Party people! How's it going? Are you still largely locked down where you live or do you live in Florida? I kid! I kid! Florida is great, but all y'all definitely do your own thing down there and God love ya for it. The 2020 Presidential election is just about a month away and things are getting crazy. But we're not going to talk about that – or not much about that anyway. Our favorite billionaires are out there moving and shaking and spending their vast fortunes. MacKenzie Scott has some thoughts on how society has contributed to the rise of billionaires. Billionaire Jennifer Pritzker has made her first contribution to a presidential candidate. Bernard Arnault is about to lose one of the jewels in the crown of his luxury good empire. And finally, Jeff Bezos is making moves to be more philanthropic. This is the latest edition of the Billionaire Roundup.
MacKenzie Scott Acknowledges Her Wealth Is A "Collective Effort"
MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, took to Medium to discuss the ways in which she would like to give back to her community – and hopes others will follow her lead. She wrote: "Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror. Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable." She speaks the truth – the global pandemic has hit the poorest people the most. Scott wrote that she hopes the last few months have inspired people to give back. She has donated to 116 organizations dedicated to racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, gender equality, public health, climate change, and more. Almost before the ink was dry on her divorce papers, Scott joined The Giving Pledge. Her ex-husband has not joined and has long been criticized for his relative lack of philanthropy in relation to his incredible wealth. However, Bezos did just announced a new philanthropic effort…which we talk about below.
Jennifer Pritzker Makes Choice In 2020 Presidential Election With Donation
Hyatt Hotels heiress Jennifer Pritzker has donated $2,000 to Joe Biden's presidential campaign, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. This is notable because in 2016, she donated more than $250,000 to groups supporting Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency. Pritzker is the world's first transgender billionaire and a retired Army lieutenant colonel. Though she supported Trump in 2016, she changed her tune in 2017 when he announced a ban on transgender members of the military on Twitter. Pritzker also donated $2,000 to Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgenson as well as $27,000 to the Libertarian National Committee. In a 2019 article for the "Washington Post," Pritzker wrote: "When the GOP asks me to deliver six- or seven-figure contributions for the 2020 elections, my first response will be: Why should I contribute to my own destruction?"
Tiffany & Co. Suing Bernard Arnault's LVMH Empire
Tiffany & Co. is accusing billionaire Bernard Arnault's luxury goods empire of failing to pay the agreed upon price for the iconic jeweler. In November 2019, LVMH agreed to pay $16 billion for the New York based jeweler. Attorneys for Tiffany wanted the court to fast-track their case and they got their wish. A court in Delaware granted the motion to fast-track the Tiffany lawsuit against LVMH. The trial is scheduled for January 5, 2021. For what it's worth, LVMH released a statement indicating the company is "fully confident that it will be able to defeat Tiffany's accusations and convince the Court that the conditions necessary for the acquisition of Tiffany are no longer met." Under the terms of the original deal, LVMH is required to pay Tiffany by November 24, 2020. Several weeks ago, LVMH announced that it was putting the deal on hold, due to the threat of taxes on French products by the U.S. Tiffany is accusing LVMH of trying to get the company at a discount, basically. LVMH, meanwhile, is annoyed that Tiffany has continued to pay out $70 million in dividends per quarter during the pandemic. It is basically a mess, y'all!
Jeff Bezos Announces Free Preschool For Low Income Seattle Families
The world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, announced that he was opening a free preschool for children from low-income families called Bezos Academy. The school is scheduled to open in Des Moines, Washington, a town south of Seattle in October. The preschool will operated year-round, five days a week and cater to kids 3 to 5 years old. Bezos announced his goal to open a network of preschools in November 2018 when he launched the $2 billion Bezos Day One Fund. The fund is designed to give to nonprofits helping homeless families and building the preschools. To date, the fund has donated $100 million a year.