Dylan Matthews at Vox.com asks if Yale is the most deserving "charity" to give Blackstone founder and billionaire Stephen Schwarzman a tax deduction, thanks to his recent $150 million gift to build the university a new performance hall. The university’s students are among the wealthiest in the nation; half don’t need any financial aid at all to attend; its endowment is $23.9 billion, second only to Harvard; there are some 100 nations in the world that are poorer than Yale as ranked by GDP, according to the World Bank. It already has plenty of snazzy performing arts centers on campus. “It's hard to imagine a worse way to use the money that still entitles Schwarzman to a charitable tax deduction,” Matthews writes. “Yale is not a charity. It is a finishing school that overwhelmingly serves children of wealth and privilege.” Perhaps Schwarzman is so supportive of Yale because Harvard, his first choice for college, rejected him; he is quick to point out publicly the school later admitted that was a “mistake.”
Ramping Up Risk Management
Financial services firms plan to make a huge investment in risk management, according to the latest Accenture Global Risk Management Study. The fourth edition of the study received responses from 470 senior risk management executives in the banking, capital markets and insurance industries. According to the research, 86 percent of polled executives said that they plan to increase the risk management capabilities of their firm in the next two years. 26 percent of respondents plan to increase investment by more than 20 percent. The study comes at a time when cyber security and fraud risks are hot topics. “Financial services firms are struggling to keep pace with the demand for people with highly specialized skills, such as cyber risk experts, business analysts, security specialists and fraud experts,” said Steve Culp, senior global managing director for Accenture Finance and Risk Services.
A Lack of Awareness
Despite the fact that 83 percent of Americans say they cannot afford the cost of college, two-thirds aren’t aware of perhaps the most important long-term savings vehicles for education, a 529 plan, according to a recent survey by Edward Jones. The firm’s report found that parents with younger children, those under the age of 13, were more likely to identify the college savings plan than those families with teenagers (children ages 13 to 17). Additionally, those with higher household incomes of $100,000 or more were significantly more aware of 529 plans than those with lower household incomes.