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Opinion | What Billionaires Don’t Understand About College Debt
Dec. 23, 2019 | - The New York Times | By Alissa Quart. Ms. Quart is the author of “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America.”
Anand_Giridharadas  benefactors  Colleges_&_Universities  high-impact  income_inequality  moguls  philanthropy  structural_change  tax-deductible  The_One_Percent 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | How the Superrich Took Over the Museum World
Dec. 14, 2019 | The New York Times | by Michael Massing, the author, most recently, of “Fatal Discord: Erasmus, Luther and the Fight for the Western Mind.”

The wealthy have always influenced the art scene. But in recent years, in an age of mounting anger over income inequality, they've come to dominate it......
Of MoMA's 51 trustees who vote, 45 work in finance, the corporate world, real estate or law, or are the heirs or spouses of the superrich.....both MoMA and the Met expect wealthy newcomers to their board of trustees to donate millions of dollars as the price of membership..........Art has always depended on wealthy patrons; see the Medicis, Frick and Morgan. In contrast to Europe, where museums receive significant (though now decreasing) state funding, most American museums rely heavily on private donors. .............Many of MoMA’s trustees are devoted collectors of modern and contemporary art, and the museum has benefited accordingly....... with trustees funding or donating to the museum various artistic works.......Yet dependence on the kindness of billionaires comes at a price. Today’s museum world is steeply hierarchical, mirroring the inequality in society at large........MoMA's curators seem very well paid; people in more junior positions much less so........Among the biggest losers in the current system are artists themselves. With art now considered an asset class similar to equities and commodities, collectors are forever on the lookout for rising stars whose work can be bought at bargain prices and then resold for many multiples as their reputation soars. When the market moves on, careers are often shattered (except in the case of a few ever-in-demand stars)......And even those artists who do remain popular usually benefit only from the initial sale of their work; as its value appreciates, the profits go mainly to collectors and auction houses. Museum trustees have ready access to curators and gallery owners who can point out emerging artists whose work they can buy at an early stage and benefit as the demand for it grows.......the most serious concern raised about baronial boards is the possible constraints they place on what museums can exhibit......For example, Why is there not more art inspired by such urgent matters as income inequality, deindustrialization or the rise of populism. Or why was there not more art inspired by the impact of Wall Street on Main Street or the continuing fallout from the 2008 financial crisis — the root of so much unrest in the world today?...... trustees have no decision-making role in its exhibitions, which are determined solely by the museum’s “strong curatorial staff” in regular consultation with artists....Yet a board’s influence need not be overt to be profound; curators are no doubt savvy enough to know how far they can go in challenging a system of which their trustees are such pillars.....For the superwealthy, membership on museum boards brings many benefits, including an increase in social status, access to other powerful people and an enhancement of one’s image.
Is there an alternative to the current system?
An obvious one would be to substantially increase public funding for the arts in general, and museums in particular......In 2018, MoMA received a paltry $22,000 in government funds (from New York City), compared with the $136 million it got from private sources. In fact, MoMA does not seek or receive federal or state funding. But MoMA in fact gets substantial public support through the tax write-offs its wealthy donors receive as well as its own nonprofit status. The public is in effect subsidizing the museum without getting any corresponding say in its governance.
In return for nonprofit status, the government could require MoMA and other museums to allocate a certain portion of board spots to people whose lives are not devoted to making money. The presence of art critics, historians, architects and nonprofit leaders could force museums to consider a much broader array of viewpoints.....As for more direct public funding of museums, this might seem a long shot in modern-day America, but the current political moment has created new opportunities. If taxes on the rich were raised, which most Democratic presidential candidates support, more public funds could be earmarked for museums — and for libraries, performing arts centers and other cultural institutions. 
Accomplisher_Class  art  artists  asset_classes  boards_&_directors_&_governance  collectors  contemporary_art  cultural_institutions  culture  curators  high_net_worth  income_inequality  intellectual_diversity  Manhattan  moguls  MoMA  museums  New_York_City   overachievers   patronage  patrons  philanthropy  public_funding  subsidies  tax-deductible  The_One_Percent 
9 weeks ago by jerryking
Stephen Schwarzman: ‘I like to do things that are beautiful’
September 20, 2019 | Financial Times | by Lionel Barber.

Schwarzman’s fortune (net worth about $18bn) has bought him power and influence. He’s graduated from being a mega dealmaker to philanthropist, back channel in US-China relations and “Trump whisperer”. I want to explore these multiple roles, but also pin down why the man who has built one of the most successful financial businesses on the planet has never quite received the credit he believes he deserves......Blackstone started as a boutique advisory firm, with the goal of making enough money to start its own private equity fund. Private equity has attracted controversy because of alleged asset-stripping: buying companies, loading them with debt (“leverage”) and selling them off at a handsome profit, with favourable tax treatment.

Schwarzman casts himself as a long-term investor, not a scavenger in sheep’s clothing. He recounts with gusto the megadeals and the risk-taking involved in picking the right time to buy and sell assets, ranging from US Steel’s railroad network to the Waldorf hotel.

His skill is market timing. Blackstone has expanded into real estate and hedge funds and other “alternative assets”, with $545bn under management today. Blackstone funds are also the largest owner of real estate in the world. The firm’s rise epitomises the “buy side” revolution that favours asset managers at the expense of traditional banks trading liquid securities.

