Monday, June 25, 2007
**Drudge Report Exclusive**
Late Monday, NEW YORK TIMES Executive Editor Bill Keller upped the ante and set a Tuesday Page One placement for a controversial examination of Rupert Murdoch's ties to Communist China, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
The paper has launched an exhaustive investigation of Murdoch on the eve of his possible purchase of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, a NEW YORK TIMES rival.
Privately, Keller has been highly critical of Murdoch, sources say.
Tuesday's expose will examine Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng, a mainland Chinese native.
The investigation into Deng has thoroughly enraged Murdoch, insiders say.
Friday, June 22, 2007
The Blackstone Group's IPO (initial public offering) raised $4.13 billion for the corporation on Friday by pricing at the top of its expected valuation range ($31 per share). Blackstone Group became the sixth-richest IPO in US stock market history today.
CEO Stephen Schwarzman now controls a firm whose market value stands at about $40 billion. His personal wealth also rose (with a 24 percent stake in Blackstone) worth around $8 billion.
"This is a new breed of publicly traded financial firm," said Matthew Rhodes-Kropf, a professor of finance at Columbia Business School. "Once the market demonstrates its appetite for this type of investment, we're going to see all the biggest and the best go public -- even after the incredibly negative press it has generated."
update::: a market guru by the name of Peter Cohan predicted this week that "I will go out on a limb here and predict that these Blackstone units will end the day at $90 a unit." Blackstone Group (BX) closed trading on the NYSE on Friday at $35.06.
Billionaire investor Nelson Peltz has acquired 3% of Kraft (NYSE: KFT). According to news reports he will ask the company to sell Post Cereals and the Maxwell House coffee brand.
Mr. Peltz has risen to #278 on the Forbes Wealth List. Peltz is one of the kings of the leveraged buyout business and is considered an activist investor.
In 1997, Peltz paid $300 million for Snapple in 1997 and flipped it three years later for five times that. Recently, he purchased a stake in Heinz (NYSE: HNZ).
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Billionaire and Yahoo! co-founder, Jerry Yang is back in the CEO chair at Yahoo!
There's a million stories on the web today about Jerry and this corporate shake-up, including this one: "Jerry Yang: from immigrant to global leader." So why don't you give Yahoo! some business and search for them!
Search: YAHOO!So, Terry Semel is out at Yahoo. There's lots of reasons for this decision and the dissatisfaction from Wall Street investors is just one of them.
How will this board of directors led decision fair? Some writers are not hesitating to express their displeasure.
CNET Excutive Editor Charles Cooper writes: "Yahoo blows its big chance." And, if that wasn't enough, the early results of a CNET Instant Poll shows much skepticism relative to Jerry's return for CEO Part II.
Nevertheless, we wish Jerry Yang the best of luck back in the CEO chair at Yahoo!
Semel gives up Yahoo CEO title to co-founder Jerry Yang
Analyst Sees Hopeful but Uncertain Future for Yahoo
Friday, June 15, 2007
Billionaire Oprah Winfrey, with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion, is back on top of Forbes' annual "Celebrity 100 Power List." The Forbes list ranks the rich and famous based on earnings and buzz. Oprah has replaced Tom Cruise as the world’s most powerful celebrity and last topped the list in 2005.
Winfrey, who came in third last year, was the top money-maker with an estimated income of $260 million over the past 12 months from various media ventures.
Famous jailbird Paris Hilton has dropped off this year’s annual Forbes magazine list. Also not making the cut were two other young women with party-girl reputations - actress Lindsay Lohan and singer Britney Spears (last ranked in 2002).
The 400 Richest Americans: #242 Oprah Winfrey
The Celebrity 100 Power List- Top 3
- Oprah Winfrey
- Tiger Woods
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Rags To Riches Billionaires
(222 sec.) Behind the stunning success of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
Meet The 10 Hottest Heiresses
(90 sec.) Where Paris Hilton, Ivanka Trump and Nicky Hilton landed on the list.
Inside The Billionaire Club
(120 sec.) A VIP look at Italian businessman Flavio Briatore's exclusive Sardinian nightclub.
Best Billionaire Cars
(300 sec.) What Buffett and company are driving.
(280 sec.) There are more billionaires on Earth than ever before.
(250 sec.) Where the billionaires eat and sleep.
Ex-Billionaire Bad Boy
(270 sec.)The latest on last year's cover boy Calvin Ayre.
Homes Of The Billionaires
(120 Sec.)The very richest can buy the very nicest houses.
Thor Bjorgolfsson: Iceland's First Billionaire
(200 Sec.)The magnate has caused quite a stir by building an empire in a country best known for its egalitarian philosophy.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Both Mr. Kluge and Mr. Pickens are well known billionaires.
