back to article Jeff Bezos adds some more overheads to his $485m yacht by taking down historic bridge

When buying a 40m-tall, three-mast luxury yacht is like you or I popping to the corner shop for a Freddo, what does it matter if a 144-year-old bridge has to be dismantled to get the thing out of the shipyard? freddo cadburys cheap frog shaped choc A Freddo is an 18g frog-shaped piece of chocolate that Brits informally use to …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    Just so long as...

    ...there is a legally binding penalty of a beeelion euros if, during the dismantling, somebody "oops" accidentally drops an important piece meaning the bridge can't be put back together...

    1. b0llchit Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Just so long as...

      Profits are privatized. Losses are paid for by taxes (paid by the poor, of course).

      Who do you think will pay those beeelion euros in the end?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @b0llchit - Re: Just so long as...

        Yea! It's good to be the king.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: @b0llchit - Just so long as...

          But the king looks like the piss boy!

  2. b0llchit Silver badge
    Flame

    Titanic II - Now with masts

    That boat is large enough to be classified as Titanic in the making. There are still some icebergs left in the ocean.

    Not that I wish the crew anything bad, but having this monstrosity go down would give the envious part in me some satisfaction. I can imagine others may feel a similar urge, somewhere. If it were to happen, one could only hope that the insurance policy excluded icebergs. The very rich can afford a crash once in a while.

    1. Blitheringeejit
      Mushroom

      Re: Titanic II - Now with masts

      >>having this monstrosity go down would give the envious part in me some satisfaction

      No satisfaction in blaming the inanimate object for the sins of its creator/financier. I would much prefer a Robert Maxwell scenario...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Titanic II - Now with masts

      Good analogy, though it's "only" around half the length of the Titanic. It is about the same height give or take. Adjusting for inflation, the build cost for this yacht is approximately on a par with all three Olympic class liners combined however, and in their day they were intended to be the last word in comfort and luxury.

  3. LDS Silver badge

    Can't they remove the masts, simply?

    Old sail ships could remove them for maintenance - I've visited one of the towers in the old Copenhagen harbor used to remove and fit masts to ships. Remove the masts, tow the thing out of that harbor, and then fit them again elsewhere. Tell Bezos he as to pay for that, of course.

    1. msobkow Silver badge

      Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

      Those masts are his finger to the world... "I'm rich - YOU move!" :(

      1. ClockworkOwl
        Pirate

        Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

        I don't normally yearn for fictional tech too much, but oh for a reel of mono / hyper / diamond filament..!

        The towers are perfectly set up, you could nip a bit off the top or slice it into boat sushi...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

          You mean perform a triple mastectomy?

    2. Lazlo Woodbine Silver badge

      Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

      Surely it's like a ship in a bottle and there's a piece of string you pull to collapse the masts...

    3. John Jennings

      Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

      They likely can - but - the cost of dismantling the bridge and rebuilding it is likely less.

      This shipyard has mega yachts before - it built the black pearl back in 2010(ish) which has 70 mtr tall masts).

      Likely in this case, it wont even have its masts on at this stage - the hull is to be moved and it sits on a barge. The total height of the hull (including draft) and the barge itsself is likely >40M (max height of the bridge)

      The masts for Black Pearl, incidentally, were made in Portsmouth.

      Black pearl made it past with something like 4M clearance - that is one deck or so difference....

      There are 3 other super sailing yachts >100m in existence and more motor variety - many from this yard. Most of them are owned by Russian Olligarchs

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

        "This shipyard has mega yachts before"

        This is the root of the problem. Nice as it would be to simply tell Bezos "Nice boat, but you'll just have to sail it up and down the canal because it can't go any further" reality is that they probably want to keep the shipyard in business contributing to the city's economy. Longer term they should maybe look at relocating the shipyard as being preferable to keeping dismantling the bridge or losing the business.

        Of course they could replace the bridge with something equally iconic but designed to open. If all else fails a sightseeing visit to the Tower of London might help.

        1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

          Re: but designed to open

          It is designed to lift open, isn't it? Tower Bridge opens, yes, but there's the walkway above which, if the masts are too big, will foul that too.

          SpaceX has the answer. Launch the masts into space every time before going under a low bridge, then land them back on deck the other side of the bridge. Simple!

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Mushroom

            Re: but designed to open

            Launch the masts into space every time before going under a low bridge

            No. The problem here is the locals wanting to keep their iconic bridge.

            The solution is to make the bridge even more iconic.

            So fly the top of the bridge into the sky, wait until ship has passed, land it. It doesn't need to go into actual space, and Bezos himself has the tech to achieve this. Or just have multiple replaceable tops and fire the bridge top into the sea, everytime something huge needs to pass. Bonus points for strapping a million fireworks to it, each time you do this.

            1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: but designed to open

              I am sure that SpaceX is ready to help

        2. Kernel

          Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

          "Of course they could replace the bridge with something equally iconic but designed to open. If all else fails a sightseeing visit to the Tower of London might help."

          Tower Bridge has 44m clearance a between high tide and the two walkways - not much more than the bridge in Rotterdam.

