Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The problems of the very very very rich...

Michael has a serious problem. He is 31 years old and, for reasons that only the very rich will understand (????), he needs to donate 70 million dollars (or maybe it’s $50 million, Michael can never remember). So he seeks professional advice (here).

In the second instalment of the story (here), Michael is joined by his sister Cathy who also has “small sum of money” to donate. Apparently she can only give away $45 million, she must really feel bad.

In the third part of the story (here), we learn more about Michael and how he paid $19,000 to 3 consultants who gave him advice on how to give away money ($19,000 is not much, but if he comes to Geneva I can give him a good price on the Pont du Mont-Blanc and the Jet d'eau).

In the fourth (and best) part of the story (here), Michael tries to spend a week-end with a homeless (Curtis) and he wonders why poor people don't buy fresh fruit. Curtis also tells Michael that having a rug is very important. This reminded me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (don't forget to bring your towel!).

On a more serious note, Michael thinks that his money should not leave the US. When I give to charity I have the opposite principle, I never give money to charities that benefit residents of rich countries. My idea is that you get a much bigger bang for your charity buck in a poor country. Too bad Michael has $70 million and I have much less.

Sudhir Venkatesh is amazing. Here is an old post on sex-workers
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