Schwarzman has written a book, which is part memoir, part Blackstone management primer called What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence. (A better title would be Whatever It Takes, I suggest.) ......Blackstone is a meritocracy, he says, where two iron rules apply: no internal politics and do not lose money. “I go from the premise that anybody of talent does not want necessarily to be a private in an army. The lowest they want is to be a lieutenant colonel and preferably they’d all like to be generals.”......We turn to Schwarzman’s generous philanthropy. In recent years, he has donated $100m to the New York Public Library, $150m to Yale, £150m to Oxford university, $350m to MIT. He’s also set up the Schwarzman scholars, a one-year masters programme on global affairs for top international students to study at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
alternative_investments  Blackstone  books  dealmakers  investors  market_timing  philanthropy  private_equity  Stephen_Schwarzman  U.S.-China_relations 
september 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Surprising Path That Some Kids Take to the Ivy League
Aug. 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Frank Bruni.

Overcoming life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
career_paths  Colleges_&_Universities  Frank_Bruni  Ivy_League  nonprofit  philanthropy  resilience  strivers  unevenly_distributed  Zimbabwe 
august 2019 by jerryking
What Jeffrey Epstein’s black book tells us about Manhattan
AUGUST 23, 2019 | Financial Times | Holly Peterson.

...it makes perfect sense that Epstein would need a black book of people he knew — and wanted to know. He couldn’t get to the top of the totem pole otherwise. His career was so secretive, his CV so sparse, that no one knew where his money came from. What he needed was a social network.

The primary axiom to remember in this hideous saga: rich people don’t get richer only because of tax windfalls. Rich people get richer because they hang out together....Most of the Americans included in the black book have one common denominator: they are socially and professionally voracious people who form part of New York’s “Accomplisher Class”. The accomplishers appear at book parties, Davos, the Aspen Ideas Festival, benefits and openings. They understand that to be avidly social is to assure recognition and prominence. Remember, the rich covet convening power: the ability to reach a point where one’s social and professional life are confused as one....Tina Brown has been an astute observer of New York society....“The alpha energy of Manhattan is far more intense than anywhere European: more money, bigger stakes. Every achiever who wants to get to the top, has to fight like hell to be seen and heard on this island.”.....The now ossified Wasp culture may still count for country club memberships or the preppy glow of a Ralph Lauren advertisement, but not much else. New York high society has been paradoxically meritocratic for a few decades, at least since the go-go 1980s......On a grander scale, the accomplisher class is neither defective nor debauched. When accomplishers exchange ideas, much good can come in the form of entrepreneurship in technology, business or innovative arts.....At its best, the American system of philanthropy launches museums and hospitals, urban and charter schools, and relief to the poor in towns all over America. Much of this is enabled by the accomplishers, aided by tax laws that promote charitable deductions. People in this group have multiple invites most weekday nights to attend benefits that help the causes they care about most, with the added value of showing off how magnanimous they are in programmes that list precisely how much they gave....Attending a high-end event in New York is a way of taking a victory lap with other accomplishers around the room......It would be a mistake to assume that the accomplisher class is all about wealth. If you want access to capital or airwaves, boring and rich doesn’t get you that far in this high-testosterone playground. If you ran your father’s company into the ground, you’re a nobody in this town. The paycheck is not all that matters: editorial media power controls the conversation, foundation power means you write the big checks. What people admire is top achievement in almost any field....Accomplishers in New York society may be particularly American in that they do not necessarily shy away from a bad reputation. They are so interested in a story and a comeback that they can forgive human failings, and are often intrigued with flaws as much as success.

What’s more, New York is so relentlessly fast-paced and ambition among the accomplishers so colossal, they don’t always take the time to be discerning.
Accomplisher_Class  Bonfire_of_the_Vanities  comebacks  elitism  high-achieving  high_net_worth  Jeffrey_Epstein  Manhattan  New_York_City  overachievers  philanthropy  political_power  reputation  the_One_percent  Tina_Brown  meritocratic  The_Establishment  social_networking  social_classes  tax_codes 
august 2019 by jerryking
The Meadoway: 16 km stretch of urban park will connect downtown to Scarborough | CBC News
Posted: Apr 11, 2018 | CBC News | by Ramna Shahzad.

The park will connect 4 ravines, 15 parks and 34 neighbourhoods.

A 16-kilometre long stretch of land slated to be transformed into a large urban park called The Meadoway is "a bold vision," Mayor John Tory said on Wednesday.

The park, which will stretch north from the Don River Ravine in downtown Toronto all the way to Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough, will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel the entire length without ever leaving the park. .......The city is working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation to transform a barren power corridor into the green space over the next seven years.

The entire project is expected to cost around $85 million. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has pledged a total of $25 million to support it over the coming months.

"[The park] serves as another example of what can be accomplished when we work together with public, private and philanthropic partners,"
bicycles  cycling  Don_River  habitats  landscapes  linearity  Meadoway  neighbourhoods  outdoors  parks  philanthropy  public_spaces  ravines  Rouge_Park  Scarborough  Toronto  TRCA  urban  wilderness  green_spaces 
july 2019 by jerryking
White men run 98% of finance. Can philanthropy bring change?
June 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by Rob Manilla.

