Billionaire Boone Pickens seemed like the perfect patron saint for Selfish Giving: charitable, filthy rich, enlightened and, yes, self-serving. But after reading this article in the New York Times, I had to reconsider my choice. Sure, Pickens is using his fortune to do well AND good, but this ex-president stands to make his fortune by doing good. Now that's selfish giving. Which president am I talking about? Well, it's not Gerald Ford.
It's Bill Clinton, of course. He's an adviser to a family of funds run by the Yucaipa Companies, a private equity firm controlled by one of his good friends (and billionaire) Ron Burkle.
Mr. Clinton's role is to help find investment opportunities for Yucaipa projects, give credibility to the funds and champion their mission of investing in poor areas to corporate executives, union leaders and others. But he has put up little of his own money and has no day-to-day responsibilities over how the more than $1 billion in the funds is invested.
Very generous of Bill. But wait, he isn't doing this all out of the goodness of his heart.
"If we make money, he makes money," Mr. Burkle said....If the funds perform as well as Mr. Burkle's other investment funds have over the past two decades, Mr. Clinton's share of the profits could reach into the tens of millions of dollars.
Not bad for a job at which Clinton spends "minimal time". But this might be a good thing as Burkle has other plans for Bill, like buying him a modeling agency to run. These two guys just don't know when to stop giving.