The Way We Live Now: giving it away, giving it away, giving it away now, in the words of Warren Buffett's favorite songsmiths. Billionaires are giving it back! Minus the cost of goats, art sales, and hedge fund taxes.
A shitload of billionaires have signed a pledge to give at least half their fortunes to charity, just to get Warren Buffett to stop sending them brochures about it. What do they care? They're still unimaginably rich.
The real winners: some poor people in Sri Lanka, probably. Not you. You better concentrate on more immediate concerns, like the pay cuts at your government job, or the deadly frugality of unpatriotic consumers, or how the revival of the art market would mean that now would be the ideal time to sell your Picassos, if you had any Picassos that you didn't order at Posters.com.
Whatever happens, these billionaires can rest assured that they can redouble their fortunes more easily than ever, thanks to the death of the New York hedge fund tax. Shit, if I lived in a billion-dollar golden castle perched upon a Waterford crystal nest of platinum pillows being serviced by sex robots and fed peeled grapes by nude hand models swaddled in a Superdome of hundred-dollar bills, I'd give half my money to charity too. But then again, I'm exceptional.