Quote of the Day: “The moment is long overdue for us to become moral and worthy ancestors.” –Peter Peterson, billionaire co-founder of Blackstone Group who cashed in his chips at the high water mark of Wall Street’s heyday of excess
TB established the high wealth spending consulting service back in November, 2008. Thanks to the service, the ultra-wealthy need no longer worry about what to do with all their loot once they have obtained it. This is a good thing, because it has become evident that there is a disconnect for the wealthy between knowing how to make money and how to spend it in a fashion that is not idiotic. Are YOU super-wealthy? Not sure? If you have to ask, then yes. You are. Still not sure? If you are considering the purchase of Pontiac, Citigroup, or the next Ole Miss quarterback, you are. Contact TB at once.
I had hoped the widespread publicity of my November press release would be sufficient when combined with word of mouth from your fellow Polo Clubbers to alert you blue blooders (and/or nouveau riche) to the problem and to give you an alternative to wasting your fortunes. Unfortunately, the waste epidemic continues unabated. Case in point:
Peter Peterson was born some 83 years ago to loving, unimaginative parents. At some point he co-founded an outfit called the Blackstone Group that was involved in the world of Wall Street. He did well. In 2007, Peterson cashed out for more than a billion big ones. Well intentioned and thankful, Peterson soon determined to give away the bulk of his fortune. Newsweek Magazine got wind of this and jumped on the story, inviting Peterson to discuss his decision. It appears in the June 8, 2009 issue and is linked here.
(Insert pinky into side of mouth and read along with me…either side….DO IT NOW) One Bil,lll,lll,lllion Dollars. Givin it away! It’s beautiful! Think of all the good he can do. Maybe a cure for childhood cancer. Maybe a new national park. Maybe installing solar panels and wind turbines on low income housing. Maybe sending a mass email out that he’s giving away his money and all you have to do to get a cut is to forward the email to ten people and say, “Really, this is not a joke. It is true. I heard it from my favorite blogger, who is a lawyer so it has to be true. Well, not really my favorite blogger. But a blogger. On the internets.”
Sadly, no. He has established the unimaginatively named Peter Peterson Foundation. What the hell is the Peter Peterson Foundation?, you ask. According to the foundation’s website, they “are dedicated to doing our best to promote responsibility and accountability today in order to ensure more opportunity for everyone tomorrow.”
<all together now–BLANK STARE>
Where do I start? With a billion dollars, the first thing the foundation decided was its purpose–to encourage fiscal responsibility for American citizens and their government. Second–they came up with a snazzy name for their web domain, no doubt inspired by the example set by Peter Peterson’s folks long ago. www.pgpf.org They are non-partisan and support no political candidates. They plan to focus their efforts on the youth, ostensibly by developing new sports like Budgetball. Budgetball. Really, they have a lot of great goals–no freakin idea how to reach them, but in the broadest terms possible, great goals. I’m not going through them, you can look if you want. But here’s an example: they want health care reform that is meaningful and affordable. Awesome. How much of that billion is left Petey?
Peterson, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah and a bunch of other billionaires recently met for a summit in New York on how they should dispose of their fortunes. Here’s the thing–they are all getting too cute. They are wasting the opportunity to make a difference in the world by supporting causes instead of supporting action. This Peterson thing is just the latest to make me scratch my head and stare blankly at the computer wondering how in the hell someone this damn stupid was able to make a billion freakin dollars. One can only hope the first item on the agenda at their summit was a motion to retain TB’s High Wealth Spending Consulting Service.