash flow is not in good shape. If you find yourself accumulating debt to sustain your operations or cover deficits, it is a warning sign that the business might be facing difficulties. Even if you have a steady stream of business, constantly facing cash shortages, overdrafts, and bounced checks is a problem that needs business turnaround. While it is common to experience fluctuations in working capital, it should be manageable. If you don’t have an income or cash flow budget in place, it is a clear indication that the business is heading towards trouble.
  3. Lack of Innovation: If the business is not keeping up with the ever-evolving market trends and failing to introduce new ideas, it could result in a lack of growth and a decline in competitiveness. When you notice that the rivals are making progress and expanding their market share while your business is struggling, it’s a clear indication that there is a need for business turnaroundand make necessary adjustments to stay relevant and competitive in the industry.
  4. Poor Financial Management: Inadequate financial managementhabits, like neglecting to maintain precise records or overlooking expense monitoring, have the potential to result in financial difficulties. Disregarding crucial financial ratios such as the current ratio or debt-to-equity ratio may obscure fundamental financial issues.
  5. Legal or Regulatory Issues:Neglecting to adhere to legal or regulatory obligations can result in financial penalties or even legal proceedings, both of which can place additional strain on the resources of your business. It is crucial to prioritize compliance in order to avoid these potential consequences and safeguard the stability and prosperity of your organization.
  6. Resistance to Change: Beingresistant to change or refusing to adapt to new market conditions can pose a significant obstacle to the success and growth of any business. It is crucial for businesses to remain flexible and open to evolving trends in order to stay competitive and meet the ever-changing needs of customers. Failure to embrace change can result in missed opportunities, decreased efficiency, and ultimately, stagnation in the market. It is important for business owners to recognize the importance of adaptation and be willing to make necessary business turnarounds in order to thrive in today’s dynamic environment.


Early detection of these signs through vigilance allows for proactive steps to avert a major crisis in your business.  Additionally, seeking guidance from a skilled business consultant or financial advisor can offer you invaluable perspectives and effective strategies for business turnaround. Always keep in mind that it’s never too late to implement constructive changes and guide your business towards a prosperous future.

Sterling Cooper, Inc is a business acquisition advisory and management consultant company in the USA having decades of experience in corporate turnaround strategies. From emerging startups to established enterprises, Sterling Cooper’s tailored approach fosters innovation, efficiency, and market leadership. Our seasoned team leverages a meticulous selection process, financial acumen, and industry expertise to seamlessly integrate acquired entities into a cohesive and dynamic portfolio. For business inquiry fill our short feedback form or call us at our Toll-Free Number 1-866-285-6572.



How the very rich lose money, overvalue art, buy very expensive life insurance, and somehow profit without having reportable income!

Do you want to pay less taxes? Great. Step one, be a rich person. Have no reportable income, always borrow instead.Then, buy a yacht. Or a sports team. Give a lot to charity. Lose some money in the stock market. Above all, make sure most of your money exists in the form of assets, not cash — stocks, real estate, a Dutch master painting, fine jewelry, or whatever else strikes your fancy.

They say that money is a universal language, but it speaks at different volumes. When you have a fathomless bounty of wealth, money doesn’t quite register as an expense until you add a lot of zeros to the end — so spending a lot to save a lot is a no-brainer. It’s why the mega-rich often hire expensive tax lawyers, wealth managers, or even set up a whole office dedicated to tax strategy. “It’s not just preparing the return,” says a tax accountant. “There’s so much more involved in planning, in accumulating, offsetting, and trying to mitigate the taxes as best as possible.”

For the rich, taxes aren’t a springtime affair with a quick visit to H&R Block, but a year-round endeavor.

How much tax a wealthy person owes in a given year is a complex tapestry threaded with exemptions, deductions, credits, and obscure loopholes you’ve never heard of. The ideal is to owe zilch. If that sounds impossible to achieve, just look at the leaked tax returns of the wealthiest Americans that nonprofit news site ProPublica analyzed.: Over several years, billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg, among others, paid no federal income taxes at all.

How do they do it? Here are some basic rules they live by.

Don’t take a paycheck

If your income is earned through wages paid to you by an employer, chances are your taxes are on the simpler side of the spectrum. Not as simple as it is for wage earners in other countries, where the government simply tells you how much you owe, but getting a paycheck from your boss means your taxes are automatically withheld each pay period. Filing your tax return might be as easy as filling out one form.

You can pick and choose which deductions to take (like for student loan interest, or for having a home office), but the vast majority of households take the simpler standard deduction, which this year erases $14,600 from your tax bill. For tax year 2024, you’ll pay a 37 percent tax on any income you rake in over $609,350. That sounds like it would add up to a sizable amount for multimillionaires and billionaires — unless that income is just a minuscule share of their increasing wealth.

Jeff Bezos, when he was still Amazon CEO, had a base salary of around $80,000 a year. Elon Musk doesn’t take a salary at all at Tesla. Apple CEO Tim Cook does get a $3 million salary, but it’s a small slice of the $63 million he received overall last year.

Most wealthy entrepreneurs are paid in bountiful stock rewards; Musk is currently fighting to keep his record-breaking Tesla pay package, made up of a bunch of stock options and now valued at almost $56 billion. ProPublica found that, because their income fell below the threshold, at least 18 billionaires got a Covid-19 stimulus check.

Paul Kiel, a ProPublica reporter who was an integral part of the newsroom’s billionaire tax return stories, says the income versus wealth divide was crucial in helping the public understand how differently the wealthy operate. “If you can avoid income as it’s defined in our system, and still get richer, that’s the best route,” he tells Vox.

Stocks aren’t taxed until they’re sold — and even then, what’s taxed is the profit on the sale, called a capital gains tax. Billionaires (usually) don’t sell valuable stock. So how do they afford the daily expenses of life, whether it’s a new pleasure boat or a social media company? They borrow against their stock. This revolving door of credit allows them to buy what they want without incurring a capital gains tax.

Though the “buy, borrow, die” strategy isn’t quite as sweet right now because interest rates are high, a Wall Street Journal piece from 2021 notes that those with $100 million or more could get interest rates as low as 0.87 percent at Merrill Lynch. The taxable value of a stock also resets when it’s passed on to an heir, so that if a wealthy scion chooses to sell their inherited stock, they’d only pay a tax on the increase in value since the original owner’s death.