        3. Androgynous Cow Herd
          Joke

          Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

          just move the bridge to an adjacent piece of land and everyone's happy. City keeps the skyline and the Bezosboat can com and go as it pleases.

        4. eldakka Silver badge

          Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

          Longer term they should maybe look at relocating the shipyard as being preferable to keeping dismantling the bridge or losing the business.

          Of course they could replace the bridge with something equally iconic but designed to open. If all else fails a sightseeing visit to the Tower of London might help.

          Since the bridge is no longer used for trains, they could just jack* the whole thing up 10-20m so that future ships (as long as they fit under this new height) can just sail under it as well.

          *as in create new permanent additions to the foundations/support pillars to make them taller, raising the entire bridge up.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: create new permanent additions to the foundations/support pillars to make them taller

            Yeah, but he will then plan a bigger boat, just because He Can.

            Perhaps one way round this egotistical attitude is to emphasise that the best limbo dancers are those that can navigate the lowest bars.

          2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

            Since the bridge is no longer used for trains, they could just jack* the whole thing up 10-20m so that future ships (as long as they fit under this new height) can just sail under it as well.

            *as in create new permanent additions to the foundations/support pillars to make them taller, raising the entire bridge up.

            While it is a pretty obvious solution, there are some problems with that, most important one being that it is an official monument so changes to it are absolutely forbidden, even temporary removal for anything else than necessary maintenance is already brushing the edges of the law. Besides that, while the rails have been removed, in case of need it can still be lowered and used as a bridge, which might come in handy if the sea level rises too much as the current bridge right next to it is a lot lower (about five or six meters, say 16 to 20 feet).

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

        >There are 3 other super sailing yachts >100m in existence and more motor variety - many from this yard. Most of them are owned by Russian Olligarchs

        But these obviously fitted under this bridge...

        Suggest's Bezos wanted something bigger than those oligarchs and the yard got blinded by the money and took the order. It is only now they are having to move it that someone has woken up to the logistics challenge.

        Mind you this does seem to indicate Bezos won't be able to sail up the Thames beyond Tower Bridge...

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

          But these obviously fitted under this bridge...

          There were at least two which wouldn't have fitted, but they passed when the horizontal part was already removed for restauration.

      3. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

        If you squash something with sufficient force, it WILL fit through the letterbox.

        This fact brought to you by Amazon Delivery.

    4. Ignazio

      Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

      Came here to double down on that

    5. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

      The masts on this thing are not stayed in the conventional manner so unstepping may not be as relatively simple as on conventional modern sailing boats.

      The filthy rich are not that bothered by other people's historic bits and pieces, so dismantling a bridge and disrupting the local's is all a part of floating their boat.

      I was expecting.the masts to have a bulbous bit at the top though.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Can't they remove the masts, simply?

        I'm sure some sort of inflatable mast would be possible... pump in sea water at high pressure until the desired level of turgidity is achieved. And you could still have a bulbous end if required. Though if it sprung a leak right at the top...

  4. codejunky Silver badge

    Meh

    Good for Bezo's, I hope he likes the boat.

    1. 42656e4d203239 Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: Meh

      It's not a boat, it's a target... boats tend to be black and go quietly under the surface...

      1. seven of five

        Re: Meh

        or light grey, in case of a Boot.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meh

          Which boot? Dis boot? Or das boot?

          1. Bongwater

            Re: Meh

            MS Dos Boot!

    2. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      Isn't it better that he's spending some (1/2 billion is quite a lot) of his money and not just sitting on it like the aforementioned Smaug? Trickle down economics and all that? Shouldn't we be encouraging MORE of this sort of thing. If he starts spending a few Billion here, a few Billion there (and the rest of them do too) then we all get better off?

      Don't get me wrong, I can't stand the little pr1c4. I stopped using the shop several years ago.

      1. codejunky Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Meh

        @Steve Button

        Yup

      2. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        Trickle down economics doesn't work.

        Unless you're rich, in which case it works just fine.

        1. Steve Button Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          Interesting article. I have a radical idea, but YOU AREN'T GOING TO LIKE IT. The problem is that most people, when they get this rich don't pay ANY tax at all. They domicile themselves offshore. And it's almost impossible to stop that, and we've been trying for many years. How about taxing them at a very low rate, say 10% or 15% on anything over £250,000? You could tinker with the figures, but work out a number that the vast majority of rich bastards will ACTUALLY PAY. That way you *might* find that the tax revenues you receive actually go up, because it's not worth trying to dodge it. Also, this might be popular as people would actually expect them to pay this. Make it public and shame those who avoid it.

          Of course this all depends on how you measure inequality. Does it matter if the poor get richer (even if the rich get even richer and richer again).

          Once you've paid a certain amount into the system, it doesn't make sense to keep increasing the percentage that you put in as you earn more. At least not in my mind. But this might actually make us all better off. I did warn you that you weren't going to like it.

          1. Malcolm Weir

            Re: Meh

            I absolutely agree with the concept, but I don't believe that the rate matters: the wealthy hire tax advisors to minimize their obligations, and as the figures get astronomical, so does the amount of potential savings that can be used to e.g. pay tax advisors.

