Philanthropy Notes: March 2014

Activists marching in North Carolina last month were asked to bring valid photo identification in order to participate in an NAACP-hosted protest against voter ID laws in Raleigh. Although the NAACP and other left-of-center groups argue that voter ID laws are racist and discriminate against poor and minority voters, the ID the NAACP was insisting upon was exactly the kind of ID that they would be