Monday, June 26, 2006

Philantropy

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, announced yesterday that he will be donating a whopping 85% of his $44 billion fortune to not-for-profit organisations, with a big chunk of that going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That's $37 billion...and that's friggin impressive!

What's impressive is not only the amount, but also the fact that this man is actually doing something useful with the fortune he has amassed. In a world plagued by corrupt CEOs and doctored numbers, Buffett is a breath of fresh air.

Not that I know much about the guy, but this self-made billionaire has kept a down-to-earth lifestyle: he still lives in the same house in Omaha he bought in 1958 for $31,500 and his annual chairman's salary from Berkshire Hathaway is just $100,000.

I had recently watched an episode of Oprah where she talked to young heirs, and she had Warren Buffett's granddaughter Nicole as one of her guests. Turns out Nicole's grandpa had paid for her education, but once she graduated college, she was on her own. So now she doesn't even have health insurance, and has to work for a living. And she respects her grandfather's decision to not give her or any of his grandchildren any money, based on the premise that everyone needs to work for what they get.

Way to go Warren. The world needs more people like you.

5 comments:

Mar said...

On the radio this morning, they finished the story by saying that he's cheap, the reason why he got filthy rich :)

MadMax said...

ahem...sorry 2 butt in frm nowhere but i dont think Warren Buffet is quite the angel ur portrayin him 2 be...its quite laudable the amount he's givin away, yes, but than again im sure apart from his pretty meagre self-givin salary he owns a few $tock options n talkin bout Nicole not havin health insurance...tats just plain stupid n the girl is sayin the politically-correct things on a show like Oprah(i wud say the same myself)but a few cold ones n she will sayin wat a Scrooge the ol' bugger really is. I mean not gettin a Benz or a place in the Hamptons i understand but not even God-damn health insurance...although im sure some strings will be pulled n a bed arranged incase she hurts her leg skiing in the Alps

DrPak said...

If he were such a scrooge he wouldn't be giving all this money away. I think he's got it right about his grandkids. If you just shower them with money from the very begining, they'll never work a day in their lives and they'll grow up spoilt and probably unhappy.

Dubai Sunshine said...

I am not portraying him to be an angel...I just think that given the recent wave of scandalous CEO's we've seen (Enron and the likes), Warren Buffett is a breath of fresh air.

MadMax said...

normally i speak my 2 cents n move on coz it's just an opinion n everyone's got 1, but drpak to quote yoursel 'i think he's got it right about his grandkids'...r u kiddin me...now i actually didnt watch the show but if u tellin me tat ur old man or his ol man had a gazillion dollars n didnt give ya a cent ya wudnt feel peeved i wud say tats BullShit...if ya wanna sound Politically Correct which ya do than gr8 job.

Now since we bein so bloody picky n analyzin every word, he aint givin ALL his money away, although 85% of total is still a WHOOPIN 37B n yea tat aint scrooge but ask tat 2 Nicole n for her i bet it feels like it.

DS, Very hard to say nythin not gud bout a guy givin so much dough away...plus i aint a 100% informed bout the whole dnation but did read that 3 of his kids r headin up charities...still Bigger Picture, HE GAVE $37B ...kudos i guess.