Big Money

7 09 2009

A good thing about rich people is that they tend to be competitive. Which is why they’re rich and why, in America, they’re generous. Let me digress for a moment: in America, people don’t think about whether or not to give. They just give. Everyone does. And they compete over it.

So unless the Ukraine/Switzerland match paralysed some key cognitive parts of your brain (understandable) you’ll have seen that a famously rich yet frugal man has given 85% of his fortune away, most of it to the genuinely progressive Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

An indication of the clout of his £20 billion: it would keep the UN going for the next 10 years.

Also today it was announced that a wealthy 39-year-old Brit is responsible for the most generous grant-giving organisation in the UK. Apparently he set up his hedge fund to give half of its annual assets to children’s charities in order to motivate himself.

Will such announcements start a trend? Simon Jenkins thinks so, and is well worth reading.

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