Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Return of Conspicuous Frugality?

A generation ago, scribblers of trust marketing materials knew better than refer to their target market as wealthy. Affluent, perhaps. Even High Net Worth. But not "wealthy," not "rich". That would have been gauche.

Besides, a reputation for great wealth might have gotten a person kidnapped while traveling in certain South-American, African or Asian circles. Better safe than sorry.

Today, every self-respecting bank and trust company has a wealth management department, named in the well-founded belief that them that got it like to flaunt it.

In An Audit of Affluence at, Chrystia Freeland sees signs that the pendulum may start to swing back again:
In some New York circles, certain types of luxury consumption might even be becoming gauche. If, for example, you belong to Nora Ephron’s literary coterie I suspect you won’t be showing off one of the $2,600 handbags she gently mocks in her bestselling new collection of essays. A few executives who are still of the Bonfire of the Vanities school have found their habits to be worse than a faux pas – they turn out to be a sacking offence. This week’s scalp was Citigroup’s Todd Thomson, whose lavish office was nicknamed the “Todd Mahal” and included a wood-burning fireplace.
What do you think? Is the U.S. plutonomy about to provoke a backlash?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

“Save Less and Still Retire with Enough" – Or Not

That New York Times article Jim Gust called to our attention last Saturday was still on the Times list of most e-mailed articles this morning. The "eat, drink and spend merrily" approach to retirement planning must be gladdening the hearts of Boomers from coast to coast.

Before they stop investing, though, they might want to check the research.

Boomers who didn't skip statistics class can check out the study done by Professor Scholz and two others here. Turns out, as suggested in a comment to the earlier post, the study examines Depression Babies, a relatively small generation that could hardly help but prosper in the post-WWII years.

More disturbing, even to a non-statistician, the study seems to embody unsettling assumptions:

• Low-income workers won't hope for a better life but will be content to retire on little but Social Security.

• Middle-income workers will be OK in retirement thanks to their defined-benefit pensions. (The study goes back to 1992, remember. Wonder where some of those pension plans are now?)

• Home-owners will move to apartments and live it up on the massive profits from the sale of their homes.

We'll doubtless be hearing much more on the subject of financial independence at retirement. Stay tuned.

Wealth Strategies Journal

There's a new, free internet resource for wealth management professionals: Wealth Strategies Journal - Resources for Estate Planning & Taxation and Financial Planning for High Net Worth Families They've just published their second collection of articles, covering topics that range from planning considerations in naming a guardian for a minor child to elder law to drafting marital deduction trusts for second marriages. Thanks to Profesor Beyer for the pointer.

Monday, January 29, 2007

How long a retirement should you plan for?

Here in Connecticut, in East Hartford, lived the world's oldest person, Emma Tillman. Alas, she only held the crown for four days.

If Ms. Tillman began receiving Social Security benefits at age 65, that would have been during the Eisenhower administration. Fifty years sure is a long time to be retired. Few, if any, have the financial resources to live without working for so long a time.

Merrill Lynch Goes UHNW

The Wealth Report blog at sees a merger mania in private banking. Today's example, Merrill Lynch's acquisition of First Republic in San Francisco:
The deal gives Merrill a new roster of rich clients: First Republic is a private bank whose average client has liquid assets of $8 million.

The deal also gives Merrill access to First Republic’s lending products. First Republic specializes in loans for big mansions, jets and yachts. If a wealthy Merrill client wants a mortgage for a new $10 million home in Palm Beach, or a $40 million Gulfstream, the client can now tap First Republic’s balance sheet.
Most of First Republic's clients are “venture-capital chiefs, hedge-fund managers, real-estate magnates, entertainers and entrepreneurs.”

The Wealth Report notes that the deal follows last year's acquisition of U.S. Trust by Bank of America.

Boomer Inheritances a Relative Rarity

Only 6% of working Americans age 45 or over have inherited $250,000 or more, according to a new survey by Brightwork Partners for Putnam Investments. Only 1% have inherited $1 million or more.

Marketwatch reports that 17% of those surveyed had received some inheritance, but half of them received less than $38,000.