However, there's been a development. During this season of charitable giving and good will some questions have been raised.
Ann Bartow, Walter Kimbrough and others are among those who have raised some questions. They may have a better idea. It appears a (possible) message to this group of philanthropic billionaires is: we don’t need your money. Or possibly, they might offer that “we have a better idea on how these educational gifts should be allocated.” Or, still better, just give it to us and we will distribute the funds so that the greater good is equitably achieved.Ann M. Bartow is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law and leader of the Feminist Law Professors blog.
Walter M. Kimbrough is the president of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Ann, on her blog, has posted a major excerpt of a recent article written by Walter M. Kimbrough endorsing this new economic approach to personal philanthropy.
Walter writes that he tired of the old, care-free philanthropic approach and flatly states: “I am becoming less and less tolerant of people who pass wealth on to the privileged and masquerade it as philanthropy.” He adds, “This simply extends the gross inequities that exist in our country — inequities that one day will come home to roost.”
Ann entitles her blog excerpt of the article: "And The Rich Get Richer."
Walter finally adds: “Our political leaders must begin to challenge the wealthy to practice real philanthropy."
Our researchers reviewed Walter and Ann’s respective backgrounds and could find no supporting evidence for any professional work done in clinical psychology which would support their abilities to discern the difference between real and fake philanthropy.
So, there you have it. A new political solution to personal philanthropy is what is needed according to Walter and Ann. Write your congresspeople.
Call us old-school but we at Think Billion$ prefer the current free-market solution. Let's all get wealthy together and exercise free economic choice (while we're still allowed to).
related:::Philander Smith must repay $477,029 to feds
Monday, June 11, 2007
BBC news: Brunei marks lavish royal wedding
Friday, June 8, 2007
Below is the prepared text for Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates's commencement address to the Harvard University class of 2007 on June 7, 2007.
President Bok, former President Rudenstine, incoming President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, parents, and especially, the graduates:
I've been waiting more than 30 years to say this: "Dad, I always told you I'd come back and get my degree."
I want to thank Harvard for this timely honor. I'll be changing my job next year and it will be nice to finally have a college degree on my resume.
I applaud the graduates today for taking a much more direct route to your degrees. For my part, I'm just happy that the Crimson has called me "Harvard's most successful dropout." I guess that makes me valedictorian of my own special class� I did the best of everyone who failed.
But I also want to be recognized as the guy who got Steve Ballmer to drop out of business school. I'm a bad influence. That's why I was invited to speak at your graduation. If I had spoken at your orientation, fewer of you might be here today.
Harvard was just a phenomenal experience for me. Academic life was fascinating. I used to sit in on lots of classes I hadn't even signed up for. And dorm life was terrific. I lived up at Radcliffe, in Currier House. There were always lots of people in my dorm room late at night discussing things, because everyone knew I didn't worry about getting up in the morning. That's how I came to be the leader of the anti-social group. We clung to each other as a way of validating our rejection of all those social people.
Radcliffe was a great place to live. There were more women up there, and most of the guys were science-math types. That combination offered me the best odds, if you know what I mean. This is where I learned the sad lesson that improving your odds doesn't guarantee success.
One of my biggest memories of Harvard came in January 1975, when I made a call from Currier House to a company in Albuquerque that had begun making the world's first personal computers. I offered to sell them software.
I worried that they would realize I was just a student in a dorm and hang up on me. Instead they said: "We're not quite ready, come see us in a month," which was a good thing, because we hadn't written the software yet. From that moment, I worked day and night on this little extra credit project that marked the end of my college education and the beginning of a remarkable journey with Microsoft.
What I remember above all about Harvard was being in the midst of so much energy and intelligence. It could be exhilarating, intimidating, sometimes even discouraging, but always challenging. It was an amazing privilege � and though I left early, I was transformed by my years at Harvard, the friendships I made, and the ideas I worked on.
But taking a serious look back I do have one big regret.
I left Harvard with no real awareness of the awful inequities in the world -- the appalling disparities of health, and wealth, and opportunity that condemn millions of people to lives of despair.
I learned a lot here at Harvard about new ideas in economics and politics. I got great exposure to the advances being made in the sciences.
But humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries � but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. Whether through democracy, strong public education, quality health care, or broad economic opportunity reducing inequity is the highest human achievement.
I left campus knowing little about the millions of young people cheated out of educational opportunities here in this country. And I knew nothing about the millions of people living in unspeakable poverty and disease in developing countries.
It took me decades to find out.