Plan on losing money

If you do, regrettably, have to sell assets, fret not: just lose a lot of money, too, and pile on the offsets. “We do what’s called tax-loss harvesting,” says Wieseneck, using a simple example to illustrate. Say someone owns Pepsi stock, and it tanks. They sell at a loss, but then buy about the same amount of Coca Cola stock. The Pepsi loss can erase some (or even all, if you play your cards right) of the taxes owed on the gains made on Coca Cola stock.

“During the year we try to accumulate losses,” says Wieseneck. “At the end of the year, if I know you have a capital gain on a sale of a property or a house or another investment, I’ll accumulate some losses for you that can offset [it].” Capital losses don’t also have to be applied in the same year — if you know you’ll be selling more assets next year, you can bank them for later.

It’s illegal to quickly sell and then buy the same stock again — a practice called a “wash sale” — just to save on taxes, but the key word is “same.” Public companies often offer different classes of stock that essentially trade the same, and it’s not hard to trade similar-enough stocks back and forth. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), for example, are like buckets containing a mix of stocks that can themselves be traded like a stock. A few different ETFs might perform roughly the same on the stock market; a person could sell one ETF and quickly buy another while avoiding the “do not sell and buy the same stock within 30 days” rule.

Play tax rate arbitrage

Another tool in the tax shrinking arsenal: leveraging the differences in tax rates, which vary based on the type of asset and how long someone owned it. Long-term gains — assets held for longer than a year — from the sale of stocks and bonds are taxed at rates as low as zero percent and as high as 25 percent. Short-term gains, meanwhile, can face a tax as high as 37 percent. Collectibles, which include art, antiques, cards, comic books, and more, have a max rate of 28 percent.

The basic strategy here is to always get the lowest tax rate possible for your gains. A favorite tactic of billionaire investor Jeff Yass, according to reporting from ProPublica, is to place bets both for and against large companies, trying to amass a bunch of short-term losses on one end and long-term gains, which already enjoy a lower tax rate, on the other.

Another kind of magic trick is to place high-tax income into lower-tax or no-tax wrappers, which can include things like tax-advantaged retirement accounts. One example is what’s called the private placement life insurance policy, a niche product that only the very wealthiest of the wealthy use. It can cost millions of dollars to set up, so it’s not worth it unless you’re rich, but the premiums a policyholder pays into the policy can be invested in high-growth investment options, such as hedge funds. The money you’d get back if you decide to cancel the policy isn’t taxed, but it’s not even necessary to take the money out. You can borrow money from the policy at low interest rates, and its benefits pass on tax-free to beneficiaries upon the original holder’s death. It’s insurance, says Michael Kosnitzky, co-chair of the law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Private Client & Family Office practice group, “but it also holds investment assets and, like any permanent insurance policy, the cash surrender value grows tax free.”

A recent report from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, laid out how big the scheme had gotten, currently sheltering at least $40 billion. The report found that the average net worth of people with such life insurance policies was over $100 million.

Business or pleasure?

When you’re very rich, it’s important to treat everything as a business expense. Private jets are expensive luxuries, but the cost can be fully tax deductible if the plane is mostly being used for business — and what counts as “mostly business” isn’t clear cut. Maybe you take a trip on your jet partly to take a business meeting, but also to spend a few relaxing days in a beautiful getaway spot. Private jet owners often set up LLCs and rent out their planes when they’re not personally using them to take advantage of the tax deduction, reported ProPublica.

In fact, many expensive hobbies of the ultra-rich coincidentally turn into business expenses — yachts, racehorses, golf courses, and more. They’re often run very professionally, says Kiel, “but never quite seem to make a profit.”

“Generally you’re not supposed to write stuff off that’s a hobby,” he continues. “But the wealthier you are, the more your hobbies appear to be businesses or are operated like businesses.”

Despite the ubiquity of this practice, there’s risk to it, especially as the IRS ramps up audits of tax write-offs for private jets. If the wealthy are going to buy exorbitantly expensive yachts and claim it’s being used for a business, says Kosnitzky, “you’d better be on very solid ground.”

Philanthropy pays

Charity is a time-worn way the ultra-rich reduce their taxes — and it has the added bonus of putting a nice luster on their reputation. Many charitable organizations set up by billionaires are tax-exempt, and charitable donations are tax deductible. You can completely control when to make a donation, and of what size, depending on how much taxable income you have in a given year; it’s a nimble method of offsetting taxes.

But the worthiness of charitable deductions can be questionable, because they’re “very, very loosely regulated,” says Kiel. The donations themselves can range from buying mosquito nets to prevent malaria to “paying for your kid’s private school.” Recall, for example, that former President Donald Trump once used money from his foundation to buy a painting of himself. Often, the wealthy can pour money into foundations and funds with philanthropic aims without actually distributing that money to anyone. One popular charitable medium today is called a donor-advised fund. Rich people put their money into these funds, and “advisers” who manage the account eventually give away the money — eventually being the key word. Even if the money hasn’t gone to a good cause yet, donors can take the tax deduction right away.

In other cases, what raises eyebrows is whether an ostensibly charitable organization actually serves a public good. These charities get tax-exempt status because they’re supposed to have a “pro-social” purpose, says Daniel Reck, an economics professor at the University of Maryland who recently co-authored a paper analyzing tax evasion among the ultra-rich. Some billionaires claim their foundations qualify because they’re opening up a historical mansion or private art collection to the public. In fact, there are many examples of tax-exempt organizations not holding up their end of the bargain. As ProPublica reported, the historic landmark Carolands Chateau enjoys tax benefits but is open to the public just two hours per week. A private art gallery established by the late billionaire Sheldon Solow only recently became open to visitors, despite some of the art being held in a tax-exempt foundation.

Also crucial to utilizing charity as a tax avoidance strategy is pumping up the value of your generosity. “You donate some fancy piece of fine art to a museum, you get an assessment for the art, it’s much more than you could actually ever sell it for,” explains Reck. “You get a big tax write-off.” It’s not just fine art, either — one popular form of overvaluation (until Congress passed a bill putting an end to it last year) involved inflating the value of land. Called a “syndicated conservation easement,” it took advantage of an incentive for environmental conservation, in which landowners who agree not to develop their land would get a tax break proportional to the fair market value of the land. “The game is that people just massively, ludicrously inflate these fair market values,” says Reck. In the syndicated version of this tax break, a group of investors buys land, gets an overvalued assessment on it, and shares the tax write-off between themselves. “Now there are a bunch of court cases about it,” Reck says.

