Yale University has become the latest to report steep losses in its endowment fund, topping the 22 per cent decline earlier announced by Harvard University. Yale's fund has fallen about 25 per cent since the start of the summer, reducing the fund to an estimated $17-billion (U.S.) from $22.9-billion.
Marketable securities fell 13.4 per cent from start of the fiscal year to the end of October - but the market deteriorated further in November and December. Plus, Yale president Richard Levin noted that it is difficult to know how much Yale has lost in investments that "are not traded on a daily basis and are difficult to value with precision," referring to private equity and real estate holdings.
Still, Yale sees a reason to celebrate these figures. "Thanks to the outstanding work of David Swensen and his colleagues in the Investments Office, our endowment has declined significantly less than market indices," Mr. Levin said in a letter.