“What bothers me is that I live within 10 miles of 23 billionaires. I gave more last year than almost any of three or four of them. I wish they’d wake up. They should be giving away $100 million a year. It’s no big deal. They don’t need a catered meal every time they have a party. Go to Costco and get a platter.”

Larry Lokey, emeritus chairman and CEO of Business Wire, San Francisco resident, and the nation’s 10th most generous philanthropist


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  • Marina

    That is proof that money shall set you fee, in this example, to say whatever you want to whoever you want, within measure, with little or no negative consequence. I applaude his boldness to get people off their horses. I wish I could do the same in my daughters’ school district

  • Mike

    What Larry hasn’t yet figured out is that most of those 23 billionaires don’t seek the public recognition for giving, like he apparently does. These stupid top ten lists are the bane of our generation.

  • David

    The top 25 hedge fund managers were paid $14 billion last year, according to a recent WSJ article. Much of that was in oversea’s accounts, not subject to US taxation. Our society needs them to either donate heavily to invest in infrastructure, education, research and yes, the arts, or we have got to tax the hell of them. Thank God for Buffet, Gates and Arrillega… they really give back.

  • Joe Hollbrook

    Nothing personal but Silicon Valley along Washington DC should be leveled. I am amazed how many ego centric goof balls cant even appreciate the working person. They hide behind there tax shelters and overpriced materials. I am sure none of these SOBs have family that are over in Iraq or Afganistan.

    I truly admire someone that can say it like it is in this neo liberal environment it is. Hell what is 10% of 1 billion!

    I Think Larry Lokey may be hearing from Oprah or Rosie soon.

  • Don Auld

    Yes it is wonderful to give. But what is he talking about? By getting catered meals the people he complains about are keeping *more* people in paying jobs. That’s a good thing. It’s absolutely no problem that the rich splurge, because it keeps others in business, helping them to pay their bills.

  • John Parziale

    I think what Mr. Lokey was commenting on was that many of the “rich and famous” crowd seem to need a party and/or publicity to get them loosen the purse strings. That’s not to say that some well off persons don’t contribute without publicity, that the amounts contributed are not large nominally, or that some charity events yield additional benefits other than the contributions (like awareness of an issue).

    But, when wealth has concentrated in the top 1% to such a degree not seen since the Gilded Age, giving $100,000 out an annual compensation package of millions is less than chicken feed. And, many give nothing. The giving will not impact their lifestyles at all while having a large impact on the recipients or beneficiaries of the denotation. To woo this top 1% by plying them with canap├ęs, liquor and exotic cuisine to foster charitable giving of essentially lint-encrusted pocket change is just pathetic.

    As for this splurging creating employment opportunities for regular people, yep — it employs a few permanent and a much larger number of temporary workers in essentially minimum wage jobs for a very short period of time. Great way to stimulate the economy! Very efficient and effective — NOT!

  • Most folks would prefer if the rich would pay their taxes…pay their workers decent wages and benefits…worry more aboot the poor who work for them, and not some black-tie charity where most of the funds end up “in overhead” and really benefits no-one…giving to “charity” is like pop-stars adopting foreign kids…it is an addiction…PAY your taxes, take care of your workers…give the consumer a break on your products…thanx and the world will be a much better place….if u must give be low-key stay off the front page, refuse the tax shelter benefit, and give to science programs, and medical programs, and to established charities that u read their financial statement as researched by the IRS or the Inland Revenue Service….