Workers age 45 or over will need all the financial inflow they can get, expecially if they have children:
Almost one-third of working Americans 45 and older with a grown child over age 25 pay rent or provide housing for that child, the survey found. Meanwhile, 45% of middle-age workers with grown children provide financial support of about $2,500 a year on average.
The survey also indicates that almost one 45-or-over worker in five is helping to support an elderly parent.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Charities Love IRA Rollovers

Looks like Jim Gust is right about charitable IRA rollovers being a hot topic.

“Charitable individual-retirement-account rollovers look to be on a roll,” The Wall Street Journal($) reports. “A new provision that allows seniors to give as much as $100,000 tax-free to charity from an IRA has proven popular since it was introduced as part of the Pension Protection Act last August.”

The National Committee on Planned Giving says at least $25 million from IRAs has already been donated to charity.

“Harvard University,” the Journal adds, “says it has received more than 150 gifts totaling more than $2.5 million in the months since the law put the rollovers into place. These gifts have ranged in size from $100 to $100,000; 11 were for the maximum $100,000.”

Already, the Journal says, efforts are underway to make rollover donations a permanent option. Conrad Teitell has organized a lobbying group that calls itself the Rollover Rangers. Mr. Teitell hopes the provision can be expanded “to allow rollovers to trusts, including unit trusts, annuity trusts and pooled income funds.”

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Did Someone Rewrite Jacqueline Cooke's Trust?

College costs a lot these days, and according to The Washington Post, that's problem for Jacqueline Cooke, teenage daughter of former Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke.

My stocks become bargains after I buy them

Last year I noted that Scott Adams, Dilbert's creator, had polled his readers for investment tips. He built a $75,000 portfolio based upon their recommendations. How'd that turn out?
Update: The commenters to Adams' post provide a free and freaky focus group to financial marketers.

Great news—we're already saving too much!

Says today's New York Times, some economists are breaking with the projections of financial planners about how much retirement capital is necessary. Our "negative savings rate" is wildly distorted, they say. In fact, a recent Federal Reserve Board study found that "88% of retirees age 51 and older had adequate wealth."

To which I say, who are these retired 51-year-olds? I know a guy who retired early from Microsoft, but that's exceptional. Including those with the resources to retire in their 50s skews the sample.

Still, the larger point is that some people may be squandering their youth instead of their money by oversaving. By some measure, the argument goes, they would do better by enjoying their money while they are younger.

Yeah, that's my philosophy. Now I'm in search of the Times piece that proves we're not really fat, either.

Friday, January 26, 2007

James Brown's trust in the news

The estate of the "godfather of soul" James Brown is shaping up to be an interesting one for fans of celebraty estate planning. Two controversies have emerged.

First, there is some question over whether Brown's long-time companion, Tomi Rae Hynie, is entitled to anything. She was not mentioned in Brown's will, which was executed before they married. The legitimacy of the marriage itself is not free from doubt, as Tomi Rae was already married when she and James exchanged vows, and they never repeated the ceremony after her annulment came through. Estate representatives are reportedly asking for paternity testing of Hynie's child, even though James signed the birth certificate.

At the time the will was executed, most of Brown's assets were transferred to an irrevocable trust. His children are not the trust's beneficiaries. Instead, the trust will be used for the educational needs of Brown's grandchildren and "needy children." Doesn't sound like this trust will be eligible for the charitable deduction.

In the latest wrinkle, the children have asked that the trustee be replaced. The current trustees are Brown's attorney, his business manager and a former South Carolina magistrate. A trusteeship hearing is set for February 1.

I'm hoping that this will prove to be a teachable moment for choosing your trustee with care.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Recommended (Re)Reading

"Nimble marketing is a necessity in today's environment. Wealth management experts say the affluent market is fluid right now and customer relationships are up for grabs. Unlike wealthy heirs, the new millionaires are still forming the advisory relationships necessary to manage their money effectively. And they don't necessarily respond positively to the brands that might have influenced the previous generation."

Julie Monahan wrote that, in an article called Reaching Wealth's Upstarts, in 2001. Alas, the Boomers who inspired the article didn't necessarily stay rich.

Now, a new wave of new young wealth is emerging. These youngest Boomers and Gen X'ers are even less likely to turn to private banks or trust companies for "wealth management" (a term that had not yet been subjected to massive abuse in 2001).

Who will win their business? How will they win it?

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your thinking caps!

