Food for thought

Jim Simons’s income ($2.5 billion) this past year was an order of magnitude larger than the NSF mathematics budget ($249 million; and that was the request!).

P.S. This is not an April Fool’s joke. He really made that much money.


3 thoughts on “Food for thought

  1. personally I know nothing about finance, but I doubt these financial industries make our life better. mathematics does. So this is an April Fool’s joke anyway.

  2. @ano In fact, Jim Simons has significantly contributed to various altruistic endeavors including Math for America.

    Institutes such as the Clay Institute and AIM are financed through private donors. That Simons would have had a successful career in mathematics is hardly in doubt. That he chose to go into finance is an interesting turn of events. We in the math community directly benefit from his choice.

  3. a direct quote from “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” (Sloan Wilson 1955):

    [in a conversation between the main character (successful business man) and his adult daughter]

    “Are you talking about money?”
    “In part.”
    “I’m not interested in money. I think it’s a bore.”
    “No sane person is interested in money as such,” he said.

    “Susan, what’s a million dollars?”
    She shrugged.
    “Go on – think about it and tell me.”
    “A lot of money, I guess.”

    “You’d be surprised how little. A million dollars is about half a small hospital. With a million dollars you could give all the children in a place like, say, South Korea, maybe one cupful of milk at each meal for two days. It isn’t much, really, when you come to think of it, yet it represents the entire life earnings of about six average men – the whole working energy of six men during their entire lives. A million dollars is a lot of things. It’s a college education for maybe a hundred boys. It’s a home of their own for maybe seventy-five people. It’s a pursuit plane for the Army, it’s a new television station, but one thing it’s not: it’s not something any intelligent person can consider a bore. ”

    “You’re saying it’s power,” she said. “I’m not interested in power, either.”
    “Of course not. Neither am I. I wasn’t trying to say money is power. I’m saying that when you hold a million dollars in your hand, you are in a very real sense holding the entire working lives of six men, and you better be damn careful what you do with it!”

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