Addison Duling

Kenneth Griffin: Famous Financial Executive

Being a business major myself, I’ve always been interested in what makes successful people tick.  Seeing how they became successful, and the work that was required to travel down that path.  Feel like it’s inspirational for people like me, in hopes that someday I’ll be able to echo the achievements of someone like Ken Griffin.

Kenneth Griffin started his first investment fund with money he gathered from family and friends. He took this $265 million and made a profit by shorting the stock market crash of 1987. One thing made Griffin different from the many other fund managers that were investing at that time: Kenneth Griffin was a student at Harvard University who was trading in his dorm room in between classes. Griffin graduated from Harvard University in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree.

Frank C. Meyer of Glenwood Capital noticed the success that Griffin was having in the investment industry. After Griffin’s graduation, Meyer gave him $1 million. He was expecting Griffin to provide him with a sizeable return on his investment, but he was surprised to learn that Griffin managed to offer him a 70 percent profit.

Founder and CEO of Citadel LLC

On November 1, 1990, Griffin’s next step was to found Citadel LLC in Chicago, Illinois with $4.2 million. Citadel LLC consists of at least three different entities, including the following:

Citadel – The asset manager
Citadel Securities – A liquidity provider for the capital markets
Citadel Technology – A solutions provider for investment management technology

Griffin’s hedge funds are amongst the largest and most lucrative funds in the industry. The company has $14 billion in assets, and Griffin earned several billions of dollars from his involvement with the company. To be exact, his net worth has been estimated to be equal to $5.3 billion.

Forbes 400

Griffin’s financial successes landed him on several lists of the wealthiest people in America. One is the Forbes 400 list of 2003. At 34, he was the second-youngest person to be placed on this list with a net worth that was estimated to be $650,000. In 2014, Griffin’s rank on the Forbes 400 increased when he became the 89th richest person in America with a net worth of $5.5 billion.

Political Interests

Griffin has also offered his time and money to benefit causes that are outside of the investment arena. He is a “Reagan Republican” who believes that large government will not lead to prosperity and has donated large sums of money to Republican causes and candidates. He broke records with his $2.5 million donation to GOP candidate for governor Bruce Rauner. In total, Griffin donated $3.7 million to Rauner’s campaign.

The Importance of Education

Griffin serves as director of the Chicago Public Education Fund. He also partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to open charter school Woodlawn High School. According to Griffin, the future of the United States depends on public education. In February of this year, he gave $150 million to Harvard University to benefit students in need of financial aid.

The Arts

Griffin is also interested in the arts. For this reason, he donated $19 million to the Art Institute of Chicago. A Cezanne painting and a Degas bronze sculpture currently on display at this school belong to Griffin.


When the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago needed $38.2 million to build a new chapel, Griffin donated $11 million toward the venture. The chapel bears the name of Griffin’s grandparents and is known as “The Gratz Center.”

The Laurene Powell Jobs Effect

Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Internet mogul Steve Jobs,  is fast becoming a dynamic American business woman. She was recently ranked 29th on Forbes World’s Most Powerful Women list for 2014.

Laurene Jobs shares a philosophy espoused by many people, including Oprah Winfrey, that we are here on Planet Earth to do as much as we can for as many as we can as often as we can as quietly as we can.

As co-founder of Emerson Collective, Jobs works tirelessly to advance this entities mission dedicated to social entrepreneurship, immigration reform, educational advancement and social justice.  The fact that this organization maintains a non-tax exempt status acts as a shroud allowing philanthropic funding to occur behind the scenes as opposed to foundations which, by law, must disclose all funding sources and expenditures.

This unsung, private, non-publicity seeker was recently touted for her endeavors to insure Emerson’s capacity to channel investments and grants for educational improvement and to focus on teachers and their efforts in classrooms around the globe.

Founded in 1997, College Track is an outgrowth of Emerson. This after-school program focuses on low-income high school youth and their dreams to pursue a college education. The primary goal of College Track is to assist undocumented, foreign-born young people who are otherwise deemed ineligible for federal and state scholarship and tuition assistance programs.

Ms. Jobs serves as a patron of Dream Act, an ordinance designed to provide a legal pathway for these aforementioned youth.  She is credited with having tapped the talents of documentary film giant, David Guggenheim to bring this issue to center stage via a 30-minute presentation entitled “The Dream Is Now” that is available for online viewing.

As a champion of African causes, Laurene Jobs accompanied Hollywood legend Ben Aflack to The Congo and later visited Botswana to further educational opportunities and life-betterment.