The gray area and the illegal stuff

Some of the above tactics occupy an ambiguous, blurry zone of legality — it might be okay or not on a case-by-case basis. Some wealthy people may be alright with the risk, but Kosnitzky notes that it isn’t wise to play the “audit lottery” — there’s also reputational risk to consider. For those determined to take an “aggressive” tax position, a lot of documentation and even having their lawyer prepare a memo defending their tax strategy may be necessary. They might still end up paying a penalty and owing taxes, but exactly how much is up for negotiation.

The paper Reck co-authored found that sophisticated tax evasion methods used by the very wealthy, including evasion through pass-through businesses or offshore accounts, often goes undetected by random audits. This suggests that current estimates of the “tax gap,” or the difference between taxes paid to the IRS and the amount it’s actually owed, is very likely an undercount.

The difference between avoidance (legal) and evasion (illegal) is hard to untangle at times because wealthy people will dispute their audit, deploying brilliant tax lawyers to argue that the government is mistaken. These battles can take years to settle. It’s not just that the IRS needs a bigger budget to do all the audits it wants to — it did get extra funding in the Inflation Reduction Act — but that auditing a wealthy taxpayer is costlier, and much more time-consuming, than auditing a poor one. The structures of the well-off’s businesses are often extremely complex, too, which also makes auditing them more expensive.

Reck noted that rich people dispute a greater share of the tax that the IRS says they should pay after an audit. In the middle of the income distribution, about 10 percent of the auditor’s recommended adjustment is disputed, says Reck. Among people with the highest income, however, the disputed share exceeds 50 percent. “That suggests that the taxpayer and their advisers, at least, believe that they’re either in some gray area or were allowed to do what they did.”

“We’ve talked to a lot of former IRS agents, and they would often hear the line that for wealthy taxpayers, their tax return is like an opening offer,” says Kiel.


Taylor Swift and the strange power of ‘Swiftonomics’

When Chris Galvin was searching for Taylor Swift tickets for his 13-year-old daughter, Lily, last summer, the best he could find was a pair for $2,000 plus a spot in a parking lot 10 minutes’ walk from the concert for nearly $500.

That was for the concert closest to their home – the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, a Silicon Valley city located in the San Francisco Bay Area – where Swift performed at the end of July.

Galvin hadn’t moved fast enough to find cheaper tickets. Before they had even become available to buy, the shows were so highly anticipated that the city announced in a news release that it would temporarily change its name to “Swiftie Clara”. Swift was even named Honorary Mayor during her visit.

After reaching out to his social media networks and shelling out $500 including fees, Galvin was able to secure two last-minute tickets to an early August performance at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, a city in Los Angeles County more than 560km (350 miles) from his home.

Swiftie Dad
A ‘Swiftie Dad’ with his daughter at the Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California on August 8, 2023 [Caroline Brehman/EPA]

Galvin surprised his daughter with the news that they were going to LA a few days before the event.

“The road trip, standing in line for merchandise, and the overall experience turned out to be a lot of fun,” he says. “I’ll never forget sharing that experience with her. It was so cool to see her singing, dancing and just in awe for her first real concert.”

Now a music tech executive, Galvin was a professional DJ in Southern California during the 1990s. Though Swift’s music isn’t similar to what he played at underground raves, he says the atmosphere at Swift’s SoFi Stadium show was reminiscent of the PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect) ethos of the old-school rave scene in Los Angeles.

“The positive vibe was incredible,” Galvin says. “Random Swifties would simply walk up to Lily, strike up a conversation, and ask if she wanted to trade [friendship] bracelets.”

His daughter made some lasting relationships, and mothers of young fans gave him several rave-reminiscent friendship bracelets, with phrases like “Swiftie Dad” spelled out in beads.

Friendship bracelets are a big thing among Swifties. Fans started trading friendship bracelets after she sang about them in You’re on Your Own, Kid on her 2022 album, Midnights: “Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned / Everything you lose is a step you take / So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it / You’ve got no reason to be afraid.”

Swiftie Dad bracelet
Chris Galvin’s ‘Swiftie Dad’ bracelet [Courtesy of Chris Galvin]

Swift mania

But what is now known as the Taylor Swift Effect runs far beyond a craze for friendship bracelets. The six shows she performed at SoFi, where Galvin and his daughter went to watch her, generated an estimated $320m in tourism revenues, taxes and extra jobs for Los Angeles County, according to a special report by the Center for Jobs.

“Swiftonomics” effect has caused countries to vie for her attention. When the initial list of tour dates was published in June 2023 with no mention of Canada, Canadian Members of Parliament filed a complaint with the Speaker of the House of Commons calling it a “snub”. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hurriedly issued an invitation and, a month later, six dates for Toronto and three for Vancouver were added to the list of international tour dates for 2024.

Swift has also received invitations from the president of Chile, the mayor of Budapest and the leader of an opposition party in Thailand. New Zealand’s finance minister, Grant Robertson, bowed out of the contest to attract Swift, saying he couldn’t afford to invest public money on a marketing campaign.

It’s little wonder that Swift was named Person of the Year for 2023 by Time Magazine.

Taylor Swift
The cover of Time Magazine announcing the 2023 Person of the Year with US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift [Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin /TIME/TIME Person of the Year/ AFP]

The rise of Taylor Swift has been astronomical and is a story that resonates strongly with teenage admirers, though fans of all ages consider themselves to be “Swifties”. The 34-year-old was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Nashville, Tennessee, with aspirations for the country music scene at the age of 14. She released her debut album at 16 in 2006.

That first album was a hit on both the Top Country Albums (where it spent 24 weeks at number one) and on the Billboard 200, where it peaked at number five and hung out on the pop chart for 284 weeks – almost five and a half years. She remained more prominently in the country music world for several years until she released 1989, her first overtly pop album, in 2014.

Somehow, fans seem to identify strongly with Swift’s well-documented struggles in love, using her songs to get through their own challenging experiences; others particularly admire her shift from country to mainstream pop music on her own terms. Young women say they grew up feeling inspired by a woman who set new standards for herself and others in business that has set a lasting impression of self-empowerment.

“I find it cool and powerful that she can re-record all of her old albums and encourage her fans to listen,” says Lily Galvin. “It shows her strength and independence as a woman and artist. I also like how she serves as a role model for so many people. Plus, she creates great music and seems like a really nice person.”

Taylor Swift 2007
Taylor Swift performs during the 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in May 2007, in Las Vegas, when she was more prominent on the country music scene [Mark J Terrill/AP]

Taking back control

Indeed, it is Swift’s business prowess, which includes the re-recording of her first six albums in order to take back control of the master recordings, which has made her an intergenerational inspiration for women both within and outside of the music industry.

