Wednesday, December 31, 2014


A couple of clips from today's Boulder Daily Camera - entire on line article is here.

John and Leslie Malone's $42.5 million gift, announced Monday, will create the CSU Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, a 100,000-square-foot facility to develop stem-cell research into commercially viable treatments for animals and humans. 

The Malones, who raise and train dressage and jumping horses on a ranch near Kiowa, last year donated $6 million to the school to establish the Leslie A. Malone Presidential Chair in Equine Sports Medicine.

John Malone, who made his millions at the helm of Tele-Communications Inc. and now chairs the giant Liberty Media Corp., and his wife, Leslie, could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Extremely interesting is what was left out of the online version of the article that was in the paper version of the Camera - Malone's net worth of approximately $7.4 billion and he is the largest landholder in the USA.

Admittedly, $42.5 million is a lot of cash, and the Malone's are certainly under no obligation to share any of their wealth.  But, I am always interested in the math regarding large donations by exceedingly wealthy people.  Let's take off three zeros, which leaves us with an equivalent donation of $42,500 for a net worth of $7.4 million.  Now, taking the net worth down to a more reasonable million dollars, the equivalent donation is about $6,000.  However, the median net worth of a typical US household is slightly less than $100,000 which would then mean the gift-equivalent is $600.  Not too impressive.  Another way to look at this is that the Malone's gift represents 0.0057 of their net worth.  I consider that a proportionally puny gift.  

To me, what adds to this glorification of the wealthy is the following tidbit:

Shifting the address of his Liberty Global Inc. from Colorado to London last year didn’t just put billionaire John C. Malone in a position to reduce his company’s tax bill.

He also took precautions to avoid the capital-gains hit that the so-called inversion would trigger for him and other investors. The day before the deal was announced, Malone -- the company’s chairman and controlling shareholder -- transferred $600 million of his shares into a tax-exempt charitable trust. He avoided paying taxes on his remaining stake, worth about $260 million, by exploiting IRS regulations meant to block a different loophole. 

All told, Malone escaped about $200 million in personal taxes, and Liberty Global’s U.S. shareholders together likely saved more than a billion dollars, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

“He’s congenitally averse to paying taxes,” said Robert Willens, an independent tax accounting analyst.  Curmudgeon note - I bet that he is a conservative Republican.

Read the rest of the article here - it's disgusting.  I offer the following for the rich folks consideration:

Mark 12:41-44

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

I would also speculate that the widow was considering human needs, not equine joints.


Bizzy Brain said...

The Simon's, headquartered in Indianapolis, own many malls across the country. They have milked the city for hundreds of millions of dollars, yet gave a $40 million donation to IU Bloomington one time. Everyone talked about how wonderful the Simon's are and so good for the community.

hoosierdaddy said...

Yes, Bizzy, the Simons and the Malones are surely just a couple of examples of the uber-rich who have supped and prospered at the public trough via subsidies, tax-dodging, whatever.....