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is an article series on Nupemag.com following all things money, lemme upload the weeks...

Damon Dash - http://www.nupemag.c...days-damon-dash

“I’ll sleep later”

If you’ve heard of multi-million selling rapper turned multi-million making entrepreneur Jay-Z then I wouldn’t put is by you to be familiar with one Damon Dash.

Born and raised in poverty ridden Harlem, New York, Dash was educated at a private school through a scholarship at the South Kent School in Connecticut. Having founded multimillion making ventures in the music, fashion and film industry Dash has cemented his reputation as one of Hip-Hop’s most savvy businessmen through the nineties and turn of the millennium.

“Your company is as good as the people you surround yourself with”

Dash initially was Jay-Z’s manager looking to find the young rapper a record deal after his Hard Knock Life album procured him attention within the Hip-Hop scene, however with no result from disinterested labels. Out of frustration Dash concluded that along with Jay-Z they had a better insight into how to market urban music and culture than the major labels, Rock-A-Fella was born. Founded by Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, Damon “Dame” Dash, and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Roc-A-Fella Records independently released Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt album after agreeing a distribution deal with Priority Records. Reasonable Doubt went Gold selling 500,000 copies and finally grabbing the attention of the same major labels that not so long ago shunned Dash and co. On the back of this, Dash secured a distribution deal with Def Jam records, maintaining his share of the original masters of Jay-Z’s music.

“The corporate infrastructure”

“When record companies were first courting us, they came to me with the n**** deal where they make you think you own a label and you really don’t,” Dash told Black Enterprise in their December, 1999 issue. “I wanted a joint venture because I knew I was going to be successful and the equity would be worth something down the line.”

With the success of the Roc-A-Fella label Dash wasted no time in exploring new business ventures placing a lot of emphasis on marketing his own culture to the masses in order to reap and share the benefits amongst his own people. Soon emerged the successful clothing line Rockawear, film production studio ROC films, alcohol venture Armadale Vodka, the massively successful Hard Knock Life Tour and the signing of then emerging artists such as Cam’ron and Kanye West.

“I’m a millionaire after taxes”jay-z-damon-dash-rocawear-300x300.jpg

At a point Rockawear was raking in 50 million USD in annual revenue, with models such as Naomi Campbell and Victoria Beckham sporting the brand on the runway. In 2004 Dash boasted a personal wealth of 50 million USD, with a number of expensive properties and cars, Dash was a made man. However the success brought off the back of him and Jay-Z soon lead to business disputes amongst him and his partners. Ultimately a fall out occurred between Jay-Z and Dame, Damon feeling betrayed sought to cut all ties with the then CEO of Def Jam, selling all his ownership in the Roc-A-Fella empire.

“Going for self”

Throughout his highly profitable time as CEO of Rock-A-Fella Dash was frivolous with his money, an infamous episode of MTV’s cribs aired in 2005 demonstrated that Dash was no stranger to living in excess. The music videos he shot during his time with Jay-Z such as Big Pimping also documented Damon’s affinity for extravagance. This was to be Dame’s undoing, once his income streams dried up and his post-Roc-A-Fella Damon Dash Music Group dissolved Damon was left with the financial burdens of his luxury lifestyle and no means to fund them. Tax bills of up to 2 million USD and 78,000 USD per week mortgages with millions to pay off were left for Damon to take care of and he soon found many of his properties and cars off for auction.

Despite Damon’s business acumen and intelligence the need to display his affluence as visibly as possibly lead to an accumulation of depreciable goods and a lack of assets that would have, in this scenario could be sold.

Although the lavish lifestyle that once was the norm to Damon is no longer there to see he is still making moves to re-establish himself as one of Hip-Hop’s biggest moguls, having resurrected his Damon Dash Music Group and venturing back into the clothing and film industries.

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Egyptian Revolutions - http://www.nupemag.com/money-mondays-talkin%E2%80%99-bout-a-revolution

So what is the cost of a revolution? Well, amidst the euphoria that gripped the world as a wave of political emancipation took over the Arab region, markets did their own watching. Let me be clear from the off that this is not an article aiming to weigh the pros and cons of a revolution; it is far from trying to evaluate whether a revolution can be justified by means of economic adjustments. Instead it just looks at the effect of instability on an economy in general especially now that such an event is happening.

For any economy, business agents, whether regional or global like to do business in an environment whether there are not many surprises. This makes it easier for them to predict the value of any deal or to attract potential customers. Once you have events that disturb daily routine people don’t want to be involved in business with your country’s economy. This is because the value of the local currency might go down causing business agents to avoid your currency as it is not worth much and unstable on the stock market.