Notice 2007-7 and charitable IRA rollovers

The IRS has released initial guidance for tax-free distributions from IRAs to qualified charities. Notice 2007-7 covers a lot of the ground that was disturbed by the Pension Protection Act of 2006. You can get a copy of the Notice here. The material on charities and IRAs is at the end.

Perhaps the most important clarification for taxpayers is that if they are 70 1/2 they can tap their IRAs to satisfy pre-existing charitable pledges. Such a transfer will not be considered a prohibited transaction. A husband and wife may each contribute $100,000 in both 2006 and 2007 (a total transfer of $400,000 for the couple), but only if each has an IRA. The husband may not, for example, transfer $200,000 from his own IRA on the couple's behalf.

We expect to see lots of marketing in this area all year long. For example, I have in my hand the letter that Sam Heitzman received from his alma mater, Ohio State University. They wanted to "remind" him "about this new philanthopic opportunity." Early reports suggest that the education sector may prove the biggest beneficiary of this tax benefit.

The Play's the Thing to Promote Estate Planning

Across the pond, as New Englanders say, the U.K. law firm Trethowans enlivens its estate planning seminars by teaming up with the Salisbury Playhouse production of Shadowlands:
[Solicitor Elizabeth] Webbe said: "It is to our mutual benefit to support the Playhouse, because the theatre needs commercial sponsorship, and we benefit by using the medium of theatre and storytelling to get across the sometimes complex issues involved in estate planning.

"Shadowlands is a ready-made vehicle to help us achieve this.

"We can link into the personal circumstances of characters in the show and use them to help highlight the points we wish to raise.

"It's an effective way of putting dry legal issues into context and showing their relevance."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Living Rich Means Lots of Great Sex?

From today's Wealth Report:
A survey released today by Prince & Associates in collaboration with wealth consultant Hannah Grove found that 70% of today’s multimillionaires said being wealthy gave them “better sex.” (You can request a free copy via email here.) A majority also said wealth gave them “more adventurous and exotic” sex lives.

The survey polled nearly 600 men and women with net worths of more than $30 million and a mean net worth of $89 million. While not scientific, the survey is large for such a wealthy group and offers a rare glimpse of the sex lives of today’s rich. The survey polled men and women who were the financial “principals,” meaning they were the primary decision makers in their households.

“What this tells us is that, on the whole, more money equals more magic in bed,” says Prince & Associates founder Russ Prince.
Surprising finding: Most of the independently wealthy women but only 50% of the independently wealthy men said they had had affairs.

How reliable is this survey? As a one-time market research guy, the Senior Assistant Blogger believes we should not pursue that question. Just enjoy!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Donor-Advised Funds Get Policed

Speaking of charitable giving, as Jim Gust does below, The Wealth Report blog notes that donor-advised funds, the hot alternative to family foundations for many donors, face new scrutiny because of last year's Congressional legislation:
Donor-advised funds, which are popular with the wealthy, allow a person to make a donation to a fund, get an immediate tax deduction and later “advise” the fund about which charities should receive the money. The funds typically require minimum initial gifts of between $10,000 and $25,000 and charge fees of roughly 1% for administering and investing the money.

Donor-advised funds have exploded in size. Donor-advised funds held $13 billion in assets in 2005, up from $2.4 billion in 1995, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

But all that growth has also brought abuses. Donor-advised funds were implicated in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and an IRS examination found this summer that the funds produced “strong evidence of abusive schemes.” The Pension Protection Act, passed by Congress last year, imposes fines or penalties for donors who use the funds to benefit themselves. subscribers can read last Saturday's article on the subject here.

Early info on Charitable IRA Rollovers

The National Committee on Planned Giving started a voluntary survey last October to track the results of the tax provision allowing tax-free transfers from IRAs to charities in 2006 and 2007. They have 1,468 respondents so far, and their report is found here. Some highlights:
• 9% of the gifts were at the maximum $100,000.
• The average gift was $20,365.
• Although nearly 3/4 of donors were motivated by their philanthropic desires, nearly 20% said that they did not want their minimum IRA distribution.
• 1.8% wanted to make a gift in excess of 50% of their AGI.
• Public universities apparently were the big winners, according to this sample, reaping 33.5% of the rollovers, with private universities coming in second at 19.2%. (The report does not provide a dollar breakdown.)
The report is dated January 18, 2007, and though most rollovers were likely for the 2006 tax year, the data is not broken out that way. Total value of the donations covered by the survey came to $30 million. I suspect that this popular tax provision will be very costly to extend beyond 2007.