            I think a better approach is to revisit the concept of taxation on stock valuation. A key issue is the idea of taxing unrealized gains, which is currently not possible (for pretty obvious reasons). However, the UK's HMRC is perfectly happy to tax trusts based on their anticipated income in a "it'll all come out in the wash" philosophy, so I wonder if it could be possible to impose recoverable down-payments on people with huge wealth tied up in a single company's stock...?

            1. Dante Alighieri Bronze badge

              Unrealised gains

              But HMRC already do tax unrealised gains - look at the pensions of those earning >£120k : get a bonus/increment and the projected pension at age 67 is taxed right now. Even if you are planning to leave earlier.

              These bills can be >annual salary and end up being paid out of the pension pot right now (scheme pays).

              I know ordinary (well paid) people having to take out second mortgages to cover these.

              And don't forget the black hoe of HMRC & NI between 120k and 180k where marginal rate of tax is ~60%

              1. Korev Silver badge
                Pirate

                Re: Unrealised gains

                But HMRC already do tax unrealised gains - look at the pensions of those earning >£120k : get a bonus/increment and the projected pension at age 67 is taxed right now. Even if you are planning to leave earlier.

                ...

                I know ordinary (well paid) people having to take out second mortgages to cover these.

                Someone in the UK earning >£120k can't be classed as ordinary - that's four times the British median and in the top two percent of incomes.

          2. DougMac

            Re: Meh

            The problem with Taxing them, is all taxes are based on income or gains at time of sale.

            Rich people don't make most of their money via income. Its all investments, and other financial papershifting.

            So, they could be worth a bazillion billion $$, but most of that is paper until it is excised out somehow at just the right time and rate to minimize their capital gains obligation.

            1. Claverhouse Silver badge

              Re: Meh

              Actually, it still remains profitable to have billions in paper, even if one can't cash it in so one can avoid paying dreaded tax.

              One can always borrow against it as collateral.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meh

            I like the proposal I saw somewhere online that proposed once you're worth 1 billion dollars, you get taxed at 100% marginal rate and you get a trophy that says "congratulations! You won capitalism!"

        2. Persona Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          As slave labor is frowned upon in the Netherlands the the workers who built Jeff's Yacht and those that made the stuff to go in it were paid for their labors. They then spent some of those wages providing a livelihood to shops and people in the businesses and farms suppling those goods. Income tax and VAT would also have been paid by a great many of those extended pool of workers some of which would be used to pay benefits to those at need. That's trickle down economics working.

          I seriously doubt that the state could have done better by taking the money directly from Jeff and distributing it.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: taking the money directly from Jeff

            So long as he doesn't want to Return or Replace it.

          2. Ignazio

            Re: Meh

            I take it you're not Dutch. Some countries can do taxation better than others. I don't know if the Netherlands belongs to that group but I think they rank high there.

            1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Meh

              The Netherlands are pretty good at taxation. There is a reason a lot of internationals are officially based in the Netherlands (nice examples include The Rolling Stones and IKEA).

        3. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          Trickle down economics doesn't work.

          The article you link to says something very specific. It looks at trickle-down economics from the angle of cutting taxes to "the rich" (that includes companies, etc.). It says that trickle-down economics assumes that the savings will be invested in the economy one way or another and, well, trickle-down will occur. It then says that oftentimes the savings are not put back into economy, so the aforementioned assumption of trickle-down economics is, in general, unfounded.

          All that is fine. In this case though, Mr. Bezos whom many love to hate has actually spent almost half a billion bucks. Some of it will, in fact, be paid as taxes, some will get transferred to various vendors up the shipbuilders' supply chain, salaries and bonuses will be paid, employees (and owners, and their families) will spend their income, shops and restaurants and pubs and service providers and employees thereof will get their share, etc.

          So in this specific case the basic assumption of trickle-down economics is factually correct and Steve Button's comment was exactly on point. IMHO.

          1. Malcolm Weir

            Re: Meh

            I totally agree that the issue with "trickle down" economics is limited to government intervention to allegedly stimulate spending by providing people who already have tons of cash with more cash.

            This idea (and Laffer's literal napkin curve) was fabricated out of whole cloth (or napkin) to justify a "starve the beast" policy designed to make government less relevant to the "left leaning" poor: cut off government programs that might make poor folks care about government, and the rich folks will have even greater control. This has worked exactly as predicted.

            [ It is clear that, with all it's faults, taxing the wealthy and then spending the proceeds on society as a whole works better than not taxing the wealthy and hoping they Do Good Things. ]

            The problem with Bezos is that he created a hugely successful organization that employs millions of people and took advantage of a (global) tax system that had already been rigged to benefit the wealthy. But he still created the organization and the jobs.... so it would seem clear that the problem isn't him, but the system!

            Incidentally, the underlying theory of the Laffer Curve was obviously bogus: countries that had high marginal rates (e.g. the USA prior to 1980) did OK. Many romantically look at the 1950s / 1960s as a time of boom growth, yet the highest marginal rate in 1955 was... 91%. By the 1960s, it was down to 70%. It's now 37%. A key point is that while the 91%/70% figures were high, you could deduct all sorts of things that are now non-deductible, which meant that prior to Laffer wealthy individuals were encouraged to spend on things which would reduce their taxable income. Houses, company cars, boats... oh, look, that's where we came in!

