Going for the Gold in Greece
Time for another edition of [Lifestyle theme] "Lifestyles of the Rich... and Cranky."
The richy-rich set is facing a terrible dilemma. The summer Olympics are being held in Greece this year, and, naturally, corporate CEOs want to be there and be part of the globe-hopping celebrity scene that swirls around such sporting galas. But, gosh darn it, officials are warning that terrorists might make the Olympics a target. Of course, the government is providing a massive security force - including 40,000 police, 7,000 military troops, NATO jets, spy planes and submarines. But the super-wealthy swells of corporatedom are not about to accept the same security that commoners get, so how can they feel extra-special safe?
Where there's money, there's always a way, and corporations are resolving their CEOs' Olympic security dilemma by buying luxurious protection packages for them. Top honchos of such outfits as American Express, Citigroup and McDonald's will not stay in swank hotels, but in specially outfitted yachts to be anchored in the harbor near Athens. Thus, if there's a terrorist attack on the Olympic site, the yachts can flee with their elite passengers.
Citigroup, for example, has leased a luxury ship that includes everything from armed guards to a yoga studio for its Olympic-bound executives. At $150,000, it's a pricey deal. That's $150,000 a day. And that doesn't even include fuel for the yacht, food or drink.
Another corporate package provides a yacht and on-board security, plus helicopters, bodyguards, armor-plated limousines and a motorcycle escort to get the special ones to and from the Olympic contests.
Guess who gets to subsidize this high-life security cocoon for CEOs? You and I! The corporations will deduct the yacht packages from their income taxes, claiming them to be a "necessary cost of doing business."
These guys get the gold medal for Olympic-level excess.