For Global Investors, a Thought for the Day

It's worth remembering that markets were very upbeat in the early summer of 1914.
– Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers

Investing in enterprises headquartered anywhere on the globe is now easy. Scads of money sloshes around the world. Investors crave high returns, seemingly not worried about the linkage between reward and risk.

This Bloomberg dispatch suggests a need for caution.

Update: The deep thinkers quoted by Bloomberg are revving up for theWorld Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Al Kamen in the Washington Post calls it “a compulsory gathering for important and self-important bloviators.”

Summers wonders why the markets are so cheery and his fellow deep thinkers so gloomy. Rich Karlgaard, in his Digital Rules column, suggests it may just be politics.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Trusts: the Slide Show

Putting together a presentation on trusts? You'll be sorely tempted to freely adapt this slide show, which attorney Bruce Steiner helped Forbes construct. Click here for the introduction to Eight Estate Planning Tools.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Courses in wealth management

Today's Wall Street Journal ($) reports on the rising demand from rich families for help in learning how to manage their wealth. College courses range from a $6,975 , four-day program at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business to $99 for two evening classes at the University of Miami Continuing and International Education Center on "Preserving and Transferring Wealth. Perhaps most intriguing is Tiger 21, a peer-education group that meets monthly to share insights and experiences. Annual membership dues are $25,000, and reportedly there's no difficulty in attracting members.

There 's certainly lots to talk about for the rich, from hedge funds to unstable tax laws to new developments in philanthropy. So what's the number one question that the rich ask?
Those who teach wealthy clients say the topics most in demand are some of the most basic, such as choosing a financial adviser and deciphering cryptic bank and trust statements. "The biggest question we get is, 'How do I know if my adviser is doing any good?'" says Douglas Freeman, chairman of IFF Advisors, which offers a variety of wealth-education programs. (A customized educational program for a family would cost about $10,000 for a weekend course.) "We teach them how to monitor and measure performance."
Is there a role for an Investment and Trust Newsletter here?

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Death of “Death” Brings a Fortune

Meet the richest housekeeper in the U.K.:

A WEALTHY bachelor has ordered that his £3.5 million fortune is used to look after his long-serving housekeeper.

Financier Basil Death, 90, told the executors of his will to set up a trust fund for spinster Theresa Wade, 80, who looked after him for 60 years.

He said if the executors wanted to, they could give Theresa, known as Tess, all the money. But any left after her death will go to charities.

How much is that in dollars? About $6.8 million.

Not that it matters, but Basil pronounced his name "deeth."

Notes from Heckerling Institute 2007

What's that? Your managing partner, department head or whoever cheaped out? You weren't awarded a trip to the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center where the 2007 Heckerling Institute was held last week?

No prob, kiddo. Just get out the sun lamp and click your way to notes on the proceedings, generously posted here by the ABA Section of Real Property, Probate, and Trust Law.

Warning: Some notes seem unreadable on any browser but Explorer. {We Mac users really hate it when somebody tries to make us fire our foxes and safari back to the obsolete Mac version of Explorer.)

Judging from the notes, Jim Gust needn't worry about estate planning shriveling away, unless it founders on financially-engineered GRATs and insurance-owning IRA subtrusts.

How Affluent Retirees Get Poorer

In an earlier post, we noted Jeff Opdyke's Wall Street Journal column recounting how annuity peddlers tried to rip off first his grandmother, then his mother.

Opdyke has followed up with other articles on senior scams. The latest surveys a variety of costly products being pitched to older citizens:
A host of ill-suited financial products -- from reverse mortgages, to life-settlement contracts and variable annuities -- are being targeted at retirees with pitches designed to tap into deep-seated fears about the affordability of retirement.

Regulators say the size of the problem is impossible to quantify. Still, it has reached such a magnitude that the National Association of Securities Dealers, a self-regulatory agency for the financial industry, this year will launch a campaign to teach people how to see through the selling techniques used by pitchmen to pry open their wallets.

