Themselves Nobel Prizes over the 108 years of its existence, it has become so boring that nothing but a little curiosity — well, and who will grab 1.5 rubles of “lemon” for American rubles this time? - do not cause. Another thing is strange: where does the Nobel Committee take such money from every year? He does not produce oil, does not boil steel, does not even trade in drugs, and he does not run out of money like the “irredeemable penny”.
Nothing strange, you say. Nobel left a huge legacy of interest on this capital and give out bonuses. No matter how wrong! About half a century ago, only one puff remained from the legacy of Nobel.
For its time, Nobel was a very wealthy man, but today he would not even get into the first hundred oligarchs according to the Forbes magazine. In modern money, he left about $ 450 million for his own premium - the average capital by today's standards of an investment fund. Such funds in the world for the 108 years of the Nobel Prize were tens of thousands. They were established, swelled up like soap bubbles, and burst. And only the Nobel Foundation continues to regularly issue annual dividends in the form of millions of rewards. The case of a unique, second such fund in world financial practice has not yet been observed.
The fund is managed by a board of seven directors and two vice-directors. All of them are outstanding scientists and respected people in Sweden. Executive directors are replaced extremely rarely. Since 1992, Michael Sulman has been in this position, who previously worked as director of the state budget in the Ministry of Finance and Deputy Secretary of State for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Sweden.
There were times when the collapse of the Nobel Foundation, it seemed, was inevitable. Alfred Nobel bequeathed to transfer his capital to Swedish government bonds and forbade clerks to use other financial instruments to build it. On the slope of Nobel's life, the profitability of bonds ranged from 4 to 5% per year. And for the payment of all premiums, 3% was enough. But after the world wars and the Great Depression, government papers depreciated by almost 5000%, and from the thirties, bonuses were already issued from the main stock of the fund.
The Nobel Prize was saved by Swedish banker Jacob Wallenberg, who took over the management of the fund’s finances in 1951. First of all, the banker violated the will of the deceased. Using connections in the government, he agreed to redeem the bonds, and invested cash in the American economy. In the United States, since Wallenberg, in parallel, agreed with the US Treasury that his investments in America would be exempt from taxes. Since then, American scientists for some reason are very lucky for the Nobel Prizes.
Of course, this was a flagrant violation of Nobel ethics, but the banker Wallenberg was indifferent, because he was making money. And if the American government was ready to buy the Nobel prestige for its scientists, then this prestige had to be sold at the highest possible price. After Jacob Wallenberg, only professionals dealt with the fund's financial management. Jacob was replaced by his brother Marcus, also a banker, and the latter was another Swedish banker Gustav Soderlund, who opened a gold mine for the foundation - real estate trading.
The board of directors of the fund does not manage investments itself, but entrusts this to specialists. To work for the fund, despite the small personal bonuses, considered the best financial heads honored. The very fact of managing the assets of the fund served as the best recommendation for their subsequent employment - in companies where remuneration for work begins with five-digit numbers. The fund holds the largest part of its capital in American (24% of the portfolio) and European (22%) securities, so it got into a very difficult situation with the beginning of the crisis.
However, for more than a hundred years he fell and not in such alterations. Therefore, there is no reason to fear that the faces of the new Nobel Prize winners in 2009 will be offensively grimacing, looking at the number in the check that the King of Sweden will hand over, and on the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm on the day of the December 10 award.