You graduates came to Harvard at a different time. You know more about the world's inequities than the classes that came before. In your years here, I hope you've had a chance to think about how in this age of accelerating technology we can finally take on these inequities, and we can solve them.
Imagine, just for the sake of discussion, that you had a few hours a week and a few dollars a month to donate to a cause and you wanted to spend that time and money where it would have the greatest impact in saving and improving lives. Where would you spend it?
For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have.
During our discussions on this question, Melinda and I read an article about the millions of children who were dying every year in poor countries from diseases that we had long ago made harmless in this country. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, hepatitis B, yellow fever. One disease I had never even heard of, rotavirus, was killing half a million kids each year none of them in the United States.
We were shocked. We had just assumed that if millions of children were dying and they could be saved, the world would make it a priority to discover and deliver the medicines to save them. But it did not. For under a dollar, there were interventions that could save lives that just weren't being delivered.
If you believe that every life has equal value, it's revolting to learn that some lives are seen as worth saving and others are not. We said to ourselves: "This can't be true. But if it is true, it deserves to be the priority of our giving."
So we began our work in the same way anyone here would begin it. We asked: "How could the world let these children die?"
The answer is simple, and harsh. The market did not reward saving the lives of these children, and governments did not subsidize it. So the children died because their mothers and their fathers had no power in the market and no voice in the system.
But you and I have both.
We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism � if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes.
If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world.
This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.
I am optimistic that we can do this, but I talk to skeptics who claim there is no hope. They say: "Inequity has been with us since the beginning, and will be with us till the end because people just don't care."
I completely disagree.
I believe we have more caring than we know what to do with.
All of us here in this Yard, at one time or another, have seen human tragedies that broke our hearts, and yet we did nothing -- not because we didn't care, but because we didn't know what to do. If we had known how to help, we would have acted.
The barrier to change is not too little caring; it is too much complexity.
To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, see a solution, and see the impact. But complexity blocks all three steps.
Even with the advent of the Internet and 24-hour news, it is still a complex enterprise to get people to truly see the problems. When an airplane crashes, officials immediately call a press conference. They promise to investigate, determine the cause, and prevent similar crashes in the future.
But if the officials were brutally honest, they would say: "Of all the people in the world who died today from preventable causes, one half of one percent of them were on this plane. We're determined to do everything possible to solve the problem that took the lives of the one half of one percent."
The bigger problem is not the plane crash, but the millions of preventable deaths.
We don't read much about these deaths. The media covers what's new and millions of people dying is nothing new. So it stays in the background, where it's easier to ignore. But even when we do see it or read about it, it's difficult to keep our eyes on the problem. It's hard to look at suffering if the situation is so complex that we don't know how to help. And so we look away.
If we can really see a problem, which is the first step, we come to the second step: cutting through the complexity to find a solution.
Finding solutions is essential if we want to make the most of our caring. If we have clear and proven answers anytime an organization or individual asks "How can I help?," then we can get action and we can make sure that none of the caring in the world is wasted. But complexity makes it hard to mark a path of action for everyone who cares and that makes it hard for their caring to matter.
Cutting through complexity to find a solution runs through four predictable stages: determine a goal, find the highest-leverage approach, discover the ideal technology for that approach, and in the meantime, make the smartest application of the technology that you already have whether it's something sophisticated, like a drug, or something simpler, like a bednet.
The AIDS epidemic offers an example. The broad goal, of course, is to end the disease. The highest-leverage approach is prevention. The ideal technology would be a vaccine that gives lifetime immunity with a single dose. So governments, drug companies, and foundations fund vaccine research. But their work is likely to take more than a decade, so in the meantime, we have to work with what we have in hand and the best prevention approach we have now is getting people to avoid risky behavior.
Pursuing that goal starts the four-step cycle again. This is the pattern. The crucial thing is to never stop thinking and working and never do what we did with malaria and tuberculosis in the 20th century which is to surrender to complexity and quit.
The final step after seeing the problem and finding an approach is to measure the impact of your work and share your successes and failures so that others learn from your efforts.
You have to have the statistics, of course. You have to be able to show that a program is vaccinating millions more children. You have to be able to show a decline in the number of children dying from these diseases. This is essential not just to improve the program, but also to help draw more investment from business and government.
But if you want to inspire people to participate, you have to show more than numbers; you have to convey the human impact of the work so people can feel what saving a life means to the families affected.
I remember going to Davos some years back and sitting on a global health panel that was discussing ways to save millions of lives. Millions! Think of the thrill of saving just one person's life then multiply that by millions. Yet this was the most boring panel I've ever been on ever. So boring even I couldn't bear it.
