Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Would you accept dirty money?

The article "Dirty Money?" asks if question the source of the funds is relevant in cases of anonymous donations.

There is quite a mystery surrounding the $81.5 million donated to fifteen colleges by a donor insisting upon complete anonymity. This mysterious donor has insisted that the recipient schools make no attempt to ascertain her identity.

Then Ms. Berman mad a comment which I found exceedingly absurd. "Any institution would want to be sure they're not accepting money that was earned criminally,". I do not understand why the source is of any concern to recipient school. Ms. Berman seems to be making some sort of moral hazard argument.

Is is really that absurd? First should anonymity be acceptable in the first place? Should the institution say that any source is acceptable then I guess it does not matter. What if it was not possible to asctertain the identity of the donar, would they accept the possibility that they might be accepting money from somebody as bad as Hitler? Should one not make any assumptions unless there is evidence that the money is tainted?

Hmmm! lot of questions. Any answers are welcome from any wise objectivists visiting this blog.