Q: How do you achieve change at the decision making level in the finance industry when diversity moves at glacial pace?
asset_management  diversity  endowments  hedge_funds  finance  foundations  Kresge  meritocratic  philanthropy  private_equity  real_estate  results-driven  social_enginering  structural_change  under-representation  white_men  women 
june 2019 by jerryking
University of Toronto announces largest donation in school’s history for construction of new centre, institute
MARCH 25, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by JOE FRIESEN.
Billionaire investor Gerald Schwartz and Indigo chief executive Heather Reisman announced Monday that they will donate $100-million to the University of Toronto for the construction of a new centre for innovation and entrepreneurship as well as an institute that will study the impact of emerging technologies on society......We read an article together about this bold ambition the university had to create a new complex that would be devoted to the whole subject of technology and innovation,” Ms. Reisman said. “The things that they talked about housing there were things we were interested in – the Vector Institute [for Artificial Intelligence], the Creative Destruction Lab, the entrepreneurs. We looked at each other and said ‘We’d like to support that.’"

Mr. Gertler said the gift is affirmation of the role the university plays in innovation in fields such as machine learning, gene editing and regenerative medicine.

“There are very few gifts across the country that have been this big,” Mr. Gertler said. “It draws on U of T’s world class strength, both in machine learning and the ethics and philosophy of technological change and its impact on society.”
CDL  Colleges_&_Universities  entrepreneurship  Gerald_Schwartz  Heather_Reisman  innovation  Joe_Friesen  Meric_Gertler  moguls  philanthropy  uToronto  Vector_Institute 
march 2019 by jerryking
Michael Moritz, the tech investor backing books
March 1, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters.

Michael Moritz, the biggest individual investor in funds managed by Sequoia Capital, the blue-chip venture capital firm where he has worked since 1986. Forbes estimates his wealth at $3.4bn, but Moritz himself puts it “a bit higher”.

Some of that wealth was put to work this week when Crankstart, the charity he set up with his wife, Harriet Heyman, agreed to provide financial backing for the Booker Prize, one of the top awards for English language fiction, for the next five years......Moritz continues to court controversy, writing approvingly in the Financial Times of the relentless pace of Chinese tech start-ups, where workers put in so many hours they barely see their children. He contrasted them with “soul-sapping” debates about work/life balance in the US, calling them “concerns of a society that is coming unhinged”.

It is tempting to ascribe his success as an investor to tireless networking, luck and timing....entrepreneur Randy Adams tipped him off to Yahoo, which was creating one of the first web indices. That led him to Google. He took over leadership of Sequoia from Don Valentine — one of Silicon Valley’s first start-up investors — in the mid-1990s.

The firm then moved well beyond its venture capital roots, setting up arms to manage family endowments and handle public market investments. While he was at the helm, it became the most successful foreign start-up investor in China. “We understood that the world had changed and that Silicon Valley was not going to be the centre of the universe for the next 50 years,”....he still works full time making investments and sits on 10 corporate boards.

Through Crankstart, Sir Michael and his wife have made substantial gifts to education, including £75m in 2012 to fund scholarships for the poorest students at Oxford university, where he was an undergraduate. He said that the financial support his father had been given after fleeing Nazi Germany as a teenager was his motivation.....After funding some of the world’s most disruptive companies, it might seem perverse that Sir Michael is now backing something as traditional as a literary prize. But he says: “Like music and video, I think the future is brighter than the past.” Printed book sales are rising again, and audio books allow readers to consume them in new forms. “The novel is the underpinning of many forms of entertainment,” he says. “I don’t think anyone’s lost their appetite for good storytelling.”
books  charities  contrarians  Don_Valentine  fiction  Google  investors  Man_Booker  Michael_Moritz  Oxford  novels  philanthropy  prizes  Richard_Waters  Sequoia  sponsorships  venture_capital  vc  Yahoo 
march 2019 by jerryking
Engaging with the world’s ills beats hiding in a bunker
OCTOBER 18, 2018 | Financial Times | Stephen Foley.

those with real ambition are not planning for a life underground down under. They are building philanthropic ventures to tackle the world’s ills, or striving to effect change through the political process, or starting new mission-driven businesses.

The bunker mentality is the polar opposite of the optimism displayed by the likes of Jeff Bezos, who set out his philanthropic credo in September alongside his plan to build a network of Montessori-inspired preschools across the US. He talked of his “belief in the potential for hard work from anyone to serve others”, from “business innovators who invent products that empower, authors who write books that inspire, government officials who serve their communities, teachers, doctors, carpenters, entertainers who make us laugh and cry, parents who raise children who go on to live lives of courage and compassion”.

“It fills me with gratitude and optimism,” he said, “to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement.”

Bezos has decided to focus his charity on children, as many of his peers have done. From Mark Zuckerberg promising to fund a technological revolution in the way kids are taught, to the slew of east coast hedge fund managers promoting charter schools as a way to shake-up public education, philanthropists know instinctively that childhood is their point of maximum leverage.....engagement trumps disengagement. Public service matters, even if one is only stealing apocalyptic proclamations from a presidential desk. It beats burying one’s head in the New Zealand soil.