What made that experience especially striking was that I had just come from an event where we were introducing version 13 of some piece of software, and we had people jumping and shouting with excitement. I love getting people excited about software but why can't we generate even more excitement for saving lives?
You can't get people excited unless you can help them see and feel the impact. And how you do that is a complex question.
Still, I'm optimistic. Yes, inequity has been with us forever, but the new tools we have to cut through complexity have not been with us forever. They are new they can help us make the most of our caring and that's why the future can be different from the past.
The defining and ongoing innovations of this age biotechnology, the computer, the Internet give us a chance we've never had before to end extreme poverty and end death from preventable disease.
Sixty years ago, George Marshall came to this commencement and announced a plan to assist the nations of post-war Europe. He said: "I think one difficulty is that the problem is one of such enormous complexity that the very mass of facts presented to the public by press and radio make it exceedingly difficult for the man in the street to reach a clear appraisement of the situation. It is virtually impossible at this distance to grasp at all the real significance of the situation."
Thirty years after Marshall made his address, as my class graduated without me, technology was emerging that would make the world smaller, more open, more visible, less distant.
The emergence of low-cost personal computers gave rise to a powerful network that has transformed opportunities for learning and communicating.
The magical thing about this network is not just that it collapses distance and makes everyone your neighbor. It also dramatically increases the number of brilliant minds we can have working together on the same problem and that scales up the rate of innovation to a staggering degree.
At the same time, for every person in the world who has access to this technology, five people don't. That means many creative minds are left out of this discussion -- smart people with practical intelligence and relevant experience who don't have the technology to hone their talents or contribute their ideas to the world.
We need as many people as possible to have access to this technology, because these advances are triggering a revolution in what human beings can do for one another. They are making it possible not just for national governments, but for universities, corporations, smaller organizations, and even individuals to see problems, see approaches, and measure the impact of their efforts to address the hunger, poverty, and desperation George Marshall spoke of 60 years ago.
Members of the Harvard Family: Here in the Yard is one of the great collections of intellectual talent in the world.
There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students, and the benefactors of Harvard have used their power to improve the lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more. Can Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who will never even hear its name?
Let me make a request of the deans and the professors the intellectual leaders here at Harvard: As you hire new faculty, award tenure, review curriculum, and determine degree requirements, please ask yourselves:
Should our best minds be dedicated to solving our biggest problems?
Should Harvard encourage its faculty to take on the world's worst inequities? Should Harvard students learn about the depth of global poverty � the prevalence of world hunger � the scarcity of clean water� the girls kept out of school� the children who die from diseases we can cure?
Should the world's most privileged people learn about the lives of the world's least privileged?
These are not rhetorical questions, you will answer with your policies.
My mother, who was filled with pride the day I was admitted here never stopped pressing me to do more for others. A few days before my wedding, she hosted a bridal event, at which she read aloud a letter about marriage that she had written to Melinda. My mother was very ill with cancer at the time, but she saw one more opportunity to deliver her message, and at the close of the letter she said: "From those to whom much is given, much is expected."
When you consider what those of us here in this Yard have been given in talent, privilege, and opportunity there is almost no limit to what the world has a right to expect from us.
In line with the promise of this age, I want to exhort each of the graduates here to take on an issue a complex problem, a deep inequity, and become a specialist on it. If you make it the focus of your career, that would be phenomenal. But you don't have to do that to make an impact. For a few hours every week, you can use the growing power of the Internet to get informed, find others with the same interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them.
Don't let complexity stop you. Be activists. Take on the big inequities. It will be one of the great experiences of your lives.
You graduates are coming of age in an amazing time. As you leave Harvard, you have technology that members of my class never had. You have awareness of global inequity, which we did not have. And with that awareness, you likely also have an informed conscience that will torment you if you abandon these people whose lives you could change with very little effort.
You have more than we had; you must start sooner, and carry on longer.
Knowing what you know, how could you not?
And I hope you will come back here to Harvard 30 years from now and reflect on what you have done with your talent and your energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world's deepest inequities � on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
In the next 15 or 20 years, I hope I'll be the richest man in the world. That's one of my goals. I want to be a billionaire. I want to get to a position where generation on generation don't have to worry about nothing. I don't want family members from my kids to my son's kids to never have to worry. And I can't do that now just playing basketball.
LeBron James, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Dec. 10, 2005
Yeah, we love basketball. But this article is about LeBron James Economics 101.
Welcome to class.
Four years ago, before his selection as the number 1 pick by the Cavaliers, LeBron signed an unprecedented $90 million contract with Nike at the age of 18.
