On Friday, I posted a chart which I thought showed donations to Harvard University rising substantially over the past couple of years, to over $1.6 billion a year. Boy was I wrong. As the Crimson reports, Harvard received $602 million in gifts this past fiscal year—an 8 percent year-on-year decline.
The LBO of Hilton hotels made no sense even at the time: I described it as crazy, adding that the lenders (including Bear Stearns, bless ‘em) were “taking equity-like risk” for pretty modest returns. So it comes as no surprise to learn that Blackstone, the buyer, has not only written down its investment by half, but is also looking to restructure Hilton’s debt.
Many thanks to David Leonhardt for the shout-out in his column today. Referencing an old blog entry of mine, he returns to the question of sticky wages and concludes that, contra the likes of Chris Swann, there really is something to it: “the sticky-wage theory,” he says, “seems to have survived the Great Recession”, with average weekly pay rising from $612 to $618 in nominal terms over the past few months, and even more in real terms.
John B just left me an interesting comment on the subject of credit cards:
Your statement on banks needing to focus on competing, rather than pages of agate type is correct. but is there a substantially large enough market of major credit card issuers to sustain true competition? I don’t think so. And probably not in a more regulated environment.