Are Asian billionaires Stingy?


Sepia Mutiny raises an interesting question about lack of wealthy Asian especially Indian philanthropists;

“In general, I’m scratching my head trying to understand why rich desis have taken after their white counterparts spending habits in every way except this one: a penchant for big ticket charitable giving. Is it simply that they’ve got new money, and they’ll start to give in a few decades once their appetite for weddings, cars, houses and jewelry has been slaked? Are they simply numb to poverty having grown up with it? Is it something cultural that I’m missing? If so, what - all the desi religions emphasize charitable giving, so it’s not that.

Are rich brown people simply more selfish than rich white ones?”

Some Indian billionaires are known for their lavish lifestyles ( Mittal spend over $ 55 million for a wedding and $ 127 million for a London mansion) but their western counterparts like Bill Gates and Soros are well known for the opposite.

May be Mittal had never read a World Development Report - Bill Gates read a World Bank World Development Report and realised he could do something to improve public health in the world's poorest countries, so he started the Gates Foundation. Or just may be that Asian philanthropists’ work are not publicized enough.


Deepak Lal tells a tale about a wealthy Indian and how he decided on the inheritor to his wealth in this podcast book discussion.

Blogs discussing the latest World Wealth Report- New Economist and Andrew Leigh

A discussion with Matthew Bishop, American business editor of The Economist who ealry this year wrote a survey of philanthropy in the magazine; “It's very, very striking that the new philanthropists, the likes of Bill Gates or Pierre Omidyar, who founded eBay, or Thomas Hunter, the Scottish retailer, who are coming into the field, are all very concerned about how do we make sure that our money isn't wasted, that it actually does make a difference. And they're rethinking the way philanthropy is done"


can we really chalk up Bill Gates' philanthropy to the World Bank? Certainly not Buffet's. But it doesn't suprise me that these powerful guys want to take on some of the world's most daunting problems. In spite of or despite the development institutions?

that seems to be one of the official version that's being told around- Bill Gates got the idea after reading a world development report according to The Economist.

see also;
Warren Buffett's Gift to the Gates Foundation: Money that can make a difference

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are the geeky American rich. Indians are trying to emulate the cool rich people.

Yesterday, Mr. Gates credited Mr. Buffett for encouraging him, in the early 1990's, to read a copy of the World Development Report, put out by the World Bank, that analyzed poverty levels around the world, thus sparking his interest in philanthropy

Gates also quoted Adam Smith

Bill Gates was heavily critized for not donating and being the wealthiest man for quite a while before he actually began to donate and it was his wife and colleagues that influenced him to donate....

Bill gates initially gave a donation of 126 million dollars when he started his charitable organization in 2000. Bill gates was a multi Billionaire way before that. And giving 126 million dollars out of his 60 billion dollar net worth is like peanuts. That is less than 1 percent of his net worth. Actually 0.5 percent of his net worth. And you are telling me he is not stingy...:)


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This page contains a single entry by Paul published on June 25, 2006 9:21 PM.

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