Today, Nike’s $90 million investment never looked better. Never. Recently, Brian Fairben, Nike's business manager for James is quoted as saying: "The world changed for a lot of us at Nike in that Game 5 (vs. Detroit).” We are sure it has.
Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Warren Buffett has watched him play in person during several games this season. They’ve enjoyed each other’s company.
This week, Michael Jordan has not hesitated with praise for LeBron for leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory over the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals.
Everyone wants to praise and hang with LeBron.
Right now, the top athletes in the world for their endorsement value are Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
Currently, LeBron James is well down that list at #62. James has a number of endorsement contracts with Nike, Sprite, Powerade, and Upper Deck. Yet, his endorsements are considered relatively limited and modest---given the potential. However, that will change quickly. Very quickly.
According to a Bloomberg article, LeBron "might increase his $25 million in annual endorsement contracts by 40 percent with a National Basketball Association championship."
LeBron: portfolio manager.
Lebron James Nike Pool Commercial
Maverick Carter, James's manager and former high school b-ball teammate at St.Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, says that LeBron is open to new endorsements. Carter’s phone is most certainly ringing 24/7.
LeBron is serious about taking his business enterprises global. LeBron is serious about the NBA title. LeBron is serious about many things.
What LeBron is serious about is what LeBron eventually achieves.
NBA first overall draft pick: 2003 NBA Draft
NBA Rookie of the Year: 2004
NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player: 2006
The LeBron James Official Site
NBA: LeBron James page
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Here we have a story about not 1, but 3 billionaires! Our cast of characters include: Rupert Murdoch, Ron Burkle and even Warren Buffett.
Who are these guys?
Rupert Murdoch, of course, is the well known chairman of News Corp. which owns Fox and Company and many media companies on a world scale.
Ron Burkle, also worth billions, is less well known. He is a Los Angeles grocery company owner who is trying to work with Dow Jones & Co. Inc. employees to try to counter the $5-billion bid for the company from Rupert Murdoch. Burkle, son of a wealthy corporate executive, has been known to lend a sympathetic ear to unions from time to time. [Burkle runs The Yucaipa Cos., an investment firm that recently bought the specialty magazine division from Primedia Inc. for $1.2 billion.]
Also, enter, Warren Buffett of Bershire Hathaway (BRKA-NYSE). Because Dow Jones union employees are so frightened of Rupert Murdoch, they will talk with any billionaire at any time. The Independent Association of Publishers' Employees (IAPE) have stated: "IAPE believes any such takeover will be a disservice to the readers who depend on the unquestioned integrity of Dow Jones and all of its publications." Obviously, the IAPE are not that concerned with maximizing the long-term value of Dow Jones shares.
Why is this happening?
Two main reasons. 1- The Dow Jones stock (DJ-NYSE) has been an absolutely awful performer for an extended period of time. And, 2- the sun is starting to set for the Bancrofts (family).
Who will win? It's still early. Let's continue to watch and see.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
It is now one of the most searched items this week - her mugshot! The Official Paris Hilton Mugshot. It's still pretty glamorous.
Google reports that people searched for Paris' last photo by the millions before she arrived at her 100 sq foot cell.
In the photo Paris is smiling with her hair flipped to the side wearing the same make-up she wore to the MTV Movie Awards earlier on Sunday night.
See you in several weeks!
Top Ten Things Paris Hilton Heard Today In Prison
10. “No, we don’t have a room service menu”
9. “Versace doesn’t make an orange prison jumpsuit”
8. “Say ‘That’s hot’ one more time and I’ll smother you with a pillow”
7. “Governor Schwarzenegger called, but no one could understand a thing he said”
6. “I assume you’re accustomed to people watching you shower”
5. “No number five — writer too heartbroken”
4. “If you miss your chihuahau, the rats make pretty good pets”
3. “I’m in here for illegally downloading video of you off the internet”
2. “May I have your autograph Miss Lohan?”
1. “Tell Letterman we can’t accept any more flowers”
Top 10 List via David Letterman
Friday, June 1, 2007
Read:::The Hottest Investor in America
(Fortune Magazine) -- Motorola CEO Ed Zander was enjoying a moment of relief from his company's struggles last January, mingling with fellow corporate chieftains at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when he got the message that makes CEOs see their careers flash before their eyes. The news: Carl Icahn was calling him out. He had bought a 1.4% stake in Motorola and was demanding a seat on the company's board.
To be honest, I would have cut out at least 1/2 of the content of the book. There was way too much of Donald just rambling about what he personally likes and dislikes. But maybe that’s the privilege of thinking like a billionaire.
related::: Mark Cuban still does not like Donald Trump>>> Donald - Need a job ?