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Ha. Missed this one.

Better late than never. This blog has for years kept a tally of the number of times someone in the finance world has the absolute GALL to suggest that donating to, or working as an investment advisor to increase, Harvard University’s $40.9 billion endowment might not be the best use of your money/time.

Of course, given that university’s obvious need, and the need of the very wealthy to give to the world’s very wealthiest university, few people voice this suggestion. But here’s one – and it’s setting the money world, “abuzz,” says the New York Times.

Why make the Harvard endowment any more money? What systemic bias do you perpetuate?

The author of these two questions is described as a “venture capitalist and provocateur.”

And baby you don’t get any more provocateuric than THAT.

Margaret Soltan, February 12, 2021 10:37AM
Posted in: harvard: handouts

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4 Responses to “Ha. Missed this one.”

  1. Greg Says:

    I can’t imagine fundraising for Harvard. Or perhaps I can. The fundraiser asks for money. The alum responds: “why shouldn’t I give what I can, instead, to a children’s hospital or [in recent times] to a food bank or to Democratic candidates and causes.” What could be a good response to that – even if Harvard had adopted a tuition free policy? I believe I’ve had conversations like this with fundraisers for Universities, though I don’t remember if any was with Harvard fundraisers. Most requests from them are mailed. My mental image is of Scrooge McDuck, in collegiate color trunks, diving into a swimming pool filled with liquid (though not literally liquid) green.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Greg: In response to the challenge you mention, Harvard development officers have all sorts of ready answers. After all, a few years ago Harvard broke ground on a massive new unnecessary campus (Allston) and God knows where they’ll find funding for that with just forty billion dollars. Harvard will also tell the challenger that most of their big gifts are restricted – they come with directives that they can only go to the business school or whatever. What’s a struggling university to do?

  3. Greg Says:

    I wonder how Trump feels about being trounced by Harvard, billionswise. My wife just showed me this story.

    It seems that Trump faces a real Vornado or Vornado, pronounce as you please.


    I’m not sure how she got behind the pay wall. (Maybe she subscribes.)But the parts she read to me were very interesting. Generally she thinks their reporting is first-rate and the editorial page its reciprocal. But their recent – after the Democrats impeachment presentations – anti-Trump editorial is satisfying.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Greg: Stories like this one make me think about the Disgust Factor. I am apparently one of rather a lot of people who find Trump unbearably disgusting. If I had any connections with him/his business/his name at all, no matter how remote, I would certainly want to sever them asap.

    The idea of intentionally entering into a deal that would in any way involve an association his name would be laughable.

    Sounds as though something like that may be in play here.

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