As a stepping stone to College Track, New Schools Venture Fund , patronized by Ms. Jobs,, has a goal to close the achievement gap for English as a Second Languaage students at the elementay and middle school level. NSVF assists educators to use grading online software and with the development and implementation of cyberspace teaching tools.

Ms. Jobs’ seat on the Udacity Advisory Board stands as one more proof of her dedication to education.  Udacity is one of many college online programs. According to 2012 statistics, 42 percent of the student body was composed of U.S-born citizens.

On the political scenario, Laurene Powell Jobs is quickly becoming highly-regarded and recognized on The Hill and in other Washington, D.C., sites for her sanctioning of Democratic initiatives including Obamacare and Obama Immigration Reform.  According to Politico, Ms. Jobs is a super-PAC donor for the “Ready for Hillary” pre-presidential campaign activities. Official records indicate that she recently made a maximum $25,000 contribution to this effort.

During a Spring 2013 interview with Brian Williams,  Ms. Jobs spoke about immigration issues and their impact on the future of applicants qualified for  Dream Act assistance. At one point, Ms. Jobs voiced comments made by an un-named lawmaker who said he could not support any policy that would have denied his grandparents the right to immigrate into the American, “The Land of Opportunity.”

1984 Gets New Adaptation

People who are fans of George Orwell most likely know about his cautionary book called 1984. I first read it when it was gifted to me by Sergio Lins Andrade. The story centered around a society run by an organization that controls every aspect of a person’s life, including his thoughts. Even though the year of 1984 has long arrived and passed, the issues are still relevant to this day. It is relevant enough to create an updated adaption for the big screen. There has been another adaptation of 1984 released in 1984. It starred John Hurt in the role.

Paul Greengrass is set to direct the new adaptation. The unfortunate thing about this project is that there are plenty of movies that are coming out with similar themes. The common theme with the story is about an oppressive society in the future which is being rebelled against by one person who inspires others. By now, this type of story has been done over and over. There are also many other series that have similar premises. One of them is Divergent, which is getting another installment. Many people know about The Hunger Games series as well.

However, there is still a chance that certain work will be done with the story in order to make it stand out.

Beauty Queen, Miss Honduras and Sister Found Dead

Maria Sofia and her sister disappeared last Thursday after a birthday party in Santa Barbara, 200km west of the capital Tegucigalpa. The main suspect is the fiance of her sister, Plutarco Ruiz, who was arrested Tuesday.

Maria Jose, named Miss Honduras last April, was due to fly to London on Wednesday to participate in the Miss World pageant . She was found dead alongside her sister on the bank of river Aguagual, near the border with Guatemala. “We can confirm 95% that this is them,” said the chief of police, Leandro Osorio.

The bridegroom, Plutarco Ruiz, killed them the night of the kidnapping, after a party at a facility outside of Santa Barbara. “It seemed strange that she did not return home with her car,” said their mother, Teresa Muñoz, who reported their disappearance to the police on Saturday. It was sad to hear the end result, especially when Marc Sparks read about it.

“We found the murder weapon and the vehicle that was used to transport the bodies,” said the investigator.

Music Artists Losing Money

Piracy is a growing issue, especially in today’s culture. iTunes is slowly fading away and Spotify as well as other “free music sites” are becoming more and more popular. An experiment was done when Taylor Swift’s new album was removed from Spotify founder Daniel Ek are wanting fans to pay for music again.

Can’t the music artists afford this? They are the millionaires after all, but us? Everyone likes free music. Why is this being taken away from us?

Country singer Jason Aldean is also removing his newest album off Spotify. One man quoted, “Spotify isn’t the enemy, piracy is the enemy.” I couldn’t agree more with this fact. However, this does not seem to be stopping people from illegally downloading this music. BigChampaign, a company that oversees illegal downloads with support from Slow Ventures, has taken note of 1.1 million downloads that have been made from the song “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. Ek state that piracy doesn’t pay artists a penny and eventually hurts their finances. Will people stop the downloading or will it continue to build over the years? Piracy still remains a growing issue and a hot topic in todays new.

Aaliyah Biopic Fails

Aaliyah was a very popular artist in the late nineties, early 2000s. According to CNN, her life was brought to an abrupt end in August 2001 when the plane she was on crashed in the Bahamas. It was later stated by investigators that the plane had been overloaded with luggage and was the reason behind the accident that killed nine people.

The news was devastating. A beautiful, young 22 year old talent taken away far too soon. Lifetime decided they wanted to tell this story. I watched the biopic with my friend Jared Haftel when it aired November 15, it was clear that this would receive negative reactions from the media with the Duke Chronicle being all over it to voice their opinions. Aaliyah’s family made it quite clear that they were in no way involved in this project.

