Bill Gross and Carl Icahn got into a verbal boxing match about philanthropy last week. Their arena: Twitter.
Bloomberg News reported that PIMCO co-CIO Gross landed the first punch, telling billionaire investor Icahn to get off his Apple jeremiad and spend more time on philanthropy.
Icahn jabbed back, urging Gross to join him in the Gates-Buffett-inspired Giving Pledge, whereby ultrawealthy families promise to give away half their fortunes to charity.
Gross then appeared to get in the final jab, telling a CNBC interviewer that he and his wife had committed to giving away all their money before they die. He invoked 19th century steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who maintained that the wealthy were obligated to use their money to improve society.
The contretemps came just as Gross published his November investment outlook in which he excoriated 1% “scrooges” and called for “an equitable rebalancing of personal income taxes, capital gains and carried interest.”
Icahn, who has a net worth of some $15 billion, was an early signatory to the Giving Pledge.
Gross, whose personal worth is estimated at $2 billion, has endowed a foundation with nearly $300 million and raised money for other charities by selling parts of his stamp collection, according to Bloomberg.
Benefactors of the William and Sue Gross Family Foundation include Columbia University, Doctors Without Borders and the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum, which is building a 12,000 square-foot stamp gallery in Gross' name.
Check out PIMCO’s Gross Calls for Tax Hike on Rich, Laments 1% ‘Scrooges’ on ThinkAdvisor.