A good example of this is the Egyptian currency which at one time was speculated to possibly drop by 25per cent. In order to avoid a collapse the Central Bank closed trading of the currency for a number of days. The usual effect of this is that it suspends any dramatic effect or drop in numbers from affecting the value of a currency and drastically damaging the economy.

Another effect is that potential business is driven off because no-one wants to risk making a deal under uncertain conditions. If for example you buy goods there is no guarantee you will get them as instability might mean people are not working. In Egypt an example could be the fact that workers were demonstrating against dire wages in addition to the demands for political rights. This in general disrupts deals from being done or met on time and thus drives down the value of an economy.

In the end instability of any kind that affects business is not good for any economy. This leads to stagnation and depreciation. This is why sometimes activists pushing to bring an agenda to global attention might meet hindrance from a government if that publicity comes at the expense of business. This is not exclusive to just aggregate economies as large companies tend to hide the extent of damage a piece of bad business has on the value of their shares.

The over-arching theme in the end is that business reputation takes a lot to build and maintaining it can be good for business deals and currency values.

112EgyptProtests0250.jpgPeople Power: Anti-governemnt demonstrators in Egypt

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Antiheroes of Finance - http://www.nupemag.com/mm-antihereos-of-finance

How’s it going readers? Welcome to another instalment of Money Mondays brought to you by Nupe’s Finance team. This week we highlight two of the worst handlers of money in recent times; Bernard Madoff and Nick Leeson. These two are a couple of the most well known names in the finance world and not for positive reasons either. Both men had a daring and swashbuckling mentality in their operations and seemingly got caught up in their own hype, read on to find out more.

Everybody loves a baddie, especially in the world of finance, hence why the first Wall Street film was such a success in the 80s due to the exquisite portrayal of terrible yet charming demon trader Gordon Gekko by Michael Douglas. The film left many people including myself reciting famous quotes such as; money never sleeps (also the title of the poor sequel) and greed is good. But before I get caught up reminiscing about Wall Street, lets move on to our own featured bad guys.

We begin with someone who sent shockwaves through the financial world in the mid 90s, one Nick Leeson, the former derivatives trader who caused the collapse of Barings Bank.

Leeson was born right in the UK, he’s a Watford boy and after working for Coutts and Morgan Stanley, he landed a job at Barings Bank, the UK’s oldest merchant bank. After being denied a trading license in the UK due to a previous fraud conviction (which should have sent warning signs to Leeson’s employers at Barings), Leeson was sent to Singapore to run the bank’s trading activities on the SIMEX market. After having a great start and bringing in hundreds of thousands pounds worth of profit, Leeson began to make losses. Instead of confess to his bosses in fear of losing his job, Leeson decided to make an account now famously known as the ‘5 Eights’ account. This guy was a real 419ster.

Over the next few months, Leeson moved large amounts of money from the bank’s trading capital to his own operations on the SIMEX. However, at the same time his luck trading was running out and Leeson began to use the 5 Eights account to cover his losses, but as we all know the laws of gravity apply to everything that moves and all that goes up must come down and Leeson certainly came down with a bang!

In 1995 Leeson went on the run across Europe after his accumulated losses of £827m were exposed, game was up. Leeson subsequently served 6 and a half years in a Singapore jail upon capture, during which time he wrote a bestseller called ‘Rogue Trader’ later dramatised in a film.

leeson2.jpg Financial Bad-Boy Nick Leeson The second of our gruesome twosome and widely considered the much larger fish in the sea, we have Bernard Madoff, respected Wall Street broker and financial mogul although he’s more loathed than respected nowadays.

Madoff, a born and bred New Yorker and as such it is New York where he formed his financial brokerage frim in the 1960s as a young daring trader. Over the years as Madoff’s wealth, reputation and financial clout grew in the global money sphere; he attracted numerous high net worth investors and at one point was appointed the non-executive chairmen of the NASDAQ, the USA’s biggest stock exchange. He lived a million dollar lifestyle in every sense and even brought his family into the business, all things were seemingly perfect. Seemingly being the operative word in this case.

Things took a turn for the worse in 2009 as the effects of the global recession gripped the world and Madoff was exposed for masterminding the biggest ‘ponzi scheme’ in recorded history. A ponzi scheme (as described by good ol’ Wikipedia) – is where funds from new investors are paid to existing investors as supposed profits. Madoff used this scheme to great effect from the 1980s onwards as he beat recessions and the predictions of analysts to consistently deliver high returns to investors, the reason why more and more people subscribed to his fund.

bernard_madoff_1237092c.jpgBernard Madoff was charged to a 150 year sentence in 2009

However as mentioned before the financial crisis hit all investors alike and those badly hit began to ask for their money back from Madoff. As Madoff was using investor’s funds to finance the scheme, he soon ran into liquidity problems and everything was exposed as he was unable to make payouts.

