This is probablly the most expensive lunch: Chinese fund manager Zhao Dan Yang won the Buffett lunch bid for $2.1 million (International Herald Tribune). The proceeds benifit Glide foundation, a San Francisco based charity formerly supported by Warren Buffett former wife Susan Buffett (Susan passed away in 2005?).
My 2 cents
I was surprised by the amount initially. This amount is almost 3 times of last year winning bid. Perhaps because Buffett is getting older? Also Mr. Zhao must have significant personal wealth to pull off that, no small change for fund managers, because fund managers make money from fees and profit sharing (2-20 rule, I will write more about fund manager fee structure later).
There was other theory says that Mr. Zhao did this merely from marketing point of view. In other words, this is not his own money, he did it for the name of his hedge fund. It’s possible. Because Buffett is widely popular in China, potential clients may think Mr. Zhao is Chinese Buffett now that he is willing to pay that money to dine with Mr. Buffett.
There were also some reservations in the Chinese web space about this, some say Mr. Zhao could donate this money to the recent Sichuan earthquake victims. I think there are charity needs both in China and in the US, although US is a much richer country that China. But it did raise an interesing question (for the rich people): how to give away the money? To his/her favortite cause? To the most in need? The the ones cry loudest?