When Warren Buffett's right-hand man, Charlie Munger, read Atul Gawande's amazing piece about the cost of health care in The New Yorker this summer, he decided to do something to show his appreciation, the Oracle told Squawk Box today:
"My partner Charlie Munger sat down and wrote out a check for $20,000 to him and he's never met him, never had any correspondence with it, he just mailed it to the New Yorker and he said, `This article is so useful socially.' He says, 'Just give this as a gift to the — to Dr. Gawande.'"
Gawande has of course now had to go out of his way to say that he did not actually accept the money, that he donated it to Brigham and Women's Hospital Center, because of ethics, obviously, but before we dismiss this story altogether we think this idea ought to be given some consideration. Journalism is an industry in need of new ideas — why not try the Suggested Donation model like Radiohead and the Met have done? Seems fair. Oh, but then we'd have to write every single post on this blog about Gossip Girl.