The scheme affected some major UK banks such as Barclays and Lloyds and also hit the rich and famous too as the likes of Steven Spielberg and Woody Harrelson fell victim to Madoff’s alluring deception. As you can imagine the backlash was immense as people whose mortgages were backed up by Madoff’s fake gains were left on the brink of homelessness, the 150 year maximum jail sentence handed out to Madoff came as no surprise.

Another surprise was that no-one in the Madoff family was aware of the scheme and it was only Bernard that was implicated. A man who had risen from humble beginnings to become one of Wall Street’s major players was now at the bottom of the rung again and everything he had worked for counted for nothing, what a shame.

The point of this article was not to highlight the scandalous work of these guys but to highlight that contrary to Gordon Gekko ‘greed is bad’ and all things must come to an end sometime, meaning that if conduct in fraudulent activities, you will eventually get caught. The two men above; Leeson and Madoff were obviously extremely smart men, but they chose to use their brains for the wrong thing.

gordon-gecko.jpgMichael Douglas pictured as fictitious financial villain Gordon Gekko

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And a sneak peek at mondays edition on Prosperity Preachers

Pastor: “Offering-Time!”

Congregation: “Blessing-Time!”

Ever been to a church and felt that the sermon was somewhat more of a business pitch than an uplifting word of encouragement and wisdom to help you along your spiritual walk? Did you notice the Pastor’s shoes? Shiny? Must’ve been Italian, suit? Hmm, looked expensive you say... Never mind, was there an expensive ring on his pinky finger? Don’t worry he’s just blessed!

And so is his account balance...

Prosperity Preachers

Prosperity doctrine is a form of gospel that emphasises the importance of giving in the form of tithing and receiving “much more abundantly” in return of your faith, this form of teaching is found very prominently in Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic churches worldwide. This doctrine teaches that God can reward those he favours with material items there being many examples of individuals within the bible such as David and King Solomon who enjoyed such rewards for their faithfulness, and rightly so. Such teaching is prominent in the sermons of US church leaders such as Bishop Eddie Long or TD Jakes (who are quite affluent might I add), correlation?

Emphasis of tithing

Now most churches need cash to operate and in order to do so the congregation usually come as the first people to turn to, naturally. The Old Testament mentions tithing often in relation to an individual receiving what God has given them in the first place, this is seen as the motivation to give back to God as an acknowledgement and show of appreciation for what God has done for them. Tithes in the Church are used to pay bills, fund church activities and of course help our diligent servant of God get by, he is after all a full-time employee of the Almighty. However, being a servant of God is a very demanding occupation and as such must demand high rewards, now some would say that a guaranteed place in Heaven is enough for a lifetime of servitude, others however believe a little more would do no harm.

Collection plate monay'!

What church leaders do with their money is really at their discretion, until you a notice a private jet parked in their drive-through that is. It has been increasingly apparent in recent times that the church can be big business and not all church leaders use their funding strictly to the benefit of their congregation and community. Many pastors and ministers have been accused, here and abroad of abusing their charismatic preaching style and position within the church to fund their lavish lifestyles at the expense of the church members. Here the prosperity preaching theology seems most convenient for the business savvy pastor that wants to guilt-trip his congregation into coughing up some of their hard earned cash, backed up by carefully selected biblical text!


Megachurches exist in this world oh yes they do, with congregations that can number in the thousands, sermons that are often televised, state of the art facilities and church buildings themselves often being extravagances of architecture.


An American Megachurch

With such large congregations you can expect large turnovers especially when you encourage your Godly family to hand over exactly 10% of their income to the church coffers. Megachurches are extremely popular in the USA and Africa and are becoming increasingly so over here too. Being often exempt from taxation some Megachurch offerings are simply charmed from the hands of the congregations in an almost motivational-speech, pyramid-scheme or business-pitch nature promising a slot in heaven and even greater wealth in future to appease the cheerful giver.


The promises of healing all manner of illnesses and personal problems by a man of God often draw thousands and sometimes millions out of their homes. Often globally renown evangelical ministers and pastors embark on “crusades” to spread the word of God and make their miraculous healing abilities more widely available to the masses. Crusades are a big money making business in the world of evangelism, in 2004 Benny Hinn healer and evangelist extraordinaire had a tantrum during one of his crusades in Nigeria after his projected earnings of 4 million naira wasn’t quite met through tithes offered to him as promised by the government. One further business venture of evangelical church leaders is TV ministry, whether it may be the odd appeal for a “small generous gift” (followed hastily by “please make cheques payable to...”) or the offer of full sermons and music for sale on DVD or CD.


