Sunday, December 14, 2008

Local media mum as Duke’s endowment drops $1 billion

Last evening I posted Despite Duke endowment's $1B hit, Steel & Brodhead "very, very" positive. It includes a link to yesterday’s Triangle Business Journal story headed:

Duke endowment suffers $1B hit
Doesn’t that sound like a story media in the Duke/Durham area would pick on?

But I could find nothing about Duke’s huge endowment loss in today’s print editions of the Durham Herald Sun or the Raleigh News & Observer.

I also visited the Web sites of WTVD and WRAL. Nothing about the endowment loss at either site.

I read trough the list of news stories at both stations through Dec. 6, the day before Duke’s trustees began their most recent quarterly meetings. No headline suggested a story reporting the $1B loss.

I also found nothing concerning the loss when I searched the H-S and N&O achieves.

If I’ve missed something, please let me know.

The hit Duke’s endowment’s taken is an enormously important story not only for Duke and Durham, but for our entire Triangle region.

Hat tip: Ed in NY who called my attention to the TBJ story.


Anonymous said...

The Hurled Scum and N&O aren't in the business of reporting unless they can further their own leftwing agendas. They will both bend over backwards to protect Dook.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

The Research Triangle needs a first-rate newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Durham is a one-industry town. Duke pours money into local downtown redevelopment, office rentals, the Performing Arts center, etc.

Without Duke, and DUMC, Durham (now sans tobacco) is nothing.

Given that--and the amount of advertising Duke and Duke-related business likely buys from local media--how much influence might Duke exert over local coverage?

Certainly we barely see any coverage of the suits, and none at all about the serious charges made about Steel (though there have been several articles about him since the suits began--all favorable).

Is this the 800 pound elephant throwing its weight around to keep its PR image intact?

Anonymous said...

The TBJ story is based on a single anonymous source.

It's probably true, but maybe not.

I imagine the newspapers are looking for better sourcing.

Anonymous said...

In some ways, the endowment drops story is a non story at the moment. It's like monitoring your 401(k). It's probably down, too. And that's not good. But it doesn't matter that much unless you're about to start withdrawing money from it.

The real time to be concerned about an endowment's performance is at the end of the fiscal year in June.

No justice, no peace said...

"DUMAC's most recent quarterly report for fiscal year 2008 showed the endowment had increased by 6.2 percent-still a much more conservative gain than typical-but Executive Vice President Tallman Trask told The Chronicle in October that he expected much of that had been lost in the ensuing economic crisis." - Trask (12/2008)

"Duke's endowment has been one of the most successful among all U.S. universities. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, the endowment recorded a 6.2 percent increase in market value—this at a time when many comparable funds actually declined in value." - Brodhead (10/2008)

...MUCH of that (6.2%) about ALL of that and then some...


Presenting the 6/2008 results in 10/2008 without mentioning the 9/30 quarterly and 10/2008 monthly status is dishonest.

Both of these guys should be fired since they are intentionally misrepresenting the situation.

Both of these guys are on the Board.

This is not about the amount of the loses. It is all about the lack of transparency and dishonest approach used to report the results.

Can anyone trust anything that comes from the leadership at Duke?

Why would they?

It would also be interesting to know is any of the Duke funds had been invested with Bernard Madoff...