In the "Offshore Fund Scoreboard" (Special Report, Nov. 4), you must have made an error in your rating of GAM Emerging Markets Multi-Fund (rated C-). If you compare GAM Emerging Markets with Templeton's Emerging Markets (rated A), GAM has a superior statistic in each period covered: 17.02% for one year (vs. Templeton's 4.79%), 6.89% for three years (vs. -9.75% for Templeton), and -1.91% for five years (vs. -12.3% for Templeton). And GAM was rated "low" risk, while you gave Templeton a "high" risk rating.
Since the BusinessWeek rating is for a five-year, risk-adjusted performance, how can GAM, with a much superior performance, obtain a C- while Templeton gets an A? I have had investments in these two funds over a long period of time, and while I, as a long-term value-oriented investor, certainly subscribe to the Templeton philosophy, Templeton's fund has, in comparison with others, blundered in not living up to expectations (of being the masters in emerging markets).
Editor's note: The reader is correct. Because of a flaw in the way they were calculated, the BW ratings listed next to the funds did not accurately reflect the performance of some of the funds. The method will be adjusted before ratings are assigned in next year's Offshore Fund Scoreboard. This did not affect the other information in the tables. "The battle over a radical new plane" (Science & Technology, Nov. 25) provides a distorted view of Boeing Co.'s efforts to evaluate new technologies and bring new commercial airplanes to market. Our employees and our culture promote innovation and new ideas, fund exploration of alternative concepts and technologies, and encourage internal debate and discussion.
Through 10-for-10 successful product launches, we have dramatically changed the landscape of the industry and improved the public's ability to travel safely, conveniently, and economically. And we will continue to do so. Our success will be determined by the value we create for our customers, employees, communities, and shareholders.
President and CEO
Seattle The focus of "The new face of philanthropy" (Special Report, Dec. 2) was on wealthy individuals and how they spend their money on good causes. You overlooked an important group: their less affluent employees who volunteer valuable hours of service to building their communities, year after year.
Several modern-day philanthropists and the foundations they created shatter the stereotype of "cautious and unimaginative check-writing that dominated charitable giving for decades." Silicon Valley pioneers David Packard and William Hewlett, through their private family foundations, created and funded landmark conservation and environmental protection programs, saving hundreds of thousands of acres of land from development, starting in the 1960s.
The 1970s saw an improvement in funding for hospice care, provided in part by New Yorker Arnold Louis van Ameringen through the van Ameringen Foundation, and the establishment of the 911 emergency number, thanks to grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the generosity of the man who built Johnson & Johnson into the seventh-most-admired company in the world.
San Mateo, Calif.
Silicon Valley could use a few more generous souls. There are great needs for shelter and basic provisions that are heightened by the economic downturn here.
While philanthropy is praiseworthy in principle, your article could have looked more closely at how much of it really helps the poor. I suspect that many of the education, arts, and culture gifts are to elite institutions that service the upper class from which the philanthropists come and help to cement their social ties. [Such donations] are probably more typical than Bill Gates's efforts to improve health care in Third World countries.
New York I was reading "Latest laptops" (Annual Tech Buying Guide, Nov. 11) and considering which one would be appropriate to replace my desktop system. However, with a Toshiba Portege weighing 24.6 kg and an Apple PowerBook weighing 38.8 kg, I might as well wait until technology can bring us computers that are lighter than my 2-year-old son.
Editor's note: No need to wait. We erred in converting pounds to kilograms. The correct weight of the Toshiba Portege is 1.91 kg and the correct weight of the Apple PowerBook is 2.5 kg.