            1. Persona Silver badge

              Re: Meh

              Incidentally, the underlying theory of the Laffer Curve was obviously bogus

              No it's very real. The two end points of the curve are undeniable: a tax of 0% will raise nothing and a tax of 100% is not going to raise anything longer than the short term as people will stop working and paying tax if they get no money. The fact that a tax rate between those points does raise money shows there is a curve. It's just the shape of the curve that we might argue about. Doctors are a great example of people currently on the peak of the curve. Changes to pension contribution taxation pushed a lot over the edge who then they choose to retire rather than paying masses of tax. I did too and a close friend of mine now only works 2 days a week as he doesn't fancy working long hours only for the government to take it and piss it away. People trade their time for money in their pocket not money before tax. That is exactly what the Laffer curve is about.

        4. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          @phuzz

          "Trickle down economics doesn't work."

          So where did his money go for the boat and for work on the bridge? Does nobody get it? And the people paid by that money do they not spend it?

          The link isnt quite correct. This is a curve created by Arthur Laffer, who showed the way that tax cuts create a powerful multiplication effect Arthur Laffer didnt create it although he did make it famous.

          Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is concerning since this trickle-down policy seems to exacerbate the income inequality spurred by Reaganomics Trump inherited Obama's 'new normal' sluggish economy propped up by government subsidy. Trumps tax cuts increased employment across the board and a white hot economy. The wet pants cry about income inequality is worthless, improved living standards matter and it delivers.

          If you do want to live where inequality is small you should try socialist countries where most everyone is equally poor.

          1. Malcolm Weir

            Re: Meh

            @codejunky is, as usual, wrong. This time he might be telling deliberate fibs, too.

            Trump oversaw the LOWEST annual GDP growth (1.03%) since President Hoover in the Great Depression.

            Obama wasn't much better (1.59%), but the only Presidents who exceeded 3.5% were Democrats (Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton). Nixon got 3.5% exactly, while Saint Ronald of Reagan missed by a whisker at 3.49%.

            True, Trump did increase employment in my sister-in-law's line of business.

            She runs mortuaries.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: Meh

              @Malcolm Weir

              "as usual, wrong. This time he might be telling deliberate fibs, too."

              How? Obama's new normal? He said it. Unemployment fell to the lowest in decades under Trump? True. The stock market reached record levels? True. Obama having 3 terms for you to compare against Trumps 1? Still beat expectations. Are you picking and choosing to claim fibs? I think you are...

              You may wish to compare on differing metrics but to claim I am telling fibs is a bit strong.

              "True, Trump did increase employment in my sister-in-law's line of business.

              She runs mortuaries."

              Trump who didnt start wars but ended them? Or do you mean from covid because more have died under Biden than Trump. Not that I credit that to the presidents but it is amusing how Biden claimed Trump shouldnt be president letting so many die.

              1. Malcolm Weir

                Re: Meh

                First, only a complete idiot thinks the stock market has anything much to do with the economy, as this whole article so deftly illustrates: Amazon is listed on NASDAQ, yet here's their founder spending tons-o-cash in Holland. Perhaps you can get a friend to explain how that doesn't help the *US* economy.

                Moving on, only a total ignoramous and fool of the highest order would claim that Obama had THREE terms despite, you know, the 22nd Amendment and, well, facts. But even trying to stack the deck (e.g. by creating arbitrary period boundaries), anyone looking at a graph spots the fact that the worst GDP in Obama's terms started in Bush's (the financial crisis), which makes it hard to blame Obama for the policies... Still, he did better than Trump even though he had to clean up Bush's mess, which is sadly for you the facts...

                And did unemployment fall to it's lowest level under Trump? It's true, he failed to bugger up the trend that started in 2010, but it's also undeniably true that unemployment under Trump was the highest it's been since 1948! An honest person trying to allocate credit would also acknowledge the blame, so if Trump's policies were responsible (despite the trend line) for the lowest, then they also are responsible for the highest.

                As to the COVID deaths and policies that Trump *is* responsible for, have you noticed that it's his "deplorables" that are mostly dying now? I'm kinda OK with that, to be honest, although it would have been better if the silly sod hadn't spend as long denying the problem and personally exposing people to the virus when he had it....

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: Meh

                  @Malcolm Weir

                  "First, only a complete idiot thinks the stock market has anything much to do with the economy"

                  Except to increase the wealth of the people. Be it through investment in companies (which may or may not reside in the country of the market) and through increasing peoples personal wealth such as their pension plans and investments.

                  "Amazon is listed on NASDAQ, yet here's their founder spending tons-o-cash in Holland. Perhaps you can get a friend to explain how that doesn't help the *US* economy."

                  Not sure I have that many dumb friends but I do have some acquaintances who might. The idea that money should not be spent beyond the nationalistic shore has been tried and failed over and over. Damaging the currency being 'protected'.

                  "only a total ignoramous and fool of the highest order would claim that Obama had THREE terms despite"

                  True. Good catch. My bad for hitting the key next to the one I intended.