In 2019, her former record label, Big Machine Records, owned the masters of the original albums and its owner sold them to a publishing company founded by Scooter Braun, a former music manager for Justin Bieber and Kanye West, whom Swift claimed bullied her on several occasions in her career. So, she re-recorded them all.

“Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it,” she explained in a 2019 Tumblr post.

“Or when his client, Kanye West, organised a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.”

In the Tumblr missive, Swift told her fans that the new Taylor’s Version albums would be the “healthier option” to buy. She cautioned other artists to make sure they protect their personal rights before they sign any contracts that are not in their best interests – like her early recording deal, which didn’t give her ownership of her own catalogue.

“Thankfully, I am now signed to a label that believes I should own anything I create,” she wrote. “And hopefully, young artists or kids with musical dreams will read this and learn about how to better protect themselves in a negotiation. You deserve to own the art you make.”

An economic phenomenon

The international leg of Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour returns in February with a four-night run at the Tokyo Dome in Japan and, as of this writing, will conclude with three nights in Vancouver, British Columbia in early December 2024.

Pollstar estimates that the Eras Tour has already grossed more than $1bn after just 60 shows and 4.35 million tickets sold, breaking a record previously held by Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which took place over 328 performances between 2018 and 2023 and generated $939m.

That’s an exponential difference in terms of the number of shows each artist needed to perform. Ticket sales from Swift’s 2024 performances are expected to gross another $1bn. Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film cost $15m to produce and passed $250m in global sales in November to become the top-grossing concert film of all time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As the Eras Tour continues its schedule of concerts around the world in the new year, Swift is likely to continue to generate more money than the gross domestic product (GDP) of several countries.

Taylor Swift Chiefs
Taylor Swift cheers during the first half of an NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, December 25, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri [Charlie Riedel/AP]

The fascination surrounding this has not been confined to music industry commentators and the tabloids. The Washington Post used World Bank data to report that she made more than the annual economic output of 42 nations in 2022.

The Economist took it one step further and conducted an investigation of the 2023 tours by Swift and fellow global pop star and friend Beyoncé to see if they were spurring inflation (conclusion: they weren’t).

In fact, only sporting events tend to boost ancillary spending around major events, economists say. But of course, Swift’s got something to do with giving sports a boost, too – American football, at least. Her budding romantic relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has boosted televised views for the NFL in the US since she began attending games in September.

According to Nielsen data, TV ratings for the October 1 Chiefs game against the New York Jets that aired on Sunday Night Football were the second-highest they’ve been all season at 27 million views, a figure bested only by last February’s Super Bowl. Viewing from women and girls aged from 12 to 35 shot up significantly, particularly in the 12-17 age group.

It seems that Swift’s fans are tuning into Chiefs games en masse with hopes of catching Swift watching from a skybox.

Taylor Swift Chiefs
A Taylor Swift fan cheering the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday, December 25, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri [Reed Hoffmann/AP]

Perfect timing

“Taylor Swift has perfectly timed her concerts to a period where peak consumer spending and peak employment rates are really a substantial qualifier of our current economy. Six months from now, we likely aren’t going to see tours of this magnitude,” Frances Donald, Manulife Investment Management’s chief economist and a self-confessed Swiftie, told CBC in June 2023. She added that the enthusiasm people feel for being able to gather and celebrate in this way since the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic will run its course.

For corporations, politicians, governments and celebrities alike, touting a connection with Swift, however tenuous, has become a popular marketing and clout-generating tool in both social and traditional media.

“Are you a Swiftie?” asked NASA in an Instagram post in October 2022. “We are too!” a rep for the US space agency continued, before describing an extreme rotating neutron star captured by its Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory telescope.

Swift has yet to have a constellation named after her but, back on planet Earth, a Seattle concert set a new record for seismic activity when her dancing fans caused the equivalent of a magnitude 2.3 earthquake at the Lumen Field stadium, which holds 70,000 people.

Taylor Swift The Eras Tour - Nashville
Taylor Swift performs during The Eras Tour on Friday, May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee [George Walker IV/AP]

She has even been cited in the naming of a new species. In findings published in April 2022 by ZooKeys, entomologist Derek Hennen identified a previously undocumented arthropod and called it Nannaria swiftae, with a vernacular name of the Swift twisted-claw millipede.

Hennen was reported saying Swift’s music had alleviated “some rough times” in his life, and that he played her music during a 17-state quest to find undiscovered millipedes. The chestnut brown and orange Nannaria swiftae, he wrote, was discovered among “mesic forests with hemlock, maple, oak, tulip tree, witch hazel, and pine” at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee and in three counties in the state. Hennen named it in recognition of Swift’s “talent as a songwriter and performer and in appreciation of the enjoyment her music has brought [to me]”.

Though Swift’s full global economic (and seismic) impact may have yet to be accurately measured and explained, her vast cultural influence is easier to see, especially in the United States.

A vinyl sensation

According to Billboard, Swift’s Midnights was the number one album of 2022 in all formats in the United States. Her 10th studio album was one of every 25 of the more than 41 million vinyl records sold in the US that year, and it was not even released until the end of October.

Data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) shows that 41 million represents more vinyl albums sold than compact discs (CDs) for the first time since 1987, but still short of the 300-plus million vinyl records sold annually in the US in the late 1970s when they were at their most popular.

In the UK, vinyl sales rose by 11.7 percent to 5.9 million in 2023, according to British Phonographic Industry figures released at the end of December. Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was the best-selling LP.

Taylor Swift vinyl
Vinyl records and CDs on sale at the HMV store on Oxford Street on December 28, 2023, in London, England. Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s version) was the best-selling LP [Peter Nicholls/Getty Images]

“One of the biggest impacts we’ve seen as a result of Taylor’s vinyl releases is a growth in the number of young women who are really getting into vinyl collecting,” says Caren Kelleher, founder and president of Gold Rush Vinyl.

“I’ve been blown away by how many young music fans are finding us on TikTok and will write to us and say they started collecting because of Taylor Swift. Choosing to spend your money on a new vinyl record – especially a limited edition one – sends the signal that you are not a casual fan: you’re a super fan. Artists of all popularity levels are seeing vinyl as a way to get creative in serving those fans.”

A digital copy of Midnights costs $11.99 in the US iTunes store; fans can spend a few extra dollars to get other editions such as the 3am Edition or The Til Dawn Edition with some added rare tracks. By comparison, vinyl copies, which come in four different colour schemes, average $32.99 at the online record shops that may still stock a copy or two, while a set of all four currently retails for $178.99 on Amazon.

