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BREAKING NEWS
June 19, 2006
Charitable Giving in U.S. Nears New High
The urgent needs created by three major natural disasters - the tsunami in Asia, earthquake in Pakistan and hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Wilma - drove American philanthropy to its highest level since the end of the technology boom, a new study showed.

The report released Monday by the Giving USA foundation estimates that in 2005 Americans gave $260.28 billion, a rise of 6.1 percent, which approaches the inflation-adjusted high of $260.53 billion that was reached in 2000.

About half of the overall increase of $15 billion went directly to aid victims of the disasters. The rest of the increase, meanwhile, may still be traced to the disasters since they may have raised public awareness of other charities.
Associated Press


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Another Charity Wave, Another Huge Peak
Category: PHILANTHROPY
By: Pete Kendall, June 19, 2006
“[Philanthropy is] a huge, looming thing,” says a philanthropy specialist. Five days after a “$100 million down payment” toward the creation of an online university that will “offer a free ‘Ivy League-quality’ education to anyone in the world,” MicroStrategy, the Internet stock that was to fund the gift, collapsed from 226 to 72 a share. The real “huge looming thing” is how common these reversals of fortune are going to become.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, April 2000

charity pie

Does this chart of charitable contributions remind you of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and its near return to its all-time high in recent weeks? It should. We cited the link between giving and important bull market highs in this space on Friday. The quote above is a great example of how useful these kinds of socionomic associations can be. Microstrategy’s March 2000 collapse did, in fact, foreshadow a huge change of fortune for technology investors. The full quote from April 2000 is available in Additional References.

Additional References
April, 2000, EWFF
The Wall Street Journal reports, “For the first time, the Rockefeller family is eager to exploit” its name. Rockefeller & Co., the money-management firm that serves the 178-member Rockefeller clan, has a new logo, website and marketing plan to capitalize on the “most powerful brand name for wealth in U.S. history.” “We’re trying to move toward a brand-name image,” says Rockefeller & Co.’s chief executive officer. “The family is even considering attaching its name to its own mutual fund product.”

Ironically, as the old money reaches out for the new, the new tycoons are acting more and more like blue bloods. Silicon Valley has recently become engulfed in an air of pretense and rectitude that is so thick it’s making the papers. A name change for one of the industry’s trendiest annual soirées shows how mindful the newly rich have become of their treasure. The Millionaires Dinner is now the Billionaires Dinner. According to the Wall Street Journal, the name of the event was actually changed last year, but a year ago “many attendees insisted, the ‘B’ word just wasn’t for them. A sense of unrealness had kept the moguls from taking it all too seriously until now. By last week, no one seemed to be bothering with such pretenses. The chatter was now full of sober discussions of the vast wealth that has been created and what to do with it.” As they “come to terms” with their wealth, many are leaving the lucrative posts that are the source of their fortunes to concentrate full time on spending their money. Even though the company he founded has yet to make a profit, the founder of Red Hat Inc. has retired as a “billionaire” “at the ripe old age of 30.” “He’s been thinking a lot about helping others,” says a Washington Post profile. “Philanthropy he likes the ring of it. He considers it an ‘interesting’ way to keep occupied.” “It’s a huge, looming thing,” says a philanthropy specialist. “I don’t think most people have really grasped how consequential and transformative that money is going to be.” It may be transformative and consequential but not in the way the new rich believe.

The problem with “coming to terms” with money is that it has a tendency to disappear soon afterwards. Luxury spending is a classic example. It always booms in the late stages of a mania, which is why The Elliott Wave Theorist said, “We must be very near the big turn” last June when upscale spending itself reached mania proportions. EWT has also noted that “charity is the ultimate luxury.” So, philanthropy fever indicates that we are closer still. The experience of one generous Internet billionaire confirms that the Dow has indeed seen its final high. Five days after a “$100 million down payment” toward the creation of an online university that will “offer a free ‘Ivy League-quality’ education to anyone in the world,” MicroStrategy, the Internet stock that was to fund the gift, collapsed from 226 to 72 a share. The real “huge looming thing” is how common these reversals of fortune are going to become.

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