                  "the worst GDP in Obama's terms started in Bush's (the financial crisis)"

                  Obama inherited Bush's financial crisis Trump inherited Obama's 'new normal'.

                  "Still, he did better than Trump even though he had to clean up Bush's mess, which is sadly for you the facts..."

                  Obama inherited a recovering economy from Bush. It was already heading back up from the crash.

                  "which makes it hard to blame Obama for the policies"

                  Obama's policies were to continue the policy of Bush in propping up the recovering economy.

                  "And did unemployment fall to it's lowest level under Trump? It's true, he failed to bugger up the trend that started in 2010"

                  And managed to plunge unemployment below what was considered the point of full employment. This resulted in serious wage growth.

                  "but it's also undeniably true that unemployment under Trump was the highest it's been since 1948!"

                  You dont mean the time of the pandemic caused by China which has buggered economies around the world?

                  "An honest person trying to allocate credit would also acknowledge the blame, so if Trump's policies were responsible (despite the trend line) for the lowest, then they also are responsible for the highest."

                  Was it his policy for China to allow the spread of a virus (lab or not) to become a global pandemic? Is that while colluding with Russia?

                  "As to the COVID deaths and policies that Trump *is* responsible for, have you noticed that it's his "deplorables" that are mostly dying now?"

                  Thats a pretty disgusting comment. What defines a 'deplorable'? Starting to sound like Hillary telling part of the electorate not to vote for her.

                  "although it would have been better if the silly sod hadn't spend as long denying the problem and personally exposing people to the virus when he had it...."

                  Trump acted before the WHO dared call it a pandemic (they held off so as not to offend the Chinese) and got vaccine ordered and delivered to states. Not panicking and overreacting is a fairly good trait.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Meh

                    Keep taking the (red) pills. All this winning, I, for one, am almost tired of it.

                  2. Citizen of Nowhere

                    Re: Meh

                    "only a total ignoramous and fool of the highest order would claim that Obama had THREE terms despite"

                    True. Good catch. My bad for hitting the key next to the one I intended.

                    Yeah, we did notice you don't actually read your posts before submitting them ;-)

                    1. codejunky Silver badge
                      Coat

                      Re: Meh

                      @Citizen of Nowhere

                      "Yeah, we did notice you don't actually read your posts before submitting them ;-)"

                      I believe I have yet to meet someone who never makes any mistakes. And having conversations with you before I can be certain that still holds true.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Meh

                Obama had 2 Presidential terms, not 3, why do you keep lying about the most basic of things?

                Not surprisingly, picking and choosing the lies is how fact-checking works.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Meh

                  Basically, if something's true, there's no point in "fact-checking" it most of the time.

        5. Smeagolberg

          Re: Meh

          'Trickle down economics' always evokes the image of warm, yellow liquid trickling down through a grating with certain so-called 'elite' above and plebs below.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meh

          Trickle down economics: Proponents of which have just got the words affluent and effluent mixed up.

        7. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Trickle down economics.

          Trickles down from a great height.

      3. Jonte Monkey

        Re: Meh

        He doesn't sit on the money - most of it is in the form of Amazon. He just sells some of Amazon (thereby forgoing any future profits on that bit) and someone else takes the profit instead - this is how investments work. Anyhow, him spending money on a yacht just means some of the world's resources have been spent on a yacht, rather than being spent on whatever the person who invested in Amazon shares would have spent it on. The only people better off are yacht manufacturers - the industries where the investor would have otherwise spent their money are worse off by the same amount.

        A more extreme example would be someone throwing rocks at your windows. Window manufacturers will be better off, but other businesses where you would otherwise spend your money are worse off.

        TLDR: Trickle down economics is a fiction.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Meh

          "The only people better off are yacht manufacturers"

          This is true providing "manufacturers" includes the shipyard workers and the suppliers of maerials and components. Then ultimately you have to include the shops where the workers spent their money and the tax authorities.

          1. Jonte Monkey

            Re: Meh

            You don't have to include the shops where workers spend their money, as presumably the industries into which the money would otherwise have gone also have workers* (who spend money in shops, pay tax, etc).

            * or would have, had all this money not been spent on a yacht.

        2. marcellothearcane

          Re: Meh

          No no, he doesn't sell any shares. He goes to the bank and says "give me a loan of $485m". The loan is secured based on the fact that he has access* to that and more in Amazon shares.

          That's how rich people end up paying very little/no tax - their personal finances show massive debts, rather than vast amounts of money under the mattress.

          *He doesn't really - Bezos couldn't sell any significant number of shares, as (a) if the owner sells shares in their company, it's bad news and the share price would tank, leading to (b) the market probably wouldn't buy them.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Meh

            "*He doesn't really - Bezos couldn't sell any significant number of shares, as (a) if the owner sells shares in their company, it's bad news and the share price would tank, leading to (b) the market probably wouldn't buy them."

            Tell that to Elon Musk.

            1. Not Yb

              Re: Meh

              Ha, he's never sold a significant number of his Tesla shares, having still got 98% of what he had before the recent publicly announced sale.

