is Worth '15 Exxons' in Human Resources Israel
by Gil Ronen
In a "Globes" sponsored talk at a Tel Aviv Hotel, financier and philanthropist Michael Milken heaped praise on
He stated that in terms of assets,
Milken also spoke highly of Israelis' level of education, noting that 32% of Israelis are graduate students, and 56.5% of students are women. He also pointed out that
"Every single one of your research institutes is an oil well, of the kind that is never depleted," Milken told the audience. A drawback of the Israeli economy, he said, is the fact that too much of the wealth is in too few hands, too many of which are institutional.
"All global trends are operating in favor of the Israeli economy," Milken told the audience. "Let the human assets break through," he advised, "nurture them, and
Milken explained that in the human assets race,
Still, Milken advised caution against predictions based on present growth alone. He noted that the number of Elvis Presley impersonators has gone from 50 to 3,500 since his death, and that extrapolating from this could lead one to the unlikely conclusion that in 50 years, one out of three people will be an Elvis impersonator. The conclusion, he explained, is that the present growth rate is only true of the present.
Milken, who became very rich and very notorious as the "junk bond king" in the 1980s, served two years' jail time after being convicted of financial wrongdoing. He has devoted much time and money to charity over the past three decades. With an estimated net worth of around $2.1 billion as of 2007, he is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 458th richest person in the world.
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