What would you do with US$45bn?

Published 22/12, 2015 at 14:11

Dear Readers
What would you do if you had US$45bn? Should you choose to donate it to charity like Facebook’s creator Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that he would do during his lifetime

Only 1% of the value of the shares he and his wife have will be bequeathed to the couple’s newborn daughter. This sum of money is incomprehensible for ordinary people, you might think? But Zuckerberg is a rather ordinary man. He comes from the State of New York and his family practice Judaism, but he claims that he is an atheist. He studied at Harvard University but completed his psychology studies in 2006 without a degree. I guess he had other things to think about at the time, as Facebook was launched in 2004 and started to take off in 2006. Facebook currently has about 1.35bn users. This is roughly the entire population of China or a fifth of the world’s population of around seven billion. Facebook is a US company and listed on the New York NASDAQ stock exchange since 2012. The total value of the shares is estimated at about $150bn, of which Zuckerberg and his wife own about $45bn, which roughly corresponds to Serbia’s gross domestic product.

I think it is great that a relatively young guy has chosen to donate most of his fortune to charity, which will be controlled throughout his lifetime. The $45bn is an astronomical amount of money and just the $4bn that he keeps is considerable and is perhaps easy to understand why he is donating the majority of his fortune. This means that over the next 52 years, until Zuckerberg is 85, his family will have approximately $720,000/month to live on, provided that the value of the shares does not plummet.

There is hope for the future, not just because of Zuckerberg’s donation, but because the young generation to a fairly large extent have very sound opinions, think right and proper, are environmentally friendly and energy efficiently orientated, and often show considerably more sense than previous generations.

I sometimes get comments from my kids like; “Dad, do not let the water run while brushing your teeth” or “turn off the TV if you are not watching it.” Another example comes from the young operators working in our industry. Most are in favour of or even demand new tools and methods that prevent injury and provide a better working environment in the construction industry. There is an interest and endeavour among our young colleagues to increase the efficiency and quality without sacrificing safety or strict levels concerning noise, vibrations or emissions. There is awareness among the young that is admirable. Allow them to prosper in the workplace and show what they can do and believe in them. In these times when we are bombarded by the tragic news of the ruthless acts of terrorism, often carried out by young, radicalized fanatics who have completely lost faith in humanity, it is nice to hear of young people who actually want to actively do something to make this world a better place to live.

Now for something completely different. This issue of PDi is the show issue for World of Concrete 2016. Besides its worldwide circulation it will be distributed at the show in our two booths. Our indoor booth C4236 is in the Central hall and our outside booth 031467 is close to all the suppliers of concrete cutting and floor grinding equipment.

Merry Christmas to all of you. Keep praying for a better world.

Jan Hermansson



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