      4. JimboSmith Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Meh

        The running costs per year are normally 10% of the cost of the thing (according to a mate of mine who likes boats). That’s north of $50m a year which ain’t chump change although probably a drop in the ocean for Mr Bezos. Then there’s tax although there are schemes and the such like to help offset that. Register the thing as available for charter, so set it up as a business and VAT on supplies like fuel evaporates. Although it doesn’t actually need to be able to be chartered just registered as such. So you may find that the super rich list their yacht for charter, but you can’t actually hire it. Wall Street Journal Article

        As the old saying goes a yacht will give you the two happiest days of your life: the day you buy it, and the day you sell it.

        With apologies for the awful gags, mine’s the one with the book of dodgy nautical sayings in it.

        1. Not Yb

          Re: Meh

          Around here the saying is, "a ship is a hole in the water you put money in"

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Meh

            BOAT = Bung On Another Thousand.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Meh

          Channel 4 did a comedy show in the 90s with Mark Thomas - just looked it up, 'The Mark Thomas Comedy Product'.

          Where they went to various stately homes that the owners had registered as museums for tax purposes, but didn't let the public actually visit. And they tried to visit.

          I probably disagree with Mark Thomas on most political subjects. But he usually manages to be funny when having his go, rather than just smugly preaching at people. He's also capable of laughing at himself and 'his own side' - where far too many comedians get sanctimonious instead.

          Plus I like his style of bloody-minded protesting. So for example opposing the last Labour government's laws on having to register protests in Central London. His first was to ice their slogan onto a cake - and argue that they weren't having a protest, they were having a tea party. He did an excellent comedy show for Radio 4 about the various barrack-room-lawyering shennanigans he pulled in finding loopholes in the rules and exploiting them for both comedy and political purposes.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meh

            Mark Thomas is a satirical genius. Setting up a school club as arms dealers to prove how utterly dodgy the rules are. Classic.

            https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/715999.pupils-set-arms-dealers-tv-show/

          2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: 'The Mark Thomas Comedy Product'.

            Thank you for that.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKYI54R7Rec

            Quite surprised when I went past on the train a year or so ago to find the CFASS building had been demolished. Probably the most secure civilian building I've ever set foot in.

    3. Snake Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Meh

      As an ocean-going vessel that is also capable of carrying a boat (lifeboats), it technically will classify as a ship, although it will be called a "yacht" (as in 'private residential ship').

  5. KittenHuffer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Rumour has it .....

    ..... that the bridge has to come down cos Jeff wanted to sail it out himself and his big fat head won't fit underneath!!!

    JB if they didn't take the bridge down ------------->

    1. Hero Protagonist
      Go

      Re: Rumour has it .....

      +1 for creative icon usage

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This could be Rotterdam for everyone.

  7. Howard Sway Silver badge

    In a just world...

    the shipyard would have just handed him the boat and said "Here's your new yacht Mr Bezos, exactly as you specified".

    But they obviously want to get the contract in 18 months time when he's got bored with it and decides he wants one twice as big. However, as they've demonstrated that they were too stupid to realise this would happen, I think that ship might have, as they say, already sailed.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Bezos 2nd yacht

      His second yacht is already under construction. The masts on the first one prevent landing a helicopter so he needs another one with a helipad. A bit silly really as Jacklyn should be big enough for a really big luxury super-helicopter.

      1. Lon24 Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Bezos 2nd yacht

        Helicopters are so much last millennium. When you have your very own vertically landing rocket - why not flaunt it?

        Guess that would limit how far from land you could sail without getting wet ... unless he can borrow one from Uncle Elon. Perhaps not.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Bezos 2nd yacht

          Sealaunch.

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: In a just world...

      They would probably suggest that as he enjoyed the last one so much he would probably like another one the same.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So they made a humongous yacht

    And didn't pause for a second to ask themselves how it would get to sea ?

    Maybe they should have thought about that before taking the contract.

    1. John Jennings

      Re: So they made a humongous yacht

      They knew - its been done before elsewhere. The city has grown round the shipyard.

      1. Malcolm Weir

        Re: So they made a humongous yacht

        And this isn't really anything to do with Bezos: the shipyard quoted him the cost of ship (including taking the bridge apart for one day) and he accepted. It's the shipyard at fault (if anyone is), and the local city government seems OK with it (as the shipyard is paying), so there's even more work (apart from building the boat), this time for Rotterdam's bridge construction operatives!

        1. skeptical i

          Re: So they made a humongous yacht

          One hopes the City of Rotterdam uses each of these take-bridge-apart/ put-bridge-together exercises as an opportunity to do end-to-end inspections, repairs/ upgrades, &c to the bridge and tags those costs onto whatever Mr. Bezos (and other yacht-builder customers) is paying for the opportunity to say he has something that is "so big" (how big is it, Jeff?), it's so big I had to dismantle a bridge to let it loose.

  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    What we haven't heard is how much it fails to clear by...

    Perhaps they could just fill it up with mercury or gold or osmium or something and float it a little lower in the water.

    Or get a really really big lorry and ship it by road?

