The value of the Beatles

Don Boudreaux offers a simple calculation:

If each viewer of only The Beatles' first two "Sullivan" appearances
deposited $1 into an account in return for watching The Beatles on
these telecasts, this account would have had in it, on Feb. 16, 1964,
$143.7 million. If this money had been invested at the historical rate
of return earned by U.S. stocks, it would have earned an annual return,
on average, of 8 percent. Today, this account would be worth about $4.4

Divided equally among John, Paul, George and Ringo, Paul's share
today would be $1.1 billion — his approximate current net worth. And
this from only a small payment made 45 years ago by each viewer of a
mere two episodes of an American television show.


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