Stan van Wingerden

468 karmaJoined Nov 2022


Thank you for the explanation & references, all three points make sense to me!

Thanks, Michael & Sjir, for writing this exhaustive report! The donation distribution is fascinating, and I loved reading your reasoning about & estimation of quantities I didn't know were important. I'm glad GWWC has such a great giving multiplier!

After reading the summary & skimming the full report & working sheet, I've got three questions:

1. Does the dropping of the top 10 donors influence the decision on which groups to target? I think the reasoning to drop their 27% of donations from the giving multiplier is clear, but it's not obvious to me that they should also be dropped when prioritizing, and I could not find this in the report. (You mention the multiplier is not the only thing that influences which groups to target, of course. To me the overall distribution seems to imply running a top-100 or top-200 survey could be useful in increasing the multiplier somehow, and this argument would be about twice as strong with the top 10 included vs without.)

2. Why did you choose the counterfactual as "what would have happened had GWWC never existed"? I think it's somewhat plausible that the pre-2020 pledgees would still have donated 10% of their income from 2020 onward, had GWWC existed from 2020 onward in a very minimal form. This is about ~35% of the total donations, so this also seems a relevant counterfactual.

3. Similar to 2, I also didn't quite get how you dealt with which GWWC year gets to count the impact from past pledges. It would seem off to me if both GWWC 2020-2022 and GWWC 2017-2019 get to fully count the donations a 2018 pledge-taker made in 2022 for their multipliers, although both of them definitely contributed to the donations, of course. How did you deal with this? Maybe this is addressed by the survey responses already?

EA-adjacent: Silicon Valley Bank has just collapsed after a bank run, as per Bloomberg. (A more in-depth explainer by Matt Levine can be found here.) The California Department of Financial Protection has intervened, citing both liquidity and solvency issues. (Basically these are, respectively,  how much money you have ~now vs the money you owe~now , and how much you have in total long-term vs how much you owe in total long-term).

Note that this is not relevant & actionable for most people reading this, that's why I put this in shortform. 

I hope the damage ends up being minimal and all depositors[1] get 100% of their money back (but this is not certain due to the cited solvency issues) and I hope all affected orgs manage to pay their employee salaries etc. in time[2]. I further hope no EA orgs are affected. (But if so, we shouldn't panic: they're probably well aware & taking action at this point, and further uncertainty, chaos or doubt would not help them at all.)

  1. ^

    Deposits up to 250k are insured, meaning they are guaranteed by the FDIC. This is a small minority of overall deposits ($8B guaranteed/insured vs $165B uninsured). As for the uninsured deposits, what % depositors get back is anyone's guess.

  2. ^

    Payment accounts at SVB are (presumably) also affected.

That's an interesting link & useful side note, thanks for sharing!

Ah, I see -- I'll edit it a bit for clarity then
Edit: should be better now

A tangentially related point about example 1:  Wow, it really surprises me that crypto exposure wasn't hedged!  
I can think of a few reasons why those hedges might be practically infeasible (possibilities: financial cost, counterparty risk of crypto hedge, relationship with donor, counterparty risk of donor). I take your point that it'd be appropriate if these sorts of things got discussed more, so I think I will write something on this hedging tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration! 

It refers to a part of the text that was removed after receiving feedback that it would be better if we just stuck to the facts, given all the uncertainty. (Charles' comment is one example of this, we got some more elsewhere)