Thursday, August 5, 2010

No Vegas On Buffett's Giving List ... Yet?

Warren Buffett announced a list yesterday of 40 billionaires he's persuaded to sign a "Giving Pledge," a project in which he convinces the nation's wealthiest people to commit to give the majority of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes.

It's a pretty cool list, and you can read it here. The crowd includes many well-known billionaires -- the Gates, George Lucas, Michael Bloomberg, Paul Allen, Barry Diller/Diane Von Furstenberg, Ron Perelman, T. Boone Pickens, a Rockefeller and Ted Turner -- and if you click on their names you can read their letters explaining the vow.

Not present: Anyone from Vegas or the casino industry. Well, unless some of these lesser-known billionaires live in Vegas quietly, anyway. That would include, off the top of my head, Steve Wynn, Elaine Wynn, Kirk Kerkorian, Phil Ruffin, Donald Trump, any Fertitta or Greenspun, Bill Boyd and Sheldon Adelson. One former southern Nevadan is there: eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who reportedly traded in his 45,000-square-foot Vegas manse in 2009 for something cozier in Hawaii. And Barron Hilton famously has the Flying M Ranch near Yerington, Nev., which is from where Steve Fossett flew and perished. Fossett's widow isn't on the list, either.

Of course, it doesn't mean anything. Most of the above are well-known givers without such a pledge. But something tells me Mrs. Wynn will be adding her name in due course. Just a hunch.


Anonymous said...

Adelson has given truly substantial amounts to charities he supports. He may not have joined that list, but to imply he isn't generous is unfair.