Sunday, August 08, 2010

Forty billionaires, continued

I just found out an extra datum which seems to me to explain a lot about how Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could find as many as forty billionaires willing to pledge over half of their fortune to charity. According to Sunday Times, they have not pledged to give anything anytime soon, they have mere pledged to give it "sometime during their life or relatively soon after their death"... Heck, that's an easy promise to make, especially if you don't have any heirs you think would be much better off by becoming sudden billionaires (and who would?). And even if you do, how many billions do they need?


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Have you heard of the Bettencourt affair currently obsessing France? Elderly heiress Liliane Bettencourt's clarity of mind is being legally challenged in court (by her daughter) after the lady made gifts to a photographer friend totalling 1 billion euros ofer a few years (that's about one-seventh of her total fortune!)... and later made a will leaving EVERYTHING to the man! She recently annulled that will, BTW, after all the mediatic ruckus.
But my point is, even IF she were completely lucid and just feeling generous, if someone gave ME one billion, I'd feel uneasy about disowning their only child and leaving me six times more. Enough is enough!
Shoot, one billion EUROS? With that kind of cash, I could live in idle luxury for 100 years and still not see the loot diminish!

I would be quite content with the $30 million Bill Gates is leaving to each of his heirs.

Which makes me wonder why these billionaires would hesitate giving half of their unspendable fortune NOW. But I guess to simply BECOME this rich, you have to be naturally greedy in the first place. Lay off a few thousand employees to keep optimizing your astronomical profits every year, and all that.

eolake said...


After reflecting, I think that 30M is a good choice. It's enough that any sane person never has to worry anymore.