Making a difference / Technology

Mark Zuckerberg smarter than I thought

I don’t know Zuckerberg and I have yet to see the movie. My sense of him was that he was rather unsophisticated in financial matters (and certainly legal ones). But now that I understand the “100 million dollar donation”, my opinion has changed.
First of all before I become to cynical, I want to applaud anyone that does anything to help our young people get a reasonable education. And I also want to acknowledge any wealthy person that gives substantial money to charity.
So Zuckerberg, is not really giving 100 million dollars. No he is donating the equivalent of 100 million dollars in Facebook Stock. Assuming that FB stock keeps its valuation (I have big doubts about that personally), it will cost him about 30 million dollars. He does not have to pay capital gains on this stock and he will get a deduction from federal and state tax. I believe he is putting this money into a non profit he set up an will control. He is probably requiring Newark to meet certain criteria before they get the money (not sure how he turns the stock into cash). Since he controls the non profit, I think, he can always donate the money someplace else if Newark does not perform. And he locks in about a 100 million dollar donation which will help pay the tax on future sales of stock albeit maybe with a lower valuation. This is a very smart strategy and one that I have personally used but of course at a different scale. He must be getting good tax advice. Of course, maybe FB stock will be worth a lot more in the future but then he has so much more of that. And look at the great free PR.
Ok, I said I would be cynical. I hope it turns out to a be a win win. Newark actually gets the money and does something with it and Zuckerberg gets to leverage the taxes. One thing is pretty funny, via this method, California is actually giving a 10 million dollar donation to Newark schools.

2 thoughts on “Mark Zuckerberg smarter than I thought

  1. For what it’s worth, my thoughts.

    You’re first inclination was right on…..Not that smart 😉 And I don’t think it has actually anything to do with his intellectual power which is quite remarkable…..I just think (and obviously, I don’t *know*) that Mark’s ego gets in the way of his really being smart:

    (1) Why Newark as the first move of this great Foundation?? Makes him look stupid. People think of it as the armpit of NJ, and that’s just NJ! Could have begun with an area that would have given him a lot more political clout and understanding. What’s more is that Mark can barely put two words together to explain why Newark or give any detail about the educational system there and to what his money is actually going to be put to use to do.

    (2) To answer my question: Mark’s FB FUND decision had little to do with Newark. It had little to do with Mark Zuckerberg. And all to do with my friend and former classmate (yes, I’m biased ;-), Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark…..That whole initiative was Corey. Mark was lucky to get close to Corey. And not that I have a crystal ball, but I think you and I may be voting for Corey to be President. And in any case, we’ll be seeing more and more of *that* guy.

    (3) So if I understood correctly while the investment is $100 MM, Mark saved $70 mill…he has good lawyers and accountants. *THEY* made that happen. And anyway, to him it’s like the difference of a speeding ticket. (I do happen to believe that fb stock valuation will hold if not increase; If fb were a country, it would be the THIRD LARGEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD…That’s got sustainable worth.

    (4) Mark made this move just seconds before the film came out. And when talking about the Foundation, he also sprinkled in how the film about to come out is fiction, but entertaining……That makes him look like the whole FB FUND thing was a PR ploy. And it’s stupid. Because in launching it publicly in the manner above, he takes credit away in much of the public eye for the FOUNDATION stuff to begin with.

    (5) When talking about the film, Mark made blanketed, absolute statements like how the first 6 years of fb were actually quite boring, “no drama”….”just focusing on code”……..SO STUPID! Any absolute statement like that is patently false. The average person knows that, right? And everyone in any way shape or form who has ever done anything remotely entrepreneurial in nature knows that an overwhelming percentage do have quite a lot of drama…..founders, investors, board, customers….employees, come on!

    His condecension when he opens his mouth is palpable. And btw, do you know what his father’s name is??? I don’t know. Because he goes by the name of ‘FACEBOOK DAD’…

    What do you think??

    Too bad I’m not this honest on my page! I haven’t earned the right yet. Hope it’s ok to have been so here….??


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