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The Gates Foundation's Hypocritical Investments

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And don't forget this point (which the authors should have made): this is our money that the Gates Foundation is playing with, money that allows them to reduce their tax obligations.

Foundation Money is money that should have been paid in taxes. So it's OUR money that's ruining public education. See Kenneth Saltman's The Gift of Education: Public Education and Venture Philanthropy

By Alex Park and Jaeah Lee

With an endowment larger than all but four of the world's largest hedge funds, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is easily one of the most powerful charities in the world. According to its website, the organization "works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives." So how do the investments of the foundation's $36 billion investing arm, the Gates Foundation Trust, match up to its mission? We dug into the group's recently released 2012 tax returns to find out.

Gates Foundation Says:

"[O]ur nutrition efforts focus on delivering proven interventions and developing better tools and strategies for providing pregnant women and young children with the foods and nutrients they need."

The Foundation's Trust invested in:

Coca-Cola $2.2 billion
McDonald's $871 million
Pepsico $7.8 million
Burger King $1.4 million
Yum! $823,000

Note: Investments include stock, bonds, and bank loans
Source: Investments: Gates Foundation 2012 Form 990.

The Gates Foundation did not respond to requests for comment; however, its investment policy says the the trust's managers "consider other issues beyond corporate profits, including the values that drive the foundation's work."

Bill Gates Says:

"As a businessman, I believe the free market fuels growth. Unfortunately, the market often fails to address the needs of the poorest."

The Gates Foundation Trust invested in:

Walmart More than $1 billion
Includes Walmart and Walmart de Mexico

Gates Foundation Says:

Bill and Melinda Gates "have defined areas in which the endowment will not invest, such as companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that they find egregious."

The Foundation's Trust Invested In:

GEO (private prison company) $2.2 million
G4S (UK-based private security company and operator of 19 juvenile detention facilities in the US) $2.4 million

DynCorp International (military contractor) $2.5 million

In its most recent annual report to investors, private prison company GEO group listed some risks to its bottom line, including "reductions in crime rates" that "could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences," along with immigration reform and the decriminalization of drugs. Military contractor DynCorp, meanwhile, has faced allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and even slavery from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

Gates Foundation Says

"The foundation believes that climate change is a major issue facing all of us, particularlyl poor people in developing countries. . . ."

The Foundation's Trust Invested in:

ExxonMobil $662 million
bp $17.8 million
Shell $16.3 million
ArchCoal $7.7 million
ConocoPhillips $7.6 million
Devon $6.3 million
FirstEnergy $5.6 million
EnergyFutureHoldings $5.5 million
Schlumberger $4.1 million
Baker Hughes $3.6 million
Duke Energy $$3.1 million
Cenovus $1.6 million
Indian coal producer $887,000
Chevron $822,000
Peabody Energy (coal) $6,000

— Alex Park and Jaeah Lee
Mother Jones





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