Harvard to Google: Drop dead
The hedge fund with a university attached is divesting Google and Facebook
For years, the communist wing of the Democrat Party has demanded that Harvard and others impose economic sanctions on Israel — called BDS — because Democrats prefer theocracies in Gaza and Iran over a secular Jewish state. Harvard’s $50 billion endowment fund has been a target of these anti-Semitic attacks but has resisted this financial stupidity.
The left is not pleased.
The Nation said in 2016, “Have you heard the latest wisecrack about Harvard? People are calling it a hedge fund with a university attached. They have a point — Harvard stands at the troubling intersection between higher education and high finance, with over 15 percent of its massive $38 billion endowment invested in hedge funds.
“That intersection is getting crowded. Yale’s comparatively modest $26 billion endowment, for example, made hedge fund managers $480 million in 2014, while only $170 million was spent on things like tuition assistance and fellowships for students. ‘I was going to donate money to Yale. But maybe it makes more sense to mail a check directly to the hedge fund of my choice,’ Malcolm Gladwell tweeted last summer, causing a commotion that landed him on NPR.”
The Nation went on to explain endowments are a titanium mine for investment managers.
Harvard’s $38 billion then is $50 billion. It rakes. Maybe the fund did not do as well as Nancy Pelosi through her hubby, but Harvard beats the S&P 500 routinely like a man on a girls’ swim team.
Whether Harvard goeth, so should my stocks. Harvard is dropping Meta (Facebook) and Alphabet (Google) like a tree losing leaves in autumn, which is strange because both stocks are at or near 52-week highs. Maybe Harvard sees something others don’t.
The Harvard Crimson reported, “The Harvard Management Company sold a significant percentage of its direct holdings in Meta and Alphabet, as well as the entirety of its direct holdings in several biomedical and pharmaceutical companies, during the third quarter of 2023.
“According to a Nov. 9 public filing, the total value of HMC’s direct public portfolio in the third quarter was $885 million, representing a 15% decline in value from the second quarter. HMC stewards the University’s endowment, which ended fiscal year 2023 at a value of more than $50 billion. In fiscal year 2023, 11% of the endowment was invested in public equities.”
Its managers used a meat cleaver on its portfolio.
The paper said, “HMC sold 15.6% of its shares in Meta and 27.9% of its shares in Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in the third quarter of 2023. Despite the sell-off, Meta and Alphabet continued to be HMC’s largest direct holdings, constituting $288 million and $228 million of the portfolio, respectively.”
Mark Zuckerberg took the money Facebook made and invested it in Meta — the Edsel of the Internet. Well, except Edsels still run, don’t they?
Google is a monstrosity that is as woke as Coke and Disney. Longtime readers know I left Google’s Blogger (Blogspot) because Google Ad Sense kept pestering me with odd community standards policy violations. Once Google deleted a post I published without warning or a path to appeal.
¡NO PASARÁN! — a conservative blog about French politics — recently learned the ways of Google.
It reported, “Note to Google Blogger: My Controversial Post on Blogger Was Not Reset to ‘Draft’ Status; It Was Entirely Removed.”
The report said, “With 13,600 posts over, to repeat, almost 20 years, we have been banned I think no more than five times (certainly less than 10 times) — in addition to guest writers asking that their guest posts be taken down out of fear of their being cancelled by society at large. But that is none of our responsibility; that is the doings, direct or indirect, of a society failing in free speech and vigorous debate (sometimes known as: the First Amendment) which this blog (hardly wrongly) wishes to describe (and, frankly, to denounce).
“As we are responsible writers and journalists, and feel we behave responsibly, we have not felt any guilt, and we have counter-claimed, or are going to counter-claim, all of the bans, previous and present.
“But the problem with the November 2023 post is that it was not unpublished. And the post was not reset to Draft status. It was entirely removed and has totally vanished.
“Unless we are mistaken, moreover, we never received an email in our gmail inbox informing us of a ban or even of a problem, as is Google’s custom.”
¡NO PASARÁN! is fighting a battle I fought and won. The battle is against anonymous liberals who have the power to delete your work on a whim. The message is clear. Get out of the house. Now.
The escape route is called Substack. Readers remember I began moving my blog in October 2022 and moved here fully in January. Thousands of readers followed me and I am grateful to each one. Thousands more joined them. More than 15,000 people in 50 states and 80 countries (from Australia to Zimbabwe) have taken a free or paid subscription to my newsletter. I thank each one.
I trust Substack because the left is attacking it. The Atlantic said, “The newsletter-hosting site Substack advertises itself as the last, best hope for civility on the internet—and aspires to a bigger role in politics in 2024. But just beneath the surface, the platform has become a home and propagator of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. Substack has not only been hosting writers who post overtly Nazi rhetoric on the platform; it profits from many of them.”
That is rich coming from anti-Semites who want Israelis slaughtered from the river to the sea. The goal is to have Substack do the same content-moderation — censorship — that Google and Facebook do.
I doubt the Blogger censorship is why Harvard is divesting itself of Google. But this illustrates the problems Google has from its embrace of the woke mentality. Google and Facebook — which capitulated to the deep state by censoring Trump in 2020 — are just the latest to pay the price for their smug, cynical embrace of faddish morality.
Disney is the Mother of All SJWs going woke and broke with $250 million movies that aren’t entertaining. This month’s bomb is Wish. Raechal Shewfel, editor of Yahoo Entertainment, wrote, “Disney’s Wish had a disappointing opening weekend. There are several reasons why.”
Paragraph 14 said it all, “The idea seemed to be attracting adults and kids at the same time but for different reasons. Reviews were mixed, with just 50% of 154 critics approving of the film on Rotten Tomatoes.”
Madeline Fry Schultz at the Washington Examiner also pointed out Disney’s quality sank and its flicks tanked.
She wrote, “Disney has an imagination problem, with sequels, prequels, other derivative content, and bland, be yourself narratives now dominating its products. Perhaps more importantly, it also has an image problem, thanks to its recent forays into politics (criticizing the Florida law that keeps second graders from being exposed to gender ideology, for example).
“But as George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley pointed out over the weekend, Disney is being forced to reconsider its direction — because the free market is working as it should.”
Ah yes, Turley, the liberal who does the math.
He wrote, “Disney and other companies have previously ignored consumer backlash over corporate campaigns such as Disney’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law. Corporate officials once avoided political controversies and focused on selling their products and services rather than viewpoints.
“Disney has reportedly lost a billion dollars just on four of its recent woke movie flops, productions denounced by critics as pushing political agendas or storylines. Yet until now, the company has continued to roll out underperforming movies as revenue has dropped. What’s more, Disney stars persist in bad-mouthing its fabled storylines and undermining its new productions. The company admits that it has suffered a continued slide in impressions (that is, viewership) by 14%.”
Price is set by supply and demand. The demand for decency is so high that Kristen Princiotta is a star on the No. 1 show on YouTube in the USA (No. 2 worldwide) and the No. 1 show on Netflix in 2020, beating out The Office and The Queen’s Gambit.
You never heard of her? She plays the mom on a children’s show called CoComelon which has nearly 600 videos, 103 million subscribers and more than 90 billion views. It is Baby Shark without the annoying doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo.
(There is one episode where the CoComelon family sings the Baby Shark song, but that’s the worst they doo-doo, doo-doo, doo-doo.)
Demand for woke is so low that Disney almost cannot give its products away. As they say, if your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.
Harvard just indicated that Facebook and Google may be headed for the outgo-exceeds-income Dumpster.
As for ¡NO PASARÁN! leave the Titanic already. It does not want you.