29 June 2006

Buffett to give $54b to charity

For regulars to my blog, you'll know that I don't hand out praise often. Usually, I'll be bagging something pretty hard.

Today I'm going to break with that, today and say a big, warm, "Are you out of your freaking mind?" to the great man, Warren Buffett.

Buffett, the world's second richest man, is giving the bulk of his fortune (about AUD$54 billion) away to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, making this easily the richest charity in the world today.

The Gates Foundation is probably best known for providing funds for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and polio - mainly ones that heavily affect third world countries.

But even though Buffett, regarded as something of a demi-god by his legion of fans, is a close mate of the Gateses, he has specified some pretty stringent conditions:

"Buffett's gift came with three conditions for the Gates foundation: Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and active in its administration; it must continue to qualify as a charity; and each year it must give away an amount equal to the previous year's Berkshire gift, plus another 5 percent of net assets. Buffett gave the foundation two years to abide by the third requirement."

Given that Gates himself resigned from the day-to-day operations of Microsoft last week to dedicate himself to the Foundation, this is probably an indication of how much work the Gateses have ahead of them in order to spend Buffett's money.

It is said that Buffett himself plans to become a trustee of the Foundation at some stage.

He is considered a great man by some - now there is no excuse for him to not be considered a great man by all.

As an aside, even without $54 billion, this leaves AUD$6 billion for him to play around with - leaving him about as wealthy as Australia's richest man, and notorious scientologist, James Packer.

I've gotta say, I'm stunned.

Read it here:

Buffett-Gates merger creates 60 billion dollar charity giant

Buffett to give $54b to charity - Business - Business - smh.com.au


Einzige said...

Look at the absolutely wonderful work being done by these "greedy, money-grubbing capitalists" and contrast it with the disgusting stuff with which most politicians concern themselves, ostensibly "in the public interest."

The mind boggles.

I am, in fact, inspired to write a blog posting to this effect in the upcoming weeks.

Dikkii said...

Bravo, Einzige.

Hope you do - I'll read it.

If politicians gave a stuff about the public interest, they would have perhaps done the following in Australia:

1. Apologised to Aboriginal Australia for the Stolen Generation.
2. Provided more funding to fix dysfunctional Aboriginal communities and not make excuses about so-called "welfare dependency".
3. Legalised gay marriage and dismantled discriminatory estate planning laws.
4. Taxed religions the same as everyone else.
5. Acknowledged that as signatories to the UN charter of human rights, we have to process potential refugees as though they were potential refugees.

I could continue, but I won't.

Anonymous said...

This will probably expose my deep ignorance concerning Australian politics, but, little Packer is a scientologist? Anyone know what enlightenment level he's achieved? Is he OTIII yet? Does he know the terrifying truth about Xenu?

Dikkii said...

Yeah, James "Baby Mogul" Packer is a scientologist.

Given that you get up the Dianetic ladder pretty much through celebrity, I'd say that he'd be fairly highly placed.

Xenu? LOL.