Gladwell at tipping point over $400m Harvard donation

Given that Harvard is already sitting on a $36.4bn endowment the world’s richest university isn’t exactly cash-strapped

Malcolm Gladwell: vented his fury. Photograph: KPA/Zuma/Rex Features

It's not often that renowned journalist and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell tweets, but when he does people take note, especially when he's taking pot shots.

The author of The Tipping Point took to Twitter earlier this week to vent his fury over the decision by hedge fund manager John Paulson to give a record $400 million donation to Harvard University.

Given that Harvard is already sitting on a $36.4 billion endowment the world’s richest university isn’t exactly cash-strapped, but perhaps not surprisingly, it welcomed the gift anyhow.

Gladwell was a little less happy about the news though. He spent an hour on Twitter on Wednesday night raging about Paulson’s decision.

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Mocking tweets

“It came down to helping the poor or giving the world’s richest university $400 mil [sic] it doesn’t need. Wise choice John!” wrote Gladwell in the first of a series of mocking tweets.

He suggested a number of other philanthropic endeavours the hedge fund manager was considering including volunteering at the Hermes store on Madison Avenue before moving on to attack Harvard itself.

“If billionaires don’t step up, Harvard will soon be down to its last $30 billion,” he wrote before ending his rant by asking if there is a way to give back without actually giving anything back.

Ouch!