Some products are perennial favorites among unscrupulous salespeople: complex variable annuities, top-heavy life-insurance policies, and living trusts. Others reflect efforts among agents, brokers and planners to benefit from increased interest in relatively new creations such as long-term-care insurance, reverse mortgages, life settlements and even Medicare Part D prescription coverage.
The most egregious scams, Opdyke notes, combine products. Sell the old guy a reverse mortgage, then get him to put the proceeds into a deferred annuity. Or, sell the old gal a costly albeit canned living trust, then follow up with pitches for unneeded insurance or annuities.

In Washington State, Opdyke writes, sales of boilerplate trusts have become such a plague that the attorney general has asked the legislature to ban the sale of trusts by nonlawyers.

Here's some good news: For about 20 years, the living trust salesperson in this news item will be otherwise occupied.

Is estate planning becoming a niche speciality?

Attorney Joel Shoenmeyer comments in his Death and Taxes blog that the big law firms in his area seem to be getting rid of their trusts and estates departments. Not enough money in estate planning, apparently.

Similarly, Professor Gerry Beyer reports that planning superstar Roy Adams has left Sonnenshein Nath and Rosenthal, where he had headed the the Trusts and Estates Practice Group.

Shoenmeyer doesn't see any lessening in the need for estate planning, though he expects that smaller specialty law firms may be picking up more of the business. But if these trends are real at the biggest firms, does it suggest that the conviction is taking hold that federal estate taxes are on their way out?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Santa Again Helped Hedge Funds, But Not Enough

As usual, hedge fund managers enjoyed a good December. The Hennessee Hedge Fund Index jumped 1.28%, pushing the index up 11.36% for the year.

The US Greenwich Global Hedge Fund Index managed an even better December surge, up 1.53%. Over the whole year, the Greenwich Global Index rose 12.23%.

But the average hedge fund manager is like the NY football Giants, who sometimes make the game close but seldom win. The fund managers lost out to the S&P 500, up 13.6%, and the DJIA, up 16.3%.

If we count dividends, hedgers fell even shorter last year. The S&P returned a total of 15.79%, according to The Wall Street Journal, and the DJIA returned 19.05%.

Why do even otherwise lackluster hedge funds tend to perform well, at least on paper, in December? According to this study by Vikas Agarwal of Georgia State and Naveen Daniel of Purdue, hedgers revalue the past and borrow from the future in hopes of qualifying for bonus money:
Our results suggest that this spike arises due to funds potentially managing their returns upwards in December. This spike seems to be achieved by (i) adding back in December the under-reported returns during earlier months of the year, and (ii) by borrowing from future returns. We find that the spike is more pronounced among funds whose incentive fee contracts are near-the-money and whose performance lags their peers, indicating that incentives may be driving the return management behavior.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Plutonomics: It's Why You Want to Work for the Wealthy

The Wealth Report blog posted this on Plutonomics:
Ajay Kapur, global strategist at Citigroup, and his research team came up with the term “Plutonomy” in 2005 to describe a country that is defined by massive income and wealth inequality. According to their definition, the U.S. is a Plutonomy, along with the U.K., Canada and Australia.

In a series of research notes over the past year, Kapur and his team explained that Plutonomies have three basic characteristics.

1. They are all created by “disruptive technology-driven productivity gains, creative financial innovation, capitalist friendly cooperative governments, immigrants…the rule of law and patenting inventions. Often these wealth waves involve great complexity exploited best by the rich and educated of the time.”

2. There is no “average” consumer in Plutonomies. There is only the rich “and everyone else.” The rich account for a disproportionate chunk of the economy, while the non-rich account for “surprisingly small bites of the national pie.” Kapur estimates that in 2005, the richest 20% may have been responsible for 60% of total spending.

3. Plutonomies are likely to grow in the future, fed by capitalist-friendly governments, more technology-driven productivity and globalization.
For an earlier, and free, column on Kapur's concept, go here.

Kapur believes the virtually invisible U.S. savings rate may be a symptom of Plutonomics. The rich, who have no worries about repaying loans, borrow so much that the total overwhelms the modest amounts being put aside by the little guy.

The rich may also deserve thanks for easing the economic impact of high oil prices. They're humungous consumers of fuel oil and gasoline, and they don't have to worry about the price.

Businesses that serve the rich, says Kapur, should continue to enjoy immense opportunities for profit.

Aren't you glad you're in wealth management?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual

Remember Henry Blodgett, who gained fame saying "Buy Amazon," and became the fair-haired-boy internet analyst at Merrill Lynch? He went down in flames after the dramatic discovery (I was shocked, shocked!) that wire-house buy recommendations were marketing tools, not investment opinions.