    1. ZekeStone

      Re: What we haven't heard is how much it fails to clear by...

      Or maybe we can just get a giant Sawzall and chop off the bits too big to fit under the bridge and stick 'em back on after.

  10. SundogUK Silver badge

    Well it's really Oceanco's fault for building their shipyard the wrong side of the bridge. Bezos has offered to stump up for the work, which, if it hadn't been agreed to, would mean his yacht being built elsewhere and Rotterdam losing his business. Can't really see how this is Bezos fault, to be honest.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      It's Rotterdam's fault for building a city round the shipyard

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        That shipyard isn't even in Rotterdam itself but in Alblasserdam, a smaller place upstream.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          I think they should stick it on a large lorry and drive it past The Hague and into the sea there.

          Not because I think that's a good idea or remotely practical, I just think it'd be cool. And save the bridge.

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Oh dear...

    Now he's had that treatment, everyone will want it. That bridge will be up and down like a ... um ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: up and down like a ...

      ... pair of electric Time-Trousers?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: up and down like a ...

        RIP, Jo Kendall.

  12. Annihilator Silver badge

    "..you or I popping to the corner shop for a Freddo.."

    "..for none other than real-life Smaug.."

    Genuinely got references confused and thought you meant a Frodo.

    1. Chris Gray 1
      Happy

      Jumps?

      And my thought was "The brits can buy real chocolate frogs?!?!" Can they jump out of train windows?

      1. Outski Silver badge

        Re: Jumps?

        Only once

        1. Outski Silver badge

          Re: Jumps?

          Obvs, the down-thumber never saw "When Harry met Ron" :o)

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Jumps?

        > "The brits can buy real chocolate frogs?!?!" C

        But only:

        "the finest baby frogs, dew picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate envelope and lovingly frosted with glucose."

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Alien

          Chocolate frogshake

          Is a Peruvian delicacy.

          Take your frog, place in blender. Add milk and cocoa, sugar to taste.

          Blend until smooth and frothy.

          Drink, and try not to vomit.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Chocolate frogshake

            But then it wouldn't be crunchy

          2. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re: Chocolate frogshake

            Ah bartender my good man, I fear there may have been some slight, shall we say, creative and not to put too fine a point on it, misunderstanding over what I asked you to provide vis a vis the beverages on offer in this fine establishment, when you suggested you had something on tap that was particularly hoppy...

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Chocolate frogshake

              Squeeze of lemming, sir?

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: Jumps?

          lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate

          Two errors here. Firstly you don't want to kill them, that ruins the taste. They should be eaten fresh, and 'on-the-hop'.

          Secondly posh chocolate descriptions do not use such vulgar descriptions as "sealed" Posh stuff is "enrobed" in the finest Peruvian single estate chocolate, picked by the most beautiful virgins under moonlight...

          1. NXM Bronze badge

            Re: Jumps?

            They're only beautiful virgins in the moonlight? What happens during the day?

          2. dajames Silver badge

            Re: Jumps?

            ... posh chocolate descriptions do not use such vulgar descriptions as "sealed" Posh stuff is "enrobed" ...

            Methinks that when the sketch was written "enrobed" was still waiting in the wings of the chocolatiers' vocabulary revue ...

  13. H in The Hague Silver badge

    Picture or it didn't happen

    Here's a pic of the moving part of the bridge lifted out by sheerlegs for the most recent restoration.

    https://www.telegraaf.nl/nieuws/1607046888/rotterdamse-brug-de-hef-een-dag-uit-elkaar-voor-megajacht-jeff-bezos

    Also includes a pic of the yacht in the yard, on SPMTs to take it for a spin.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Picture or it didn't happen

      It's a monumentally dull looking yacht. Quite apt, I suppose, for an equally dull owner.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Picture or it didn't happen

        It's a monumentally dull looking yacht. Quite apt, I suppose, for an equally dull owner.

        Whilst I agree it’s understated on the outside, it still looks better than this ”the Lady K” or this ”Saluzi”.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Picture or it didn't happen

        But highly advanced, technically. It even has a auto-pilot mode... software supplied by some company called alseT that popped a glossy brochure through his door very late one evening.

    2. Marty McFly Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Picture or it didn't happen

      That picture tells a thousand words. Looks like a large scale, but relatively straightforward procedure. And one that appears to have been routinely done before.

      Other than "OMG, look how big a rich guy's yacht is", I don't see any real story here. Probably wouldn't have even been a news article if the yacht's buyer had been kept confidential. Gets the commoners all riled up with wealth envy though.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Picture or it didn't happen

        Rith people have always built big yachts, take Lipton for instance and why not Gates, Allen and Jobs and the rest of them, but I give him credit for the sailing ability.

        Nothing to see here and it's clearly less fuss with the bridge than the alternative.

  14. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Overheads?

    I wonder if he bought it from an Amazon seller called "Bezo's Floaters" who pays fees to Amazon.ie via Amazon.es, Amazon.uk and Amazon.nl? Of course, as there's a bridge to move as part of the bill, the bridge cost will be ten times what it needs to be and tax deductable as the ship bill is for a floating office ... and there'll probably be a tax rebate for restoring an historic monument ... I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't make a profit on buying this ship.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Overheads?

