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If You Have All the Money in the World, Why Lease? 

By Matt Doty – If you made it through the holidays without seeing the movie “All the Money in the World,” I’d recommend it. The movie also came out as Congress was wrestling with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which now has significant impact on taxes and businesses that lease equipment. It’s based on a true story of the 1973 kidnapping of billionaire Jean Paul Getty’s grandson, Paul. The connection between these two rests in Getty’s astute, if not maniacal use of the rules to get ahead in business.

Jean Paul Getty made big bucks in oil, and was so squeaky tight with money that he squeezed out only part ($2.2 million) of his grandson’s ransom because it was the maximum amount that was tax deductible. And that was after the kidnappers lopped off little Getty’s right ear. And he loaned his son about $1 million to cover the rest of the ransom–at 4% interest!

Now, I’m not a huge fan of J. Paul Getty’s life skills or apparent lack of compassion, but the guy deserves some kudos for his shrewd business sense and fanatical attention to the bottom line. In short, you can’t fault him for his business and financial mind.


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