Last week we reported on a Twitter spat between billionaire investors Bill Gross and Carl Icahn. It started with Gross telling Icahn to stop pressuring Apple to buy back stock and spend more time on philanthropy, to which Icahn responded that Gross should join The Giving Pledge as he had, and commit at least half his wealth to charity.
Bill has not signed The Giving Pledge, but was not to be outdone. In an interview with CNBC last Wednesday, he said he’s planning to give all his money away before he dies. “My wife Sue and I have our own pledge…not the Buffett Pledge, but an Andrew Carnegie Pledge,” Gross said, referring to the steel magnate and philanthropist who believed the wealthy had an obligation to improve society, and called it a disgrace for a wealthy person to die with money.
Gross, who manages the PIMCO total return fund, the world’s largest mutual fund with assets of nearly $250 billion, has a personal wealth estimated at $2.3 billion. He has endowed a foundation that bears his name with $293 million, and has made major contributions to Cedar Sinai, Hoag Hospital, Doctors without Borders, and most recently $20 million to Mercy Ships. He has also said that he and others like him “should spend more time helping others, as opposed to necessarily writing checks.”
Your move, Mr. Icahn.