Category Archives: philanthropy

Madoff’s Innocent Victims

The saddest aspect of the Madoff scandal is the number of people who gave Bernie Madoff money they couldn’t afford to lose. Many charities fall under this general heading: they were formed for the purpose of giving money to the … Continue reading

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Is Carl Shapiro a Madoff Victim?

The WSJ has found what seems, on its face, to be one of the most tragic stories of the Madoff affair: Carl Shapiro, a 95-year-old apparel entrepreneur and investor, had $545 million with Mr. Madoff — creating what could become … Continue reading

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Philanthropy vs Profit

Muhammad Yunus gave a good speech to the World Business Forum yesterday, and he came down hard on anybody who would make facile comparisons between subprime lending and microfinance. The difference, he said, is the profit motive. In fact, he … Continue reading

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When Universities Manage Other People’s Money

I’ve finally found some concrete examples of university endowments managing other people’s money — and it turns out to be quite a large business. Anne Tergesen gave a good overview of one way this happens in a BusinessWeek article from … Continue reading

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How Universities Manage Other People’s Money

A high-profile philanthropist got in touch with me after reading my blog entry on the Harvard endowment yesterday. He made an excellent point about why would-be Harvard replicators are never going to be likely to achieve Harvard’s returns: they don’t … Continue reading

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The Worst Beneficiaries of a Billion-Dollar Will

Christopher Caldwell is appalled by the fact that Leona Helmsley left her entire $5bn+ estate to dogs: A vast amount of the productive energy of future generations has been pre-allocated to dogs on the say-so of one of the most … Continue reading

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Annals of Stupid Philanthropy, BB&T Edition

What is it with ill-advised million-dollar charitable donations by banks? First of course there was Citigroup giving $1 million to the 92nd Street Y so that Jack Grubman’s twin girls could get into the preschool there. And now, well, I’ll … Continue reading

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The NYPL Respects Schwarzman’s Stature

I’m working today out of what I sometimes call my "midtown office" – the magnificent reading room on the top floor of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Which will soon be called the Stephen … Continue reading

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Why is The Weill Family Foundation Injecting Capital into Citigroup?

Among the investors bailing out Citigroup with new equity capital is The Weill Family Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by Sandy Weill. Now the way that these charitable foundations work, they generally give away some small amount (maybe 5%) … Continue reading

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Philanthropy Without Money

Philanthropy is the act of making the world a better place. That can be done directly (by giving anti-malarial bed nets to poor Africans, for instance) or it can be done indirectly (by giving money to people who will use … Continue reading

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