Archive for June 2006

Warren Buffett Auction Winner Revealed!

The winner of the charity auction for a lunch with Warren Buffett, who bid under the screen name “fastisslow,” was Yongping Duan, 45, a Chinese immigrant California investor and former owner of a consumer electronics company who is now president of something called the “Enlight Foundation,” according to Bloomberg.
“Fast is slow, slow is fast” is one of those weird mantras you hear every now and again from managers and consultants that seems to mean something but really just doesn’t.

Chance to Dine With Buffett Sells for $620,100 in EBay Bidding
[Bloomberg via WallStreetFolly]

Will Warren Buffett’s Generosity Make A Difference?

buffett.jpgProbably not.

It is an open question whether the philanthropic and nonprofit institutions of today have truly mastered this alchemy. More and more money is donated to charity every year, yet America’s schools continue to fail, poverty continues to rise, and our environment seems ever more precarious. We would like to think that our contributions make a difference — and large contributions make a large difference — but there is surprisingly little evidence that this is so.


Don’t Confuse Generosity With Impact on Society
[The Chronicle of Philanthropy]

Planespotting:
Rush Limbaugh gets caught carrying a bottle of Viagra coming home from a notorious sex tourism hotspot. Bess Levin blows a gasket on our Planespotting machines trying to track him down.

Photo Essay:
Jonesing for a fix of a classic Wall Street movie? This week you didn’t wait around for the sequel to Wall Street—you witnessed the making of Boiler Room. But with dolls.


Warren Buffett:
What do Bob Geldorf and Warren Buffet have in common?
Planespotting:
While the the Planespotting machine is still down, Rush Limbaugh and DealBreaker’s Bess Levin patch things up.

Ivan Boesky check.jpg
The image above comes from our new favorite museum—The Fraud Museum. It will feature goodies such as Enron, WorldCom, and Adelphia stock certificates and the check pictured above signed by legendary inside trader Ivan Boesky. The museum has been put together by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
It will make its debut in Las Vegas. Of course.
The Fraud Museum [ACFE]

The Cliches of Marketing Brochures

handshake.jpgOnce you look at these, you’ll never look at another business or marketing brochure the same again. You don’t realize you know all these but you do.

  • 30 Jun 2006 at 10:39 AM
  • Oracle

How Ellison’s Harvard Pledge Got Revoked

larryellisoneating.jpgHarvard’s counter-offensive against Oracle CEO Larry Ellison never made much sense. Ellison said he decided not to hand over the millions he had pledged to the University when president Larry Summers resigned amidst trouble with the faculty. Harvard protested that Ellison broke off talks over the gift months before Summers resigned. We speculated that maybe, just maybe Ellison had grown sick of the shabby way Summers was being treated, and didn’t have to wait until the actual resignation to understand that his friend was in trouble there.
And it turns out we were so effin’ right it hurts.

Ellison pledged the money to Harvard following a meeting with former University President Larry Summers, says Oracle Spokesman Bob Wynne. The two discussed Summers’ theory of using an economic model to rate the quality of government health-care programs around the world. Ellison was intrigued and agreed on a handshake to donate the money. Later, Summers came under fire for comments made in January, 2005, suggesting that the lack of women in science and engineering is because of men’s “intrinsic aptitude” for these jobs. In March of last year, Harvard’s faculty passed a lack-of-confidence vote, and about a year later Summers said he’d resign.
While it’s true that talks broke off before the resignation, Ellison started to rethink the donation as Summers’ problems deepened, Wynne says. Now that Summers is out, he has officially rescinded the commitment. The University and other skeptics counter that not only University institutions but often its professors and staff stay in place regardless of who’s president. Still, Ellison was concerned that with the biggest advocate for the program gone, it wouldn’t have the same effect. “It was his brainchild and he was going to oversee it,” Wynne says of Summers. “If the president of the university is going to sponsor your initiative and he’s gone, how do you know your giving is going to be effective?” (Ellison would not comment directly for the story.)

Looks like billionaire businessmen care about who is managing the projects they invest in. Who knew?

The Rich Giveth, and They Taketh Away
[Business Week]

  • 30 Jun 2006 at 10:07 AM
  • video

Working Dollars


It’s a very, very silly day. Nearly everyone in your office has a weekend bag stored under their desk and keeps looking up at the clock every ten minutes. The phone isn’t ringing. Emails have all but stalled out. Might as well watch this classic cartoon instructing would-be investors in how the stock market works.