Many of the world’s richest individuals are working to avert the war, pestilence or revolution that would make a withdrawal from society seem attractive in the first place. Philanthropists who are funding human rights campaigns, or drug research, or novel approaches to tackling inequality — these are the real survivalists.
apocalypses  bolt-holes  catastrophes  charities  childhood  children  disasters  disaster_preparedness  engaged_citizenry  hard_work  high_net_worth  Jeff_Bezos  mission-driven  moguls  Montessori  New_Zealand  novel  off-grid  optimism  Peter_Thiel  self-improvement  philanthropy  public_service  survivalists 
october 2018 by jerryking
Why Jeff Bezos Should Push for Nobody to Get as Rich as Jeff Bezos
Sept. 19, 2018 | The New York Times | By Farhad Manjoo.

Why does Jeff Bezos have so much money in the first place? What does his fortune tell us about the economic structure and impact of the tech industry, the engine behind his billions? And, most important, what responsibility comes with his wealth — and is it any business of ours what he does with it?.........Bezos’ extreme wealth is not only a product of his own ingenuity. It is also a function of several grand forces shaping the global economy...the unequal impact of digital technology..... direct economic benefits have accrued to a small number of superstar companies and their largest shareholders.....the most important thing Bezos can do with his money is to become a traitor to his class,” said Anand Giridharadas, author of a new book, “Winners Take All.”.....Giridharadas argues that the efforts of the super-wealthy to change the world through philanthropy are often a distraction from the planet’s actual problems. To truly fix the world, Mr. Bezos ought to push for policy changes that would create a more equal distribution of the winnings ......there are fans of Amazon who will dispute the notion that Bezos’ wealth represents a problem or a responsibility....He acquired his wealth legally and in the most quintessentially American way: He had a wacky idea, took a stab at it, stuck with it through thick and thin, and, through patient, deliberate, farsighted risk-taking,.......Tech-powered businesses are often driven by an economic concept known as network effects, in which the very popularity of a service sparks even greater popularity. Amazon, for instance, keeps attracting more third-party businesses to sell goods in its store — which in turn makes it a better store for customers, which attracts more suppliers, improving the customer experience, and so on in an endless virtuous cycle........Mr. Bezos’ most attractive quality, as a businessman, is his capacity for patience and surprise. “This is guy who was willing to buck what everyone else thought for so long,” Mr. Giridharadas said. “If he brings that same irreverence to the question of how to give, he has the potential to interrogate himself about why it is that we need so many billionaires to save us in the first place
Amazon  Anand_Giridharadas  books  economic_policy  economies_of_scale  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Farhad_Manjoo  Jeff_Bezos  third-party  high_net_worth  human_ingenuity  ingenuity  moguls  network_effects  philanthropy  superstars  virtuous_cycles  winner-take-all 
september 2018 by jerryking
When a $1,000 Gift Is Better Than $1 Million - The New York Times
By Paul Sullivan
Aug. 17, 2018

Smaller, local gifts are part of a trend of philanthropists narrowing their focus so they can feel like their donations matter, said David Callahan, founder and editor of Insider Philanthropy and the author of “The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.”

“In this age of big philanthropy, when so many billionaires and foundations are active, donors at a more modest level can feel like their money might not count as much when directed to issues like climate change or global development,” Mr. Callahan said.

“Even if you have a $100,000 a year to give, it can feel like a drop in the bucket compared to what Bill Gates or Mike Bloomberg is giving,” he added. “But that kind of money can have a big impact if you’re giving to local food pantries or schools.”.....The KentPresents festival, in its fourth year this weekend, attracts Nobel laureates, secretaries of state, academics, artists and journalists discussing topics as varied as global affairs and visual arts. The festival is the brainchild of Benjamin M. Rosen, a venture capitalist in the 1980s and ’90s and former chairman of Compaq, and his wife, Donna.......modeled the event on the Aspen Ideas Festival, an annual gathering of intellectual luminaries in the Colorado ski town, but he said he wanted to distribute the money the festival raised to small, little-known nonprofit organizations.
books  high_net_worth  philanthropy  bite-sized  impact_investing 
august 2018 by jerryking
PNC’s Bill Demchak hopes Pittsburgh’s old money will finance its tech-driven future
July 29, 2018 | Financial Times | Patti Waldmeir.

Pittsburgh native Bill Demchak, chief executive at PNC, to reflect on the rebirth of one of America’s great Rust Belt cities — and what lessons it may hold for other cities trying to recover from decades of decline.

Few American metropolises suffered the kind of economic conflagration that first hit Pittsburgh in the 1970s when its economic foundation, the steel industry, collapsed......one reason Pittsburgh has money today is because it had money yesterday: the fortunes earned by the city’s early industrial entrepreneurs — such as Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon — helped fund philanthropic institutions that were still in place to help bail the city out decades later.

The universities they funded were around too, generating the talent and the infrastructure for the innovation economy Pittsburgh is counting on for prosperity in the 21st century.

“What we had to our advantage, then and today, was a very strong university system, with University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. We had an extremely strong philanthropic community driven by the old money from the Mellon family, the Heinz endowments, Carnegie,” he says.

