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November 2007

Interview with Melisa Berman of Rockefeller Advisors, by Karen Jones

Karen Jones with Melisa Berman of Rockefeller Advisors:   

Client referrals tend to come from private bank, legal and accountancy intermediaries in the main. Organisations like Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers rely on the banking community to do due diligence and money laundering checks before referring clients. “We don’t have the resources to under take this ourselves. Says Melissa, before adding. “We really compliment work with wealthy families, by helping clients achieve goals. Bankers should realise they can strengthen their relationships with clients by introducing the feel good factor of philanthropy. We think it i€™s a fruitful partnership.€ Inspirational institutions that Melissa comes across include UBS and Goldman Sachs. €œThey are really helping clients think through philanthropy.

Best practice all around: I too assume that those referred to me for morals tutorials are not drug lords, or if they were criminals, have been born again, or repented, or will eventually repent.  I do not have the resources to check out the bona fides of every billionaire referred to me from such inspirational institutions as Wealth Bondage, the sponsor of this site.  As my colleague, and fellow friend of Wealth, Senator (D. MA) Dick Minim would say, "Wealth Bondage has long enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Phil Cubeta, Morals Tutor, Butler, and Bagman for America's Wealthiest Families. He helps Wealth Bondage clients think through goals, the meaning of their lives, their children's character, and their philanthropy.  Laundering money is easy, laundering a reputation requires Seneca and Cicero generally, or Jesus, or some such nonsense.  The feel good factor is sweet. What happens in Wealth Bondage stays in Wealth Bondage.  Mums the word.  More anon. Must scoot. All the best to my fellow philanthropists! Ta-ta!"

Karen Jones Blogs Wealth and Giving from an Insider Perspective

From London come two excellent giving blogs by Karen Jones.
Appeals, organisations, consultants and philanthropists
A Blog for the Professional Friends of the Super-Rich

Well, well, very interesting. The old saying has it that those who know don't say, and those who say don't know. Here we have an insider to the wealth game who knows it and blogs it. I will be very interested to see how Karen manages to keep her ultra-wealthy readers, their high-toned advisors, and the ordinary riffraff on the internet in conversation in her comments section. As of this post, her comment are open. Brave of her. More on Karen and her projects here.

Who is Calling Whom a Prostitute Here?

The money quote from a prostitute who auctioned off her services for charity: "There are people who are going to be donating money that's a lot more questionable than mine," she said. "The only thing I did was publicize it."

Well, the screw-up she made, if I can put it that way, was not hiring a philanthropic consultant like me to put her gift in the best light. It is not what she did, but how she positioned it that we might fault. Yes, other donors I can name have done worse, in fact it is quite common, but they didn't come right out and admit they were prostitutes. Most present themselves as business people on a journey from success to significance, or whatnot. I mean, think of what I could have done for this whore-with-a golden-heart, if she had contacted me earlier. First thing I would have done is to get her name changed to Mary Magdalene. That would have shut some mouths. Then I would have funneled the gift through Hudson Institute to some study by Bill Bennett of Family Values. Then we could get her born again, assuming she has to, being a Catholic. Or, we could say she has repented and and position the gift as atonement. Or, we could get her a book deal, put her on Oprah, and after she gets rich, have her repent.  Or, she could just put her client list on line and be done with it.

Who is to say in this upside down world of ours who is and who is not a prostitute? Had I myself not been a Dungeon Master to the Stars in a Wealth Bond*age B*rdello, I could not stomach my current role as Morals Tutor to America's Wealthiest Families. In those days as a prostitute, I still had a conscience, but it wears off.  One thing leads to another, but at least I don't work in a think tank. That may be next step my Rake's Progress. I hope not. A think tank, that postmodern madhouse would be the end of the line. I still have some standards. Dear God! May I not sink that low, poor wretch that I am! Spare me that last humiliation of a once proud intellect.

Prostitute Auctions Sex for Charity


"I've already auctioned off the 27 hours of love," Maria Carolina told Reuters on Wednesday, saying she had raised about $4,000. "One of my clients already paid. It seemed like a good deed to him."

....Speaking about Maria Carolina's unusual donation, campaign organizer Mario Kreutzberger said he would not encourage "immoral" activities, but said he would accept her pledge.

A funny story, sure, and one that sheds some rueful light on what Lucy calls embedded giving.  But who am I as a born again prostitute turned morals tutor to get all moralistic? Candidia funds us all. And I am glad she does. I need the money.

Learning to Give

Learning to Give:

Teaching the Importance of Voluntary Action for the Common Good in a Democratic Society: Learning to Give offers lesson plans, activities, and resources to educate youth about the power of philanthropy (sharing time, talent and treasure).  Empower young people to make a difference in their school, their community and their world!

The Logic of The Supplement: Capitalism Plus

To say in business we have "two bottomlines" is to say we have none. The first bottomline is a quanitity. The second is a quality. The first is demoninated in dollars. Only God knows what the second is denominated in, maybe quality of life, maybe subjective preference, maybe some "metric" of justice, maybe Salvation.  The two bottomlines cannot be summed, which is why we have two bottomlines, which is to say we have none. Only when lines on a balance sheet can be netted do we have a balance sheet at all.

In the logic of the double bottom line the mythology and methodology of capitalism has reached its limit and gestures beyond money, measurement, and management into poetry. That the poetry is of depressingly low quality is understandable for it is written by grown children stunted by advertising, marketing and MBA logic from birth. The second bottomline is us, the product and producer of this false art. We are intellectually, culturally, aesthetically, politically, morally and spiritually bankrupt; that is the second bottomline to be netted with our material affluence.

The cure is not found in the MBA curriculum. For our disease the Roman cure is still the best, for those who survive it. The cure will hurt, but do you good. For those who do not make it through the operation, we offer embalming at no extra charge. Better to embrace the chance for redemption than to live a walking dead person, talking about bottomlines when what is already lost is your soul.