Based in Austin, Texas, Kelleher’s independent vinyl record pressing plant has seen an overall boost that she can attribute, indirectly at least, to Swift.

“With top artists like Taylor producing so much vinyl at large plants, we’re happy that more artists and labels are finding their way to Gold Rush Vinyl, especially those who otherwise press in Canada and Europe, where the bulk of Taylor’s vinyl is made. The increased cost of doing business abroad is also sending more business back to America, which benefits our team.”

Taylor Swift Eras Tour
Taylor Swift attends a premiere for Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour in Los Angeles, California on October 11, 2023 [Mario Anzuoni/Reuters]

‘One of the most successful CEOs in the world’

Kelleher says she’s been a Swiftie since the release of the star’s second album – 2008’s Fearless. There was a time when she worried that she had outgrown Swift’s music, but then Folklore dropped in 2020. Both albums are considered successes relative to the year they were released, but look quite different in terms of physical sales.

Fearless received a rare Diamond certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of more than 10 million in the US, with 11 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart at a time when streaming numbers weren’t included. Folklore was certified 2x Platinum for selling more than two million copies and has been recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records for earning the most one-day streams of an album on Spotify (female), with 80.6m streams in 24 hours.

“It only deepened my admiration for not only her songwriting skills, but her business acumen,” Kelleher says. “I’ve always found it refreshing that the business of Taylor Swift seems to come truly from what she wants to do, not what’s in the traditional music industry playbook. She’s one of the most successful CEOs in the world.”

A field of study

Interest in the cultural phenomenon of Taylor Swift has reached the hallowed halls of academia. Her lyrics, storytelling and societal influence are all growing fields of study at universities across the United States. Schools teaching Taylor Swift sessions include Harvard, Stanford and New York University, which presented her with an honorary doctorate in fine arts last year.

In the coming spring, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley will begin offering a graduate, student-led course called Artistry and Entrepreneurship: Taylor’s Version.

Student-led courses on contemporary artists tend to fill up instantly and draw large waiting lists. For example, NBC reported that registration for the University of Florida’s upcoming spring course Musical Storytelling with Taylor Swift and Other Iconic Female Artists, which will look for parallels between her work and the discographies of artists like Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Dolly Parton, filled up in 10 seconds.

Taylor Swift honourary degree
Singer Taylor Swift attends the New York University (NYU) graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York on May 18, 2022 [Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]

Swift also became the subject of academic conferences this year, joining the ranks of acts such as the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Tupac Shakur, who have all had full scholarly events dedicated to them.

In November, Indiana University’s Bloomington campus launched what purported to be the first international academic gathering to study the star, called Taylor Swift: The Conference Era. More than 1,000 people attended panels such as Taylor as an Anti-Hero, Tour Economy and Crowd Culture, and Feminism and Capitalism over two days. Similarly, an inaugural “Swiftposium” is planned at the University of Melbourne in February.

In Indiana, students, teachers and civilians alike mingled with scholars and culture theorists like Gina Arnold, an adjunct professor of rhetoric at the University of San Francisco, who was invited to be a keynote speaker after co-editing a 2021 issue of Contemporary Music Review dedicated to Swift.

“Taylor Swift is a great subject for academics because her mere existence touches on so many disciplines,” Arnold explains. “Music, media studies, women’s studies, queer theory, business, economics, film, literature – you can approach her work from any of these angles and find something to say.

“This is true of a lot of acts, actually, since to be a pop star these days requires that a person be adept at a multiplicity of topics like film, video, music, business and technology. But Taylor is the biggest and therefore easiest to study. And unlike, say, the Rolling Stones or U2 or other giant acts, she is actually of interest to college-aged students. Hence, academic interest.”

A feminist in the eye of the beholder

Kelleher at Gold Rush Vinyl thinks that Swift is good at averting the pervasive pressure for businesswomen in the US to employ aggressiveness or other traditionally masculine traits to get ahead in work. In her view, this makes her a good feminist role model.

“I appreciate that Taylor Swift’s brand of feminism is one in which being a smart, empowered and successful woman means you don’t have to have all sharp edges,” she says. “You can sing songs about heartache, hope, and friendship bracelets and still make it at the top.”

But Arnold, who has written books about music festivals, Nirvana and Liz Phair, and is a co-editor of the 2023 anthology The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Record Store: A Global History, says she doesn’t “see Swift as a feminist, exactly”.

“She is more like her idol, Dolly Parton, who if asked if she’s a feminist says, ‘No, I’d describe myself as a businesswoman’,” says Arnold. “I love how Dolly sees those things as very different – it says so much. And it is so incredibly difficult to make it as a businesswoman in America, at least at those heady levels, that it pretty much doubles as being a feminist.

“I think Taylor is a feminist in that she is a role model for young women as far as what heights they can scale. It should be noted that if Taylor Swift is feminist, she is a very white one – not intersectional. But that’s valid.”

Taylor Swift bracelets
Teenagers trade bracelets while waiting for the beginning of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert movie in a cinema in Mexico City, Mexico October 13, 2023 [Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters]

Kelleher notes that Swift’s take on storytelling helps her bond with her friends, who like to discuss the intricacies of her lyrics and music: “Particularly this year with the Eras Tour and the re-releases, Taylor’s music has strengthened my relationships with so many friends who also love her music – even if it’s just by giving us more reasons to text one another and share reactions to new songs.”

Just as the US dates that Swift performed in 2023 did, her international concerts in the new year are expected to roll in another billion dollars and draw fans of all ages, with plenty of enthusiasm for and money to spend on trips and outings to see the entertainer. Fans think the experience is more than worthwhile.

“Going to Taylor Swift’s concert was amazing!” says Lily Galvin, the California teen whose favourite songs are Betty from Folklore and Is It Over Now? from 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

“She’s so amazing. The show was so well produced, the stage was so cool and huge, the other people in the audience were so fun, and I loved all of the dancers. The sound was amazing. I thought it was such a vibe when she played the piano. Low-key fire.

“Also, I felt like you could just be yourself and be accepted for who you are, no matter what, because we all like Taylor Swift.”

Top 5 Benefits of Hiring Management Consultants – Role of Management Consultants in Business Transformation

In the fast-paced world of business, organizations often find themselves in need of transformation to stay competitive and relevant. Business transformation has become a buzzword, signifying the need for companies to evolve and embrace change. Small or big, businesses need external expertise to navigate complex business challenges and achieve strategic objectives. Resistance to change, lack of clarity in strategic objectives, and the absence of a structured transformation plan are common hurdles organizations face. This is where the expertise of management consultants comes into play. Thus, management consultants are perfect hire for organizational growth and transformation. They are the driving force behind organizational change, helping businesses adapt to evolving market dynamics and thrive in the face of uncertainty.