These foundations offered broad-based support as technology came to the fore in the mid-1990s, he adds, when CMU was a leader in robotics and autonomous vehicles, as it is today.
Andrew_Carnegie  Carnegie_Mellon  CEOs  cities  Colleges_&_Universities  industrial_Midwest  innovation  midwest  philanthropy  Pittsburgh  revitalization  Rust_Belt  Red_states  structural_decline 
july 2018 by jerryking
Libraries Can Be More Than Just Books - The New York Times
By MATT A.V. CHABAN SEPT. 18, 2017

New York, graced with the generosity of Astor, Tilden and Carnegie, was foundational in the library movement. Today, those foundations are crumbling. Despite their popularity, and because of it, the city’s 212 branches face nearly $1.5 billion in capital needs. And that is simply to reach a state of good repair.

Chipping away at these needs can seem overwhelming. But New York has an opportunity, one shared by cities across the country, to improve library infrastructure while creating badly needed housing. By using aging branches as sites for development, new libraries may rise with affordable apartments on top. The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio should seize the chance at sites citywide to link these crucial needs.......
Libraries have become 21st-century settlement houses, providing a world of resources under one roof. They help bridge the digital divide, invest in early literacy and lifelong learning, increase language skills and serve as civic hubs. Let’s add affordable housing to the list.
affordable_housing  community_development  libraries  moguls  New_York_City  NYPL  partnerships  philanthropy  property_development 
september 2017 by jerryking
Giving Away Your Billion
JUNE 6, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

Recently Brooks has been reading the Giving Pledge letters. These are the letters that rich people write when they join Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge campaign. They take the pledge, promising to give away most of their wealth during their lifetime, and then they write letters describing their giving philosophy......Most of the letter writers started poor or middle class. They don’t believe in family dynasties and sometimes argue that they would ruin their kids’ lives if they left them a mountain of money. Schools and universities are the most common recipients of their generosity, followed by medical research and Jewish cultural institutions. A ridiculously disproportionate percentage of the Giving Pledge philanthropists are Jewish.......What would David Brooks do if he had a billion bucks to use for good? He’d start with the premise that the most important task before us is to reweave the social fabric. People in disorganized neighbourhoods need to grow up enmeshed in the loving relationships that will help them rise. The elites need to be reintegrated with their own countrymen. .....Only loving relationships transform lives, and such relationships can be formed only in small groups. Thus, I’d use my imaginary billion to seed 25-person collectives around the country.....The collectives would hit the four pressure points required for personal transformation:

Heart: By nurturing deep friendships, they would give people the secure emotional connections they need to make daring explorations.

Hands: Members would get in the habit of performing small tasks of service and self-control for one another, thus engraving the habits of citizenship and good character.

Head: Each collective would have a curriculum, a set of biographical and reflective readings, to help members come up with their own life philosophies, to help them master the intellectual virtues required for public debate.

Soul: In a busy world, members would discuss fundamental issues of life’s purpose, so that they might possess the spiritual true north that orients a life.
social_fabric  David_Brooks  philanthropy  moguls  high_net_worth  Warren_Buffett  elitism  collectives  personal_transformation  plutocracies  plutocrats  disorganization  daring  relationships  emotional_connections  soul  North_Star  virtues  engaged_citizenry  civics  Jewish  biographies  friendships  self-reflective  giving 
june 2017 by jerryking
Hedge fund manager driven by a thirst for knowledge
December 10/11th, 2016 | Financial Times | Lindsay Fortado.

“I am always paranoid I’m not smart enough,” he said. “The biggest challenge in today’s world is that knowledge has increasingly become a commodity. How do you find the kernel of information, that anomaly that enables you to generate alpha?"
hedge_funds  United_Kingdom  HBS  slight_edge  anomalies  philanthropy  alpha  kernels  commoditization_of_information 
december 2016 by jerryking
Winton Capital’s David Harding on making millions through maths
NOVEMBER 25, 2016 | Financial Times | by Clive Cookson.

Harding’s career is founded on the relentless pursuit of mathematical and scientific methods to predict movements in markets. This is a never-ending process because predictive tools lose their power as markets change; new ones are always needed. “We have 450 people in the company, of whom 250 are involved in research, data collection or technology,” he says. That is equivalent to a medium-sized university physics department....Harding's approach to making money is to exploit failures in the efficient market theory...the problem with the EMT is that “It treats economics like a physical science when, in fact, it is a human or social science. Humans are prone to unpredictable behaviour, to overreaction or slumbering inaction, to mania and panic.”...The Winton investment system is based instead on “the belief that scientific methods provide a good means of extracting meaning from noisy market data. We don’t make assumptions about how markets should work, rather we use advanced statistical techniques to seek patterns in huge data sets and base all our investment strategies on the analysis of empirical evidence...Harding emphasises the breadth and volume of investments involved, covering bonds, currencies, commodities, market indices and individual equities. The aim is to exploit a large number of weak predictive signals, he says: “We don’t expect to find any strong relationships between data and the price of the market. That may sound counter-intuitive but if there are strong relationships, someone else is going to be exploiting those. Weak relationships are where we have a competitive advantage.” Weather strategies are one feature of Winton research, including analysis of cloud cover and soil moisture levels to predict the prices of agricultural commodities. Other important indicators, for which maths can uncover value not fully reflected in market prices, include seasonal factors and inventory levels across supply chains....When I ask Harding about the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to guide investment decisions, he bristles slightly. “There is a sudden upsurge of excitement about AI,” he says, “but we have used techniques that would be described as machine learning for at least 30 years.”

