How David Bowie Changed The Finance of Rock

Paying Attention: When David Bowie died on 10 January 2016 in Manhattan, the world of music (and in particular Rock music), lost not just one of its’ best writers, singers, and performers, but an artist who was innovative in financial ways as well. Bowie was one of the very first rock musicians to realize the long-term value of the intellectual property he was creating, and, working with his financial manager Bill Zysblat and banker David Pullman they created a new financial instrument–a bond–backed by the projected future royalty revenue from his music (in other words a CDO or collateralized debt obligation). Here are two very good articles on the “Bowie Bond” and it’s impact on the world of intellectual property . First, the Financial Times take on the Bowie Bond  and then, the BBC’s explanation of Bowie’s financial engineering.  Bowie’s mastery of persona development and his adventurous music curiosity may be the things that most will remember him for, but his endless exploration of all things that had to do with his art is fascinating.

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