Prosperity preachers as well as Megachurch leaders have increasingly come under scrutiny from governments, the media and other Christians and church leaders alike for their overemphasis on material gain. Many believe that a matter that should be of no concern to a Christian, materialism is seeping through the cracks of churches and causing a distortion in the aims and hence teachings of ministry leaders. Ultimately, this leads to the exploitation of people in vulnerable positions especially in poor communities home and abroad to the gain of greedy pastors. I guess to look at it clearly, the best way to take it is from the man Christianity is all about himself...

Matt 23:23

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

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That dame video was a good watch..

I really think if dame & jay & co had stayed a team. They would have accomplished greater stuff than they did in their prime.

Dame is more business minded than jay. Jay as just been in the right places at the right time.

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Yh its between 3 different writers I'm meant to be editor of finance but i wont lie I'm a lazy/sh*t proofreader

First and last articles are by me 2nd by Milton Masoapatali and 3rd by Mulenga Bwali

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Captain planet, has mulenga got a twin by any chance?

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The other option...

Ahh! The wonderful attractions of London city, amongst my picks are the Dome, the shops in Oxford Street, the theatres in West End, my beloved Emirates Stadium and of course everybody’s favourite the London Stock Exchange!? Albeit one of the less glamorous attractions to London the LSE is one of utmost importance to not only the city’s economy but that of the whole country. The LSE accommodates the issue, sale and purchases of securities such as stocks, bonds and derivatives from stockbrokers, companies and investors respectively. Floatation, Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), dividend payments, you name it, it all happens on the stock exchange, what a wonderful place!


In order for a firm or company to become listed on the LSE (as with any stock exchange) it must undergo what it known as floatation, this is the act of making your privately owned company available to the public, once this occurs and the firm meets all the conditions and requirements of the LSE it can become a Public Limited Company (PLC), bravo! There are various markets for various sizes of firm the FTSE 100 being for the largest 100 companies in the UK all the way down to the AIM markets for just about the smallest.

Raising money

The significance of the stock exchange within our economy is ever increasing especially in this modern era, ever since the financial crisis of recent times the banks have been significantly more reluctant to provide finance to individuals and firms in the form of loans for fear of defaulted payments and insolvency. Simply put, gone are the days of easy loans. Given these circumstances companies must find new ways to finance their growth and business ventures, however the options are often very limited and unless one can secure the financial backing of wealthy individuals willing to invest it may be very hard to fund raise that much needed capital. The solution? Firms in the UK are now more than ever in recent times selling equity in order to raise capital, the first thought that may spring into mind would be company owners pitching their business plans to the entrepreneurs on BBC 2’s Dragons Den, but there is a much more sophisticated method, the equity markets. Recent figures state that thus far this year, £6.7 billion has been raised from the initial public offering of companies on the LSE, this is when a newly floated firm offers shares to sell for the very first time. In comparison to last year the £1.5billion raised this year this demonstrates a massive growth of over 400%. The Alternate Investment Market has also been a major player contributing to £847 million of money raised through that market alone, almost three times as much as last year’s figures.

An example...

To the everyday person all these big numbers being bandied around will do little to ease their immediate concerns about employment because well, it doesn’t help them... or does it? We’ve all heard in the news about mass redundancies and the high rates of unemployment, graduation employment and whatnot, matters that truly have an effect on our lives. Given the accumulated capital raised these newly floated firms will invest them into trying to be as successful as they can be and to be a big company you usually need a lot of well qualified staff. Imagine, the Colchester Window Fitting Company a small sized company unable to secure a loan form its bank decides to float on the Alternate Investment Market offering 400,000 shares (through its stockbroker) at £1 a pop. The IPO is successful and the company raises £400,000 which can now be invested into the planned expansion of its window fitting force in order to increase the frequency of fitting, this in turn creates jobs for a number of local window fitters, a crude example but you get the gist of things...


Companies creating funds from equity sales also benefit from not being indebted to their banks, of course dividends may be paid out to the shareholders at intervals but this is at the discretion of the board of directors. What the LSE does for the economy is create a platform for entrepreneurs and enterprises alike to raise funding for their businesses, businesses that may grow in future to become major forces in their chosen markets going from employing humble hundreds of staff to one day tremendous thousands. Given the talented work force within the UK the LSE can play a vital role in job creation, economic growth and the realisation of the ambitions of the shrewd entrepreneur.

Also found in Intuition magazine.

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