Essentially, he says, quantitative investing, self-driving cars and speech recognition are all applications of “information engineering”....he heads off to a lecture by German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer, who runs the Harding Centre for Risk Literacy in Berlin
communicating_risks  mathematics  hedge_funds  investment_research  financiers  Winton_Capital  physics  Renaissance_Technologies  James_Simons  moguls  quantitative  panics  overreaction  massive_data_sets  philanthropy  machine_learning  signals  human_factor  weak_links  JumpMath 
november 2016 by jerryking
Philanthropy in Silicon Valley: Big Bets on Big Ideas - The New York Times
By VINDU GOELNOV. 4, 2016
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philanthropy  Silicon_Valley  due_diligence  moonshots  big_bets 
november 2016 by jerryking
Pamela Joyner: collector of ‘Afropolitan abstraction’
SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 | FT| by Julie Belcove.

.....Joyner and Giuffrida are not merely acquisitive in the vein of so many collectors but are activist. “We think of ourselves as stewards of their careers,” Joyner says of their artists. “Our philanthropy is focused on getting works of the artists who we support into museums....Joyner and Guiffrida donate paintings to leading museums in the UK and the US. Joyner introduces those museum curators to talented-but-lesser-known artists for whom she advocates. She also organizes trips domestically and internationally (.e.g South Africa) for museum curators....Joyner and Guiffrida created an artist’s residency on their property in Sonoma, California, in 2014.....Artists return the loyalty and remark that Joyner and Guiffrida never ask for a discount....Joyner has made collecting — and sitting on boards — her primary occupation. “Now I have a strategy, I have a budget,” she says. “I run it like you’d expect an MBA to run it.”...“Race is a really bad lens through which to view art. I could make an argument that Zander Blom is far more African than I am.”....“I was really struck by these artists who were determined to create an aesthetic that was compelling to them, which was abstraction, and there were no rewards for that if you were an African-American artist at the time,” Joyner says. “The traditional art world expected African-American artists to create identifiably black subject matter. ....The daughter of two public school teachers, Joyner, 58, grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where she attended the prestigious University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and frequented the Art Institute of Chicago. A serious ballet dancer, Joyner took a year off from Dartmouth College to try to break into the professional ranks in New York. “What I discovered was, I was really average,” she says frankly. “That was a good thing to discover early. I decided at that juncture that I would become a patron of the arts.”

Patronage requires money, so Joyner went on to Harvard Business School, then a successful career in finance.....With 300 to 400 artworks by roughly 100 artists, among them contemporary masters Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Mark Bradford and Kara Walker, the collection is the subject of a new book, Four Generations: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection of Abstract Art, written by a Who’s Who of top curators. In October 2017, a travelling exhibition of the collection’s highlights will open at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.
art  collectors  women  African-Americans  curators  Diaspora  artists  museums  philanthropy  marginalization  leadership  patronage  high_net_worth  benefactors  cultural_literacy  Afropolitan  activism  race  HBS  abstractions  books  stewardship  Pamela_Joyner  contemporary_art  champions 
october 2016 by jerryking
Righting Wrongs and Generating Attention for Art of the African Diaspora
OCT. 16, 2016 | The New York Times | By TED LOOS.

A profile of Pamela J. Joyner, a prolific art collector and supporter of artists of African descent..... Later, Ms. Joyner donated money to buy another Gilliam, “Whirlirama” (1970), and next year there are plans to exhibit both when the Met reinstalls its modern collection. “Pamela is such an informed champion of her artists,” Ms. Wagstaff said.

That trip to Washington was one of the many ways that Ms. Joyner, 58, exerts her power as an art-world influence behind the scenes. She has relinquished a successful business career to become what she calls a full-time “mission-driven” collector of a very specific niche: Abstract art by African-Americans and members of the global African diaspora. Now she leverages her relationships with the Met in New York, the Tate in London, the Art Institute in Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to help these artists gain traction in the wider world.

“It’s no less ambitious than an effort to reframe art history,” said Ms. Joyner, who sees herself as righting a wrong. “First, to include more broadly those who have been overlooked — and, for those with visibility, to steward and contextualize those careers.”....“There was a keen sense in my household that you had to be prepared for whatever was going to happen,” Ms. Joyner said. “You needed these literacies, and cultural literacy was one of them.”
African-Americans  Diaspora  art  artists  collectors  museums  overlooked  philanthropy  leadership  patronage  high_net_worth  benefactors  cultural_literacy  women  marginalization  Pamela_Joyner  stewardship  reframing  mission-driven  champions  art_history  exclusion  prolificacy 
october 2016 by jerryking
At Carnegie Hall, a New Leader With a Son Named Hendrix - The New York Times
By MICHAEL COOPER and DAVID GELLESJUNE 2, 2016
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Robert_Smith  private_equity  African-Americans  New_York_City  philanthropy  leaders 
august 2016 by jerryking
The Billionaire Who’s Building a Davos of His Own - The New York Times
By ALESSANDRA STANLEYAPRIL 16, 2016
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Stanford  moguls  philanthropy 
april 2016 by jerryking
Philip Knight of Nike to Give $400 Million to Stanford Scholars - The New York Times
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY FEB. 24, 2016

megagifts to elite universities have their critics, who argue they are more about prestige and ego than academic excellence. “This is just part of the crazy arms race between the top schools with no connection to reality,” said Malcolm Gladwell, a writer for The New Yorker and the author of “The Tipping Point” who posted scathing Twitter messages last year about Mr. Paulson’s gift to Harvard. “If Stanford cut its endowment in half and gave it to other worthy institutions,” he said, “then the world really would be a better place.”