Business Management Consultants

Business management consultants excel in analyzing organizations to pinpoint areas for enhancement. Collaborating closely with businesses, they devise customized strategies to fuel growth and boost performance. Consultants offer invaluable insights and direction, aiding businesses in navigating through intricate challenges to accomplish their objectives.

Additionally, management consultants are instrumental in executing change initiatives. They collaborate with businesses to craft action plans, establish objectives, and oversee progress. Few of the common approach management consultants adopt for business transformation are as follows.

  • Objective Assessment
  • Strategic Planning
  • Change Management
  • Technology Integration
  • Skill Development
  • Risk Management
  • Continuous Improvement


Benefits of Hiring Business Management Consultants

Partnering with business management consultants offers a range of benefits for organizations looking to transform their operations. Some of the key advantages include:


  1. Customized Solutions

Business management consultants are adept at providing tailored solutions to meet the unique needs and challenges of each organization. By conducting in-depth assessments and analyses, they can identify specific pain points and develop strategies that align with the company’s goals and vision. For instance, A retail company struggling with declining sales may partner with consultants who conduct a thorough analysis of consumer behavior, market trends, and competitive landscapes. The consultants then design a tailored strategy, including personalized marketing campaigns and improved customer experiences, to address the specific challenges faced by the company.


  1. Objective Perspective

Consultants provide an objective perspective on the organization, helping businesses identify blind spots and areas for improvement. Their unbiased viewpoint can be valuable in driving change and overcoming resistance. Management consultants providing objective perspective will help businesses turnaround quicker through multi-pronged approach on organization restructure, financial restructure, performance analysis, tax strategies and more.


  1. Cost Efficiency

Partnering with consultants can often be more cost-effective than hiring and training in-house experts. For instance, instead of hiring a full-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a startup in its early stages might engage financial consultants on a project basis. Organizations can access a diverse skill set without the long-term commitments and expenses associated with full-time employees, making it a flexible and efficient solution.



  1. Accelerated Growth

Management consultants can play a crucial role in accelerating an organization’s growth. Through strategic planning, process optimization, and market expansion initiatives, they help businesses unlock new opportunities and navigate challenges, leading to faster and more sustainable growth. For example, a manufacturing company aiming to expand globally partners with consultants who specialize in international business. These consultants assess market opportunities, navigate regulatory complexities, and develop a growth strategy that enables the company to quickly establish a global presence and capture new markets.


  1. Change Management

One of the biggest challenges in business transformation is managing change. Consultants provide guidance and support to employees, helping them adapt to new ways of working and ensuring that transformational efforts are embraced and implemented successfully. Consultants also offer services managing the change in the organization during merger & acquisition, and joint venture, enabling them to facilitate smooth and successful change management processes for their clients.

For example, A traditional wholesale trader undergoing a digital transformation engages management consultants to assist in the cultural shift toward embracing technology. The consultants can develop change management programs, conduct training sessions, and facilitate communication strategies to ensure a smooth transition for employees adapting to new technologies and processes.


Sterling Cooper, Inc.

Sterling Cooper, Inc. is a premier business acquisition advisory and management consultant firm in the USA, boasting decades of experience. Catering to a wide spectrum from budding startups to well-established enterprises, Sterling Cooper’s bespoke strategies nurture innovation, streamline operations, and cultivate market dominance. Their adept team employs a rigorous selection methodology, coupled with financial proficiency and industry acumen, to seamlessly assimilate acquired entities into a synergistic and vibrant portfolio. For business inquiries, fill our short feedback form or call us at our Toll-Free Number 1-866-285-6572.

Cross-Border (Mergers & Acquisitions) M&A: Key Considerations for U.S. Businesses

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) play a crucial role in helping companies expand their global presence and enter new markets. These deals involve merging or acquiring companies from different countries, providing businesses with strategic advantages and opportunities for growth. One of the main benefits of cross-border M&A is the potential for international expansion.

By merging or acquiring companies in foreign markets, businesses can gain access to a larger customer base, distribution networks, and established infrastructure. This expansion can lead to increased market share and revenue streams, helping companies achieve their growth objectives. However, it is important to recognize that cross-border M&A presents key challenges that need to be carefully considered.


 Legal and Regulatory Considerations

When participating in cross-border transactions, it is essential to comprehend the legal considerations involved. Each country has its own set of laws and regulations governing mergers and acquisitions, making it necessary to navigate the legal landscape in order to minimize risks and ensure compliance.

Failure to adhere to local laws and regulations can have significant consequences for the parties involved. To effectively navigate the legal aspects of cross-border transactions, it is recommended to seek the assistance of local legal experts who specialize in such deals. These experts possess a deep understanding of the local legal framework and can offer valuable guidance throughout the process of making the deal. Their expertise extends to interpreting local laws and regulations, enabling companies to identify potential legal pitfalls and find practical solutions.

Our firm can introduce your company to expert attorneys and accountants in China, Mexico, Canada the UK and Australia as well as other countries to expedite the process of understanding the intricacies of potential stand-alone acquisitions or possible mergers.

 Cultural Barriers in Mergers and Acquisitions

Overcoming cultural and language barriers is vital in global business mergers and acquisitions. The differences in communication styles, business practices, and work cultures between companies from different countries can create challenges and misunderstandings.

To navigate these barriers successfully, companies need to prioritize open and transparent communication, cultural sensitivity, and bridging the gap between different business norms. It is crucial to foster understanding and collaboration among employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. Additionally, investing in cross-cultural training programs can enhance employees’ cultural awareness and equip them with the necessary skills to work effectively in a multicultural environment. These programs can cover topics such as cultural etiquette, intercultural communication, and negotiation styles, ultimately creating a more inclusive and collaborative work environment.

 Tax Implications

The tax implications of a cross-border M&A deal can be intricate. U.S. businesses must carefully assess both U.S. and foreign tax laws to understand the financial impact of the transaction. This involves considering the most favorable deal structures and mitigating potential tax liabilities to optimize the financial outcomes. Our structured accounting advice will aid in the decisions.

Technology and IT Systems

The compatibility of technology and IT systems is a practical consideration often overlooked. IT systems and processes can differ significantly between companies, even within the same industry. This can make it challenging to integrate systems and processes smoothly, leading to inefficiencies and potential system failures. Additionally, differences in technology standards and protocols between countries can create compatibility issues that need to be addressed.

