Monday, September 22, 2008

Tear Down That Wall (Street)!

As of 2:40pm Eastern the Dow Jones is tanking yet again, down 204 points - on the heels of the worst week on Wall Street since the Great Depression. It's a great time to announce a multibillion dollar campaign! And last week, the day the Dow dropped over 400 points, or the day after when it put 400 points back - whatever - U. C. Berkeley did just that - kicking off a $5 billion campaign - with almost $2 billion already committed.

Do they know something we don't? Actually not. Even affluent people can lose out in a tough economy because they spend or invest right up to, and over, their affluence. But those with accreted wealth spread their investments around. They are the people who are Berkeley's best prospects as they would be and are in any serious philanthropic venture.

Is the collapse of Wall Street as we knew it, or discerning Governor Palin's view of the Laffer curve relevant to anything? British painter Damien Hirst sold $200 million worth of art at auction last week, no problem. The Sunday New York Times events page pictured folks all gussied up- preening at openings here, galas there, business as usual, with serious money raised.

I've had two meetings today with charities. We talked about meeting budgets by raising money - and not about the economy which, like the weather, we can do nothing about.

Goldman, Sachs has survived. Treasury secretary Henry Paulson was their CEO. Separate, unrelated facts. Profit remains privatized. Congress is about to socialize Wall Street's losses but not health care. President Bush - well what about him?

Up your meds and take a look at the new Giving USA Foundation's "Spotlight" publication by copying and pasting this into your browser. file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Henry%20Goldstein/My%20Documents/MyFiles1/Giving%20Institute/SPOTLIGHT/Spotlight%20%233%202008_Final.pdf

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