According to the Council for Aid to Education, less than 1 percent of the nation’s colleges received 28.7 percent of all gifts in 2015.
Philip_Knight  Nike  entrepreneur  philanthropy  Stanford  Colleges_&_Universities  problem_solving  scholarships  elitism  endowments  prestige  ego 
february 2016 by jerryking
Schwarzman Scholars Announces Inaugural Class to Study in China - The New York Times
By ALESSANDRA STANLEY JAN. 10, 2016

On Monday, the program will announce the first 111 scholarship winners. Mr. Schwarzman, chairman and co-founder of the Blackstone Group, the private equity and investment giant, started the program with a goal of identifying, as he put it, “your best guess as future leaders of the world.”

Some of the recipients, selected from a pool of 3,000 applicants, already seem well on their way.

Lt. Daniel Glenn, 28, is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He did his scholarship interview via Skype from a secret location in Iraq, where he is the officer in charge of a Navy special operations platoon that defuses bombs and underwater explosives. Lieutenant Glenn has also founded two philanthropic organizations, and he broke a Guinness World Record for running a mile in an 80-pound bomb suit (8 minutes and 30 seconds). He told his interviewers that he intended to eventually run for the Senate.

Other winners include Rugsit Kanan, 22, a Harvard student from Thailand who writes poetry in English, Thai and Mandarin and plays on the Thai national chess team; Wang Zhe, 26, an economics major from Tsinghua University who was secretary of the Communist Youth League at the school of architecture and taught math and science in Kenya; and Jacob Gaba, 22, a computer science major at Dartmouth College who made a video of himself called “Guy Dances Across China in 100 Days” that went viral.

At his Manhattan office on Thursday, Mr. Schwarzman said that he had modeled his fully funded master’s program on the Rhodes scholarship, but that his was “global with a bit of a U.S. twist.”

His goal is to establish a $450 million endowment that would fund up to 200 students every year: 45 percent from the United States, 20 percent from China and 35 percent from other countries.
financiers  moguls  passions  China  Colleges_&_Universities  elitism  Stephen_Schwarzman  scholarships  Rhodes  Tsinghua  philanthropy 
january 2016 by jerryking
$25-million project reimagines area under Gardiner with paths, cultural spaces - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 16, 2015| The Globe and Mail | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

This move, to make a beautiful place out of unused infrastructure, reflects the role of landscape architects in today’s cities. “We realize we’re not going to find new public realm in the conventional places,” Mr. Ryan said. “There are no more Central Parks to be built.”

Instead, the big projects involve reclaiming leftover industrial land or infrastructure – “while the glacier of industry recedes from the downtown,” as Mr. Greenberg said.....The construction and the operation of Under Gardiner reflects an unusual partnership. Built by the public agency Waterfront Toronto and owned by the city, the project will be funded with $25-million from local philanthropists Judy and Wil Matthews. They, and the city, are studying whether the space could be run by a park conservancy, a not-for-profit institution that would work in tandem with the city.....“This area is the new frontier on which the city is growing,” Mr. Greenberg said, “just as old infrastructure becomes available for reuse and reinvention.”
parks  Toronto  public_spaces  Gardiner_Expressway  revitalization  rejuvenation  reinvention  landscapes  philanthropy 
november 2015 by jerryking
When Impact Investing Stays Local - The New York Times
JULY 17, 2015
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Rob Houghton, left, and James Houghton found a way to give some of their wealth back to Corning, N.Y., the town that helped make Corning, their family business, a success. Credit Porter Gifford for The New York Times
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Corning  impact_investing  philanthropy  wealth_management  high_net_worth  family_business 
july 2015 by jerryking
Three generations of de Gaspé Beaubien family give back to Canada - The Globe and Mail
ROY MACGREGOR
GATINEAU, QUE. — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 05, 2015

Working with Ottawa Riverkeeper’s capable executive director, Meredith Brown, the partnership last weekend hosted a summit, AquaHacking 2015, in a hotel just across the river from Parliament Hill. With the help of co-sponsor IBM, they held a “hackathon” and gave out $20,000 in prizes to computer wizards who came up with the best applications to help gather data on the health of the river. Some came from as far away as California to compete.
philanthropy  family  family-owned_businesses  water  family_business  public_service  Quebec  civics  youth  leadership  giving  serving_others 
june 2015 by jerryking
John C. Whitehead - WSJ
Feb. 8, 2015| WSJ |

In 2005, Whitehead published a memoir A Life In Leadership: From D-Day to Ground Zero
obituaries  tributes  Wall_Street  books  The_Greatest_Generation  public_service  Goldman_Sachs  philanthropy  investment_banking  memoirs 
february 2015 by jerryking
Renaissance man Joseph Rotman was a patron of education - The Globe and Mail
JANET MCFARLAND
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jan. 27 2015

