Forward Thinking

How Wily Donald Sterling Beat These 5 Investments

By Dan Burns

Getty Images

(Reuters) — Donald Sterling bought the Los Angeles Clippers for 16 million and is set to sell the team for $2 billion.

That’s a 16,000% return or a lofty 16% a year.

Here’s a look at other investments he could have made at the time, and how much less he would have made.

Stocks

Since the start of 1981, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen about 1,315 percent, or 8.4 percent a year.

Including reinvested dividends, the S&P has delivered a total return of 1,509 percent, or 8.8 percent a year.

The Nasdaq Composite Index is up 1,994 percent, or 9.65 percent a year.

Bonds

The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index has risen 1,385 percent, or 8.5 percent a year.

Gold

Spot gold is up 113 percent, or just 2.3 percent a year.

Wine

Earlier this month, London-based Liv-ex said its Liv-ex Investables Index had gained 1,504 percent, or just under 11 percent a year, since its launch in 1988.

Real estate

New York City real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller says the average Manhattan apartment has gained just 5.75 percent a year in value over the 25 years he has tracked their prices.

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Rav Ovadia Yosef Was Provocative Bigot

By Aaron Magid

News of the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a towering religious and political figure in Israel, plunged millions into mourning.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Yosef “was imbued with love for Torah and his people.” President Shimon Peres cut short a meeting with Czech Prime Minister upon hearing of Rav Ovadia’s death. Ordinary people fainted with emotion and grief.

Even amid this outpouring, we should not forget Yosef’s true colors: He was a racist and inflammatory bigot.

It is true that Yosef was an instrumental and often lenient religious arbitrator throughout his decades-long career. He famously ruled that widows of Isreali soldiers who went missing in the 1973 Yom Kippur War should be allowed to remarry. When large number of Soviet Jews arrived in Israel in the 1970’s and it was unclear if they were really Jewish by traditional, rabbinic standards, Yosef found a way to ensure that they would be accepted as legitimate members of the Jewish community.

At the same time, we should not be blinded by his political or religious importance to his shameful discriminatory language. When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Yosef said black Americans brought the disaster on themselves.

“There are terrible natural disasters because there isn’t enough Torah study,” he said. “Black people reside there (in New Orleans) Blacks will study the Torah? (God said), ‘let’s bring a tsunami and drown them.”

The rabbi’s offensive talk was not limited to the African American community. In 2007, Yosef explained that some Israeli soldiers are killed in battle because they are not observant enough.

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Oberlin's Teachable Moment

By Corinne Ramey

Jewish students march against hatred at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Oberlin College is not the first place that comes to mind as a hotbed of racism and anti-Semitism.

Yet as an unsettling wave of hate has thrust the Ohio liberal arts school into the national spotlight, its Jewish community has spoken out and sought to use the incidents to build bridges across the campus.

Jews, who make up about a quarter of Oberlin’s student population, were stunned when swastikas appeared on campus building. But some saw an even greater physical threat to black and other minority students when a person dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit was allegedly sighted outside college’s Afrikan Heritage House.

“As a Jew, to see a swastika plastered across a building on campus is an incredibly traumatic moment,” Zachary Pekarsky, 22, former leader of the college’s Hillel group, told a campus rally this week. But it’s more complicated than that, he continued. “The vast majority of Jews have incredible privilege, and come from an incredible place of entitlement. I don’t want these two truths to contradict each other.”

The packed audience hollered and cheered.

The sighting of the alleged KKK figure was the latest in what the historically-liberal Ohio college has called “hate-related incidents.” They have included graffiti swastikas and the N-word as well as the phrase “whites only” written above water fountains. ATwitter feed was set up depicting college president Marvin Krislov dressed as Adolf Hitler.

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