Matthew Bishop: China Is Rich, But Is It Charitable?

Over the holiday, I was catching up on some Big Think clips, and I came across the … interesting… clip from the Economist’s New Your Bureau chief Matthew Bishop where he discusses philanthropy in China.

What I found … interesting.. about the clip was that he seems to paint the picture that China, and its philanthropists, are having to become givers as part of an exercise whereby they can be more properly measured against the Bill Gates of the world.  Equally interesting is that, without having much idea of the organizations on the ground himself, he uses a conversation with Jet Li to paint the conditions on the group as opaque.. and a bit of a crap shoot.

Interesting to hear what an outsider has to say, and added proof that donors hoping to work in China are best to speak to people on the ground before making their investments.

Matthew Bishop is American Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief for The Economist. Philanthrocapitalism, his 2008 book (with Michael Green) on the business of philanthropy was described as “terrific” by the New York Times, and called “the definitive guide to a new generation of philanthropists who understand innovation and risk-taking and who will play a crucial part in solving the biggest problems facing the world,” by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“Economics A to Z”, the official Economist layperson’s guide to economics, was published in 2009. He is now writing a book about the current economic crisis, and what must be done to improve how capitalism works. He was previously The Economist’s London-based Business Editor. Matthew is the author of several Economist special survey supplements, including “The Business of Giving”, which looks at the industrial revolution taking place in philanthropy; “Kings of Capitalism”, an influential analysis of the private-equity industry; and “Capitalism and its Troubles”, an examination of the impact of problems such as the collapse of Enron in 2002 which highlighted many of the flaws in the system that led to the current crisis.

Before joining The Economist, Matthew was on the faculty of London Business School, where he co-authored three books for Oxford University Press. He has served as a member of the Sykes Commission on the investment system in the 21st Century. He was also on the Advisors Group of the United Nations International Year of Microcredit 2005. He has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

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