He and his wife, the former Sandra Frieberg, whom he married in 1959 and with whom he had two children, have long been known for their support for Canadian culture and arts.
Rotman  obituaries  UWO  philanthropy  institution-building  moguls  tributes  benefactors  uToronto  culture  cultural_institutions  patronage  education  Colleges_&_Universities  renaissance  Renaissance_man 
january 2015 by jerryking
ROTMAN
JANUARY 30, 2015 | globeandmail.com: |
Rotman  obituaries  UWO  philanthropy  institution-building  moguls 
january 2015 by jerryking
Corporate sponsors of the arts missing creative opportunities - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 16 2015 | The Globe and Mail | TODD HIRSCH.
...the necessary bridge between creativity and innovation is collaboration – the act of allowing someone else’s experience to change the way you see the world....
It’s time to entirely rethink corporate sponsorship of the arts. Forget the silly logo on the back of the program or the complimentary tickets to the play. What artists can offer is much more valuable: a chance to peer into the mind of a choreographer, a singer, a set designer, a writer. How do they solve complex problems? And what insights can this bring to corporate leaders who are trying to solve problems of their own?

In the end it comes down to something neurologists know very well. If you want to become a creative person, you have to force your brain to see new patterns, unfamiliar terrain and uncomfortable situations. Sitting in a boardroom full of people with the same university degree and the same clothes (think dull blue suits and boring shoes) will do nothing to foster creative, innovative visionaries.

Why don’t artists offer those corporate suits something really valuable? The pitch should be: “Give us $100,000 and we’ll show you how we solve problems and design solutions. You’ll think we’re crazy – and quite possibly we are – but if you allow yourselves the chance, you’ll start to change the way your brain operates. Creativity can’t be taught, but it can be developed.”

Companies can transform the way their leaders think.
Todd_Hirsch  arts  philanthropy  branding  creativity  artists  critical_thinking  skepticism  problem_solving  sponsorships  art  creative_renewal  ideality  collaboration  rethinking  missed_opportunities  heterogeneity  crazy_ideas  radical_ideas  creative_types  neurologists  complex_problems 
january 2015 by jerryking
Rust Belt revival: Lessons for southwest Ontario from America’s industrial heartland - The Globe and Mail
ADAM RADWANSKI
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

Not all the start-ups and emerging businesses in Grand Rapids are as sexy. Some are tied to auto parts and office furniture, the traditional manufacturing around which Grand Rapids was built. Others are in communications technology or health sciences. Notwithstanding some growing financial-services companies, they tend to fit into the region’s proud history of making things.

As the Brookings Institute’s Vey notes, that tradition – and the accompanying institutional knowledge and infrastructure – can help Rust Belt cities take advantage of the current “maker’s movement,” in which a DIY culture makes the manufacturing market accessible to small enterprises.
revitalization  rust_belt  Southwestern_Ontario  industrial_Midwest  economic_development  institutional_knowledge  Pittsburgh  urban  urban_decline  philanthropy  cities  DIY  entrepreneurship  start_ups  manufacturers  Makerspace  Colleges_&_Universities 
january 2015 by jerryking
Young Bay Street drives new wave of philanthropy - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE
Young Bay Street drives new wave of philanthropy
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The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Dec. 04 2014
Bay_Street  philanthropy  Junior_Achievement 
december 2014 by jerryking
RIM co-founder Jim Balsillie put Franklin ship hunt in motion - The Globe and Mail
JOHN LORINC
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 12 2014

The risk of having another country locate the vessels “was an enormous concern. We needed to be the nation that finds them,” Mr. Balsillie recalled Wednesday of that initial eye-opening journey in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Upon his return, the Research In Motion co-founder began to work behind the scenes to ensure that a Canadian search team would make that discovery – a five-year project that culminated with this week’s find....Through the Arctic Research Foundation, a charity he helped establish with veteran Arctic expert Martin Bergmann, Mr. Balsillie put up funds to buy a dedicated search vessel and state-of-the-art search equipment. (Mr. Bergmann died in a plane crash in 2011.) Mr. Balsillie and other foundation officials also pressed news organizations to pay more attention to the search efforts.

Most crucially, Mr. Balsillie used his contacts with the Prime Minister’s Office to persuade Ottawa to commit additional naval and coast guard ships capable of travelling longer distances, as well as technical support from hydrographic and satellite-mapping scientists. “Let’s just be professional and take a systematic approach,” he told top officials in the Conservative government. ... his view of the mission goes far beyond the curiosity value of locating a missing shipwreck.

He said that he has long seen “parallel narratives” between the way the British viewed the Arctic in the mid-19th century and the issues facing the region today. Then and now, scientific, commercial and geopolitical questions hover over the fate of the Arctic, which has been deeply affected by global warming, receding sea ice and the race to tap new energy resources on the ocean floor. “It’s remarkably similar,” observed Mr. Balsillie, whose interest in global governance issues led him to begin thinking about the Arctic in 2007.

Echoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he also sees the Franklin find as a “nation-building” exercise, something he feels is lacking in the country these days, apart from projects such as Own the Podium.

“I don’t think we do enough of it.”
John_Lorinc  Jim_Balsillie  expeditions  Franklin_expedition  Artic  sovereignty  history  nation_building  philanthropy  national_identity  exploration  Canadian  systematic_approaches 
september 2014 by jerryking
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