Former Enron Trader John Arnold Is Going To Save The World

john arnold

The Wall Street Journal’s Brad Reagan has a monster profile of hedge funder and former Enron natgas trader John Arnold about his plan to change the way billionaires donate their money.

Arnold’s plan, Reagan writes, is to take on massive societal problems, like obesity and criminal justice reform, over the long haul, rather than focus on short-term giving.

Here’s one example of what it looks like:

…the Laura and John Arnold Foundation is bankrolling a $26 million nutrition study by Attia’s nonprofit, an effort that involves the use of metabolic chambers and that Attia likes to call “the Manhattan Project of obesity

Reagan also has a pretty funny description of Arnold himself:

Arnold, who turns 40 next year, is clean-cut and polite—he is the sort of man many Southern mothers hope their daughters will bring home, even if his net worth didn’t include nine zeroes. If you ran into him in one of the recreational soccer leagues where he has been known to play on the weekends, you would likely think he was an accountant or the manager of a rental-car agency, not a hedge-fund titan.

Anyway, a colleague of Arnold calls his plan the “Moneyball” approach to giving — using large volumes of data to better allocate charitable funds.

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