David Bowie, the architect of financial gloom

    According to economist Evan Davies of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, David Bowie’s mid-90s successful initiative to sell bonds in his music led bankers to catch on to the idea in regards to consumer mortgages, leading to the financial upheaval we are facing today.

     

    For those not familiar, the "Bowie Bonds" allowed the buyer a share of the royalties from the singer’s back-catalogue, while Bowie picked up future profits up-front.

     

    In an article in today’s issue of British tabloid, The Mirror, Davies said: “The banks were catching on to the idea. They thought, ‘We have billions out there in mortgages which are going to pay us back very slowly. Why don’t we sell those and get the money now?’"

     

    We all know how that turned out. But what has been missed by the majority of financial reporters and economists is Ziggy Stardust’s crucial role in this mess: “No one wanted to buy securities even if the securities were pretty good – which Northern Rock’s (a major bank that has since been nationalized) were. It was fashionable when David Bowie did it once. Ten years later it wasn’t.”

     

    Move over Madoff, there’s a new financial villain in town, complete with a handful of perfect super-villain names. The "Thin White Duke," anyone? [Gigwise]