Bono: "I'm no billionaire"

Touchy, touchy. Tax-savvy Irish multi-millionaire Bono has reacted petulantly to reports about his latest windfall. The flotation of Facebook is believed to have elevated the U2 frontman into the ranks of the super-rich.

Bono, who hasn’t had to worry about how he is going to pay for those stack-soled shoes for some time, is very sensitive about his considerable fortune, maybe in case The Edge asks to borrow a tenner for a new bandana.

"Contrary to reports, I'm not a billionaire or going to be richer than any Beatle," he told MSNBC, "and not just in the sense of money, by the way, The Beatles are untouchable - those billionaire reports are a joke."

Estimates had suggested that his stake in Facebook, owned through his private equity firm Elevation (presumably named after Bono’s response when asked what he requires in footwear) was worth around $1.5 billion. After tax, well that’s about $1.5 billion, if you know the right accountant.

"In Elevation, we invest other people's money – endowments, pension funds," said the corporate CEO, sorry frontman. "We do get paid of course. But you know, I felt rich when I was 20 years old and my wife was paying my bills."

The investment in Facebook, he says, was purely motivated by geeky curiosity. "I got interested in technology because I'm an artist. Technology is huge. I wanted to learn about it. People might say that's odd, but I think it's odd if artists aren't interested in the world around them."

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