Talent Retention

The success of a cross-border M&A is closely tied to talent retention. Businesses must develop strategies to retain key personnel in both the acquiring and target companies. Clear communication about job security, career pathways, and organizational culture can foster a positive environment conducive to retaining critical talent.

Often the employees of the target company are fearful of the new owner and a public relations campaign is needed to keep employees in place, without getting recruited by competitors seeking to take advantage of “acquisition fear”.

Embarking on a cross-border M&A journey demands a strategic, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive approach. Businesses should collaborate with M&A Advisors such as  Sterling Cooper Inc. to navigate the complexities associated with international transactions successfully. By carefully considering these key factors, businesses can position themselves for a successful cross-border M&A experience, unlocking new avenues for growth and global competitiveness.

Sterling Cooper, Inc is a business acquisition advisory company in the USA having decades of experience. From emerging startups to established enterprises, Sterling Cooper’s tailored approach fosters innovation, efficiency, and market leadership. Our seasoned team leverages a meticulous selection process, financial acumen, and industry expertise to seamlessly integrate acquired entities into a cohesive and dynamic portfolio. For business inquiry fill our short feedback form or call us at our Toll-Free Number 1-866-285-6572.



I have visited hundreds of abandoned places in my life—factories to asylums, schools to churches—but suburban malls might be the most surreal and striking. They captivate the imagination in a way few other types of environments can: with an almost imperceptible layer of fog that forms between the first and second floors of an atrium, endless reflections of vacant storefronts, or a chance encounter with a groundhog in the remains of a food court.

Stripped of signage and wares, they are nearly perfectly liminal spaces. Malls have become a part of the modern collective unconscious, through both the haze of half-buried memories of any American over the age of 20 and their ubiquity in popular media. They reflect the American consumer’s identity, and to see a suburban mall in ruins warps nostalgia into something nightmarish and forlorn in a way that abandoned factories, hospitals, or even churches don’t quite do.

We are all, to some extent, intimately familiar with the mall experience. Many of us in America had an indoor shopping center that was “our mall” at some point in our lives. Those memories are shared, because even though we weren’t all going to the same mall, we were: franchise stores—Auntie Anne’s, Sbarro, The Gap—share the same layout and inoffensive color palette and logo lettering across the country. To know one of these malls is to know them all. It’s a powerful magic I’m not sure I can fully explain, even after wandering the deserted storefronts of many vacant shopping hubs.

Much has been written on the phenomenon of the collapse of the American mall and the reasons for it. The most obvious—the rise of online retail—is undeniably a significant factor, but it also masks a rot that had been spreading before Amazon gutted brick-and-mortar. It’s hard to think of any comparable social institution that cost so much and covered so much physical space and then imploded so quickly. As always, the story is far more complex than any tidy summary can encompass.

The first contemporary, enclosed suburban shopping mall in America*—Southdale Shopping Center in Edina, Minnesota—was built in 1956, and the idea was incredibly successful. The exodus from urban centers to suburbs created an enormous opportunity to fill a vacuum for goods and services in smaller communities. A mall patron could get their hair styled, buy groceries, visit the bank, and enjoy an art installation all in one building.

As the concept gained steam, the mall seemed a well of endless novelty—a preeminent showcase of modern architecture and innovative products. For the archetypal suburban housewife, otherwise isolated, it was a place for socialization and escape. As malls flourished, in many communities they decimated urban shopping districts, which by then had come to be viewed by some as outdated and unsafe.

By their heyday in the late 1970s and 1980s, malls had established themselves as dominant retail hubs, and for developers, they seemed like a never-ending source of income. In communities that already had “their” malls, new ones were built to compete with them: bigger, more upscale, or just different. Even though the popularity of malls would continue well through the 1990s, this competition was the first factor that led to the cascade of closures that followed. There were too many, cannibalizing each other’s customers. Novelty meant that when one mall became dated or, sometimes, viewed as dangerous—often through white shoppers’ perception of nonwhite shoppers and the stores that served them—there was another one to go to instead. A single police incident could turn away scores of patrons for years.

The overabundance of suburban malls heralded a subtle but important perceptual shift—by the 2000s, dated and poorly maintained malls were commonplace, and the view of them as sparkling palaces of wonder and delight was fading. It had become trendy to hate them. Department stores were losing the battle for cost-conscious consumers to big box retailers like Walmart, which spread like wildfire through the 1990s.

Poor management, obsolete marketing strategies, and unsustainable expansion left retailers like JCPenney and Macy’s at a tremendous strategic disadvantage against bargain stores like TJ Maxx and fashionable (and often freestanding) chains like Target. Leveraged buyouts, a vampiric process where outside investors purchase controlling shares in companies, saddle them with unmanageable debt, and then liquidate them, wiped out mall staples: Sears, Payless ShoeSource, and Toys “R” Us (though all of those recognizable brands have lingered in some diminished fashion).

The failure of larger anchor stores presented another catastrophic problem. The very size of malls became a liability: dead ends, darkened storefronts, and vacant corridors created eerie, lifeless pockets—and a death spiral. Fewer tenants, fewer shoppers, decreased income, more unkempt areas. Where an outdoor strip mall could simply tear down an underperforming section and build something else, malls were static islands surrounded by seas of asphalt. When online shopping grew, it stabbed a victim that was already bleeding out. The pandemic and inflation didn’t improve the situation, either. In the 1980s, there were roughly 2,500 malls in the United States. Today, there are approximately 700—a number most analysts expect to continue to decline.

Nevertheless, some malls are weathering the storm, at least for the moment: the American Dream Mall in Rutherford, New Jersey, which opened at the beginning of the pandemic, pairs entertainment—indoor water parks, ski slopes, and roller coasters—with unique stores and restaurants, and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, narrowly dodged foreclosure through a forbearance agreement.

Some malls are turning into mixed-use developments, hotels, and community centers to survive, while others are thriving by catering to certain populations, such as the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster, California. A study by Coresight Research reports that, as of 2022, sales and foot traffic in malls has increased 10 to 12 percent, and malls such as the Select Citywalk in New Dehli, India, are flourishing, as countries with high population density and low online market penetration seek new retail experiences. Downtown shopping districts are also making a comeback in cities such as Alexandria, Virginia, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. If anything is certain in the quickly changing retail environment, it’s that nothing is: There are no sure bets, and the champions of today’s marketplace may be buried in dust and shadows tomorrow.