This is probably the main reason the small screen film failed. The creators had no rights to any of the singers songs and without her family giving the inside story, producers and writers just had to use basic facts. Hard to enjoy a movie without the inside knowledge. Lifetime tried their best, but nothing new was revealed in the late singer’s life. Overall, it definitely did not make her fans happy, if anything it just infuriated them and her family and friends.

Bryan Cranston Enters The World of Children’s Books With “You Have to F***ing Eat”

It’s been a little over a year since “the one who knocks” left television screens woth the conclusion of AMC’s Breaking Bad, but now, Heisenberg himself, Bryan Cranston is trying his hand at something new: adult-themed children’s literature.
Earlier this week, the audio version of “You Have to F***ing Eat”, the much anticipated follow up to former Rutgers’ professor Adam Mansbach’s 2011 smash hit “Go the F*** to Sleep” became an international sensation (some may recall that Samuel L. Jackson lent his inimitable voice to that audio). This time, it’s Cranston’s turn to voice the exasperated adult trying to convince his young child to do something simple.


“The bunnies are munching on carrots, the lambs nibble grasses and bleat, I know you’re too hungry to reason with, but you have to f***ing eat,” begins Cranston’s narration in an exclusive 37 second audio clip released on YouTube on Wednesday. If the success of “Go the F*** to Sleep” is any indication, the newest addition to Mansbach’s repertoire is sure to be a viral success as well. The talk around the offices at CipherCloud is certainly positive. The book version alone reached number one on Amazon six months before it was even released, and led to several parodies over the course of it’s run as a web sensation.

Officer Involved in Darrien Hunt Slaying Had Body Cam Turned Off.

The Saratoga Springs Police Department has come under fire for their involvement in the shooting death of young Darrien Hunt. As with all on the job shootings, police officers are put under immense scrutiny in order to verify that their weapon firing was warranted. In an attempt to keep police officers honest, as well as to assuage the masses of citizens in their city, the police department decided to put body cameras on their officers. In theory this is a great way to ensure the truth of an event gets recorded. The only problem occurs when they are mysteriously turned off, and not operational during the time of a slaying.

The shooting of Darrien Hunt has sparked civic outrage all across the country and it took center stage in Saratoga Springs when 30+ people gathered to protest the departments handling of the situation. Protesters wore bulls-eyes on their backs and hoisted signs that pleaded with the officers not to ‘shoot them in the back’, as Darrien Hunt had been. Protesters also wore signs demanding justice for the slain man. Mark Ahn is curious to see what happens with the rest of this story.

Details came out via police reports given tot he attorney representing Hunt’s family, showing that the police officers involved did not have their camera on. Police Chief Andrew Burton corroborated this fact by stating that no footage from the shooting had been submitted as part of the case. City spokesman Mr. Owen Jackson also stated that the camera was “Not turned on at the time of the shooting.”

When You Think McDonalds Do You Think Bubblegum

When you think about McDonald’s do think about bubblegum? How about broccoli? Does that create an image for bubblegum? I would think very few people would put either of these images together. Apparently McDonald’s second thought on this new offer to attract kids doesn’t think so either. The children were confused by the taste and chief executive of McDonald’s has ‘nixed’ the plan.

The plan to offer broccoli shaped bubblegum came about when McDonald’s was accused of distracting kids in poor neighborhoods. A study was done at Arizona State and the University of Illinois regarding fast food chains and the toys they offer in their kid’s meals. The study showed the fast food restaurant offered toys in their kids meals for black neighborhoods and in white neighborhoods the ads were more about green salads. The results for income based areas were the same.

The trouble with targeting these areas in this manner only increases the risks of those residents eating more unhealthy foods. The fast food industry says they can control portion sizes, but not how much their customers actually eat. That is why there is a call from development companies like Status Labs to regulate the marketing/PR efforts of this fast food company’s use.

Wal-Mart Workers Stage Sit In Protest

Employees of a Los Angeles area WalMart staged an in-store sit down strike. Their demand was for a more fair wage from the company that has a revenue of over $400 billion a year. Most WalMart employees make less than $25,000 yearly.

Workers were heard chanting things such as “Stand Up, Live Better! Sit Down, Live Better!”. The workers are looking for a substantial pay increase from an average $8 an hour to $15 per hour. The Los Angeles area store has reportedly around 30 workers participating in the strike. Brazil citizens like Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez understand the frustration shown from underpaid workers. It has also been reported that there are around 60 WalMart workers from across California taking part in the sit ins.

The strikes ended with 23 arrested, according to police. That hasn’t deterred rumored plans that employees at over 1,600 WalMarts are planning a Black Friday strike.