Barred from Wall Street, Blodgett has used his way with words to move into financial journalism. Now he's written a book, The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual, based on a series of articles he wrote for Slate.

This week Slate posted two excerpts.

In the first, Blodgett goes full Monty (or full Andrew Tobias) and recommends low-cost index funds. He also offers illuminating illustrations of compounding. For instance:

Initial Investment: $100,000
Annual Return: 10 percent

10 Years: $259,000
20 Years: $673,000
30 Years: $1,745,000
40 Years: $4,526,000
Note that most of that $4.5 million is created in the final ten years. Getting rich requires both money and time.

The second excerpt discusses hedge funds. Pretty much the same message delivered by Yale's endowment genius, David Swensen, but not quite so dull.

Blodgett points out that hedge fund investors face not only high expenses but, in many cases, stiff taxes.

But let's look on the bright side: With average hedge fund returns lagging the S&P last year, hedge fund investors don't have much profit to be taxed.

Friday, January 05, 2007

What are you reading?

I'm reading Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson, and enjoying it very much. Ms. Grandin is herself autistic, and has come to believe that animals think visually, whereas humans think in language. The autistic lie along the continuum between those two poles. When she is thinking, Ms. Grandin sees a videotape running through her mind, and when she reaches a conclusion she has to translate it into words.

One consequence of visual thinking, she says, is that animals see all the details that humans routinely overlook. The observation has enormous implications for animal management, which is Grandin's career. She reports on an experiment in which people are asked to watch a basketball game. During the game someone wanders onto the court wearing a gorilla suit.

Asked about the gorilla-suited person after the game, fully half of the viewers report that they did not see any gorilla. Why not? Because it was unexpected in that context, Grandin believes, and people only see what they expect to see.

That got me to thinking. What are the gorillas that investors are overlooking these days? What are trust marketers failing to see?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Wealth is in Fashion

This week The Wall Street Journal launched a new column: The Wealth Report. Subscribers can read about a billionaire divorce notable, so far, for amicability and freedom from lawyers.

The couple can't even argue about who get the Rolls Royce Phantom. Seems they own two.

Also new from the WSJ, The Wealth Report Blog. Like the Journal's articles online, it's probably "subscribers only."

From the blog we learn that HNW investors are more bullish than the merely affluent, according to a Spectrem survey.

The number of HNW investors is growing, too. Close to three million Americans probably have investable assets of $1 million or more.

Monday, January 01, 2007

On charitable foundations

We read all the time about the "cost" in lost tax revenue of such things as the mortgage interest deduction, the tax-deferred status of private retirement plans, and any proposed increase in the amount exempt from federal transfer taxes. I wonder why the subject of charitable foundations doesn't come up during these discussions. Foundations manage hundreds of billions of dollars entirely outside the federal tax system, not to mention the revenue cost of the charitable deductions associated with their creation.

The Becker-Posner blog ruminates on the phenomenon of charitable foundations here. They comment on the long-observed phenomenon that foundations are created by conservatives, but later run by liberals. Says Posner:
A deeper puzzle relates to the leftward drift in foundation policies that Becker discusses, a drift enabled by the perpetual character of a foundation. (I agree that foundation staff work is attractive to liberals and that the children of the founders tend to be more liberal than their fathers. In both cases the main reason is probably that while the creators of the major foundations invariably are successful businessmen, and business values are conservative, foundation staff are not businesspeople and many children of wealthy businesspeople do not go into business either.) The puzzle is why conservatives establish perpetual foundations. Don't they realize what is likely to happen down the road? The answer may be that the desire to perpetuate their name is greater than their desire to support conservative causes.
Both men approve the current tax preferences bestowed upon charitable foundations is justifiable, though they don't comment on the magnitude of the cost.

Is there an undo button?

The "BlogThis" applet from the original blogger no longer works, which I find very irritating.

So I went to Blogger help and reinstalled it, thinking that I just needed the latest version of BlogThis. Nope. Not only is the bad version still available, it's the only one available. This is disappointing, because so far I haven't located the advantages of Blogger2. They seem to have something to do with drag-and-drop formatting for templates, but I don't need that ability right now.

I guess it's time to complain to the management, which is tricky with a free service.