As an explorer of abandoned places, though, I go to dead malls, with their problematic history of devastating downtown districts, in an attempt to reconcile their spotty legacy with the fond memories I have of them: reading comics in Waldenbooks, gazing longingly at K·B Toys, playing Street Fighter 2 in the arcade in the basement, and petting puppies and kittens in the pet store. My mother worked at a John Wannamaker store with a giant eagle statue perched by the railing in front of the second-floor entrance, gazing down at the shoppers below. I vaguely recall winning a Halloween costume contest at our mall when I was six or so—I was a pirate, by the way.

These empty malls I see, by virtue of their similarity, are my mall, too, and they are stuffed with the same kinds of memories: ear piercings at a cart, first jobs at the Orange Julius, love connections at the Sam Goody’s. Compared to a thriving galleria at its zenith, big box stores and online retailers seem shabby and isolating. There’s nowhere to sit, no fountains or planters, no people-watching. Perhaps as a culture, we have outgrown the mall, but it is an emotional loss. We may not have always wanted to go them, but we miss them when they’re gone.

I don’t believe that ghosts haunt us, but memories most certainly do. A dead mall is filled with echoes and the sting of lost youth. Even if we find nothing to mourn there, the Age of Malls as we once knew it is over and will most likely never be repeated. My hope is that the photos I take of them in their final days are both a shared reminiscence and a final goodbye.


Ivanka Trump strolls past the lush green golf course, blond ponytail poking through a white cap, her back to the house she and her husband bought for $24 million and renovated, probably with a low interest mortgage from the Saudi’s?. The billionaires live just like the clustered bungalow homes Brooklyn, where your next door neighbor is right next to your bathroom window and can her you flushing the toilet! But they can say they are exclusive and they are billionaires!

The overpriced homes that can be bought elsewhere for $1.5-$3.5 million, get those people with more money than brains, to shell out 20 times or more for homes that are due to be submerged with the forecast of  rising seas!

Next door to Ivanka and Jared’s home is the mansion of superstar DJ David Guetta, down the street from homes owned by Tom Brady, the football superstar, Carl Icahn the takeover icon, who bankrupted Trans World Airlines, Blockbuster, Hertz and Auto Plus and Eddie Lampert who managed to bankrupt Sears Roebuck.

Moving to Indian Creek Village, you can get sympathy from other billionaires to make your losses hurt less. However, since billionaires adhere to the principle of using “other people’s money”, they suffered no losses; while their  stockholders and investors did, LOL.

It’s warm and and sunny in Indian Creek Village, a town for the ultra rich on an island off the coast of Miami, a perfect winter morning in Florida’s Billionaire Bunker.

Out of sight that day was Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest person and the newest addition to the insulated enclave. His purchases mean the island’s five wealthiest property owners alone control fortunes totaling some $191 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He still can not park his yacht there!

The exclusive paradise — accessible for those with invites via a single, heavily guarded 24/7 bridge — is ground zero for the unprecedented migration of wealth to South Florida over the past five years. It’s also a showcase for the issues cropping up throughout the region as a result — soaring home prices, one of the country’s fastest inflation rates and a growing divide that separates the elite from the hoi polloi, who increasingly struggle to afford to live there.

The island itself even has its own version of gentrification — the merely affluent are now being displaced by the fabulously wealthy able to spend $100 million for a mansion in Indian Creek, which was built almost 100 years ago for that generation’s rich.

“Florida has always been infamous for gated communities,” said Richard Florida, a serendipitously named professor at the University of Toronto’s School of Cities and an occasional Bloomberg Opinion contributor. “What is new is the massive infusion of the top 0.0001% in and around Miami.” ( Lot’s of cheap illegals as household help.)

Bezos, the 59-year-old Inc. founder, announced he was moving to Miami in November. Already he’s shelled out $147 million for two mansions in Indian Creek, which he’s expected to tear down and replace with custom builds. One of the houses had been in the same family since 1982, a wealthy Venezuelan dynasty that bought it for $1.4 million. The other was purchased from a Brazilian executive whose electronics company thrived in the early 1990s.

Prices for homes renovated to the standards of billionaires in Indian Creek will soon start at nine figures, according to Dina Goldentayer, a real estate broker who has been involved with three of the island’s five most recent sales.

“This is all post-Covid, and it was actually quite different before,” Goldentayer said. About seven years ago, “there would be five or six listings at the same time and $20 million was a big sale.”

Bezo’s emissaries have reached out to at least three other homeowners on the island about purchasing their properties, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private matters. Conversations are ongoing. Maybe he is thinking of using them as rentals for extra income? The problem is that he can not park his oversize yacht close by the home.

There’s perhaps no more exclusive address in the region, though, than the 41 lots on Indian Creek Island Road, which runs along the village’s perimeter. In the middle of the island is a luxury golf course and country club; its coveted memberships are one of the few ways outsiders can get in. There are no other businesses.


The island is its own municipality, with an elected mayor, a role currently filled by Benny Klepach, the founder of duty-free retailer 3Sixty. City hall and the police station sit just across the bridge that connects Indian Creek to the community of Surfside. The town’s logo features a drawing of the iron gates that bar outsiders. Sidewalks were only added in recent years and sewage is still collected through septic tanks — though there are plans to change that.

Architect Kobi Karp, who has worked in Miami “since the Miami Vice and Scarface days,” said clients tell him that the island’s biggest draw is privacy.

“In other neighborhoods, I can come in if I want to serve you papers or harass you or take photographs of you,” said Karp, who has designed several residences in Indian Creek. “Some people don’t like that at all.”

Though Indian Creek is about the same size as Bay Harbor Islands, another oceanfront enclave of wealth in Florida, the former is home to only 84 people, while the latter has a population of almost 6,000, according to the 2020 census.

In addition to Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, Indian Creek Village property owners include short-seller Icahn, who purchased his mansion in 1997 for $7.5 million. Colombian billionaire banker Jaime Gilinski assembled five properties in the island that he’s used to create a compound for his family.

Gilinski’s decades-long buying spree is emblematic of the shifts on the island. He made his first purchase almost 30 years ago, shelling out $6 million. His latest was in 2021, for $40 million. All told, Gilinski has spent close to $80 million on his Indian Creek estates — about the same as the $79 million Bezos spent on a single, seven-bedroom mansion in October.

“Only the very wealthy, the billionaires,” can afford to live in Indian Creek now, said Paul George, the resident historian at the HistoryMiami Museum. “Hundreds of millions aren’t gonna cut it anymore.” Come on Mr. George, a person having a net worth of a few hundred million can easily afford $25-$50 million home which will sit right next to the bathroom window of an adjoining overpriced “mansion”.