      Careful, mate. Keep thinking like that and you'll end up promoted to the Executive suite...

  15. 502 bad gateway

    Smaug? Or was that Smeagol?

    More like capitalism’s very own Frankenstein’s monster. No doubt he’ll be looking to save a few euro’s on unnecessary staffing for this bridge deconstruction project... the first time civil engineers in such a project were required to wear a comfort break tracker.

  16. dmfay

    Surely he can afford to Fitzcarraldo it across the city instead....

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Certainly better publicly, having a bunch of Dutch minimum wage workers hauling a yacht owned by a madman while a German director screams at them

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Indeed - with Fitzcarraldo, it was a rubber baron moving a steamship in the Amazon basin. So, with Bezos, we have a modern day Amazon r_bb_r baron wanting to move a ship out to sea

  17. Lars Silver badge
    Pirate

    Jeff Bezos' 127m/ 417ft Y721 sailing yacht

    Jeff Bezos' yacht and Rotterdam's Koningshaven bridge is not such a good match.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjXiAE6bK9g

  18. elaar Bronze badge

    Small man syndrome

    Being a small bald man, it's only fitting that he needs to spend money removing tall things....

    1. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: Small man syndrome

      He is, on and off, the richest man in human history. I don't think being small and bald bothers him much.

  19. ZekeStone

    No problem... just as long as Bezos is paying for it

    I am fine with this as long as Bezos is paying for the dismantling. There is no reason why local government/tax payers should pay for this.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: No problem... just as long as Bezos is paying for it

      And the mantling, of course.

      And a load of necessary bridge maintenance, while it's in bits.

    2. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: No problem... just as long as Bezos is paying for it

      "...local government/tax payers..." maybe not but Oceanco took the contract to build the thing ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BRIDGE, so I reckon they're up for some of it.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: No problem... just as long as Bezos is paying for it

        This is all just standard. Strangely enough shipyards have to plan for this sort of stuff all the time. So for example HMS Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales have one massive radar mast that won't fit under the Forth Bridge - and so it's on a hydraulic pivot and can lowered so they could get the ship out to sea. Even then I think the clearance was pretty tight, so it probably had to be done when the tide was right.

        Whenever big shit gets made, people have to check whether it can be got in and out of the big shit factory, and delivered to wherever it's going to be operated.

        The BBC's documentary on Crossrail was fun for rhat sort of thing. London is absolutely full of stuff, and is also very busy. So Crossrail would sometimes have crews out dismantling bridges at midnight to move stuff, and then putting them back in place for the morning rush-hour. Or trying to get loads down roads that were only 10cm wider than they were.

  20. Winkypop Silver badge
    Trollface

    Publicity stunt

    Look, look at how very big my, errr, masts are!!!

    He’s over compensating.

  21. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Meanwhile, the rich get richer

    It reminds me the end of the Roman Empire. The wealth was more and more concentrated in less and less hands, so finally the Empire was unable to pay for a good army. It had to rely on "barbarians" and wanderers to fill the ranks of what was before an army of well-trained professionals. This led to loosing crucial battles, and in the annihilation of the Western Empire.

    We are going the same way. Poor and middle classes crumbles under taxes, when the wealthy ones are more and more wealthy. Because the latter avoid to pay their fair share, States are more and more crumbling under debt and are going straight to the collapse.

  22. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I like bridges

    Beautiful bridge. As far as I can see, it is useless now and was kept only for the beauty of it.

    1. MrBanana Silver badge

      Re: I like bridges

      Yes, it's a great statement for an industrial age now past.

      There are local elections coming up and it looks to be turning into a political football (if you could ever play keepy uppy with such a thing). The council says that a 2017 decision for it to never be changed remains, the mayor says no application for dismantling the bridge has been requested, engineers say it could be done in a day, while Bezos the Bald stamps his foot and waves a fistful for Amazon vouchers - which aren't much use to anyone as amazon.nl is pretty shite.

  23. JpChen

    Why would you build a boat that you can’t get out of the boatyard?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Ask Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

      1. Toni the terrible

        How did LJG get his boats out of his cellar? Maybe he could tell that Dutch shipyard. just saying...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          I believe it's revealed in his last episode...

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Why would you build a boat that you can’t get out of the boatyard?

      Many people buy paintings purely to stick in security vaults, rather than put on walls, as the Mark Thomas comment earlier demonstrates. I suppose the difference is that paintings naturally appreciate in value, whereas a boat wouldn't, particularly if it was custom-built with no thought to its value at disposal when the ash-trays get full.

  24. jollyboyspecial

    Surely he can just fly it to the ocean with his spaceship? Oh wait...

  25. WONKY KLERKY
    Linux

    Can't they remove the masts, simply?

    Oh let the bloody tyres down and get the thing out.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Oh let the bloody tyres down and get the thing out.

      B-b-but they are life-saving apparatus.

      (The tyres, not the masts).

  26. hatti

    Prime delivery

    Can he not just order the masts off Amazon and get them delivered to an address the other side of the bridge? Surely he has Prime membership.

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