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Money over citizenship

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

May 11, 2012 1:17:17 PM PDT
Facebook, that most American of success stories, is now sparking serious questions about the effort by some to avoid paying American taxes.

One of the co-founders of Facebook - Eduardo Saverin - renounced his U.S. citizenship today - right before an initial public offering (IPO). The stock deal values Facebook at $96 billion - and could raise nearly $12 billion for the company. It will also mean lots of money for Facebook execs and employees; Saverin owns 4 percent of the stock - or nearly $4 billion worth. So to save money - meaning not pay U.S. taxes - the 30-year-old Brazilian-born Saverin will say bye-bye to his citizenship here, and keep only his citizenship in Singapore.

He's not alone of course. A growing number of peeps in the 1 percent are giving up their citizenship to cut their tax liability.

And who knows - maybe we'd all do the same thing if we were in that position.

But maybe we wouldn't.

I'm just sayin'.

Meanwhile, the Facebook IPO is the talk of the market, next to JP Morgan Chase's $2 billion trading loss of course. We'll have any new fallout and developments, tonight at 11.

We're also following comments from NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, that he's puzzled why the CIA and other federal agencies hadn't shared info about the foiled Al Qaeda underwear bomb plot. Kelly and his anti-terrorist peeps had not been brief about the plot, even though, he says, New York continues to be a top terrorist target.

The two Presidential candidates are giving college graduation speeches over the next few days - President Obama at Barnard here in New York, and Mitt Romney at Liberty University in Virginia, the country's largest evangelical Christian college. One note about Romney's speech: The 2,000-plus students who will hear the presumptive Republican nominee have been taught that Romney's Mormon religion is a "cult" and it must be defeated.

Should be an interesting event.

Also at 11, I don't know about you - but I am constantly looking at my utility bills, trying to cut costs. I've trimmed my cable service, cut phone lines, you name it. Tonight, Consumer Reports takes an in-depth look at ways you can save on your Internet, TV and home phone bills.

And finally, a Happy Mother's Day to all those who have, had, or are moms. For those whose mothers are no longer alive - and I'm in that boat - there's always a touch of bitter to this otherwise sweet day. I know, I know - it's a made up holiday. But I buy into it anyway. I made sure that my former mother-in-law got flowers from my two oldest kids, and my mother-in-law and my wife will have a grand old time this weekend with me and our youngest daughter.

Nothing wrong with celebrating moms - the most important job in the world.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's weekend (and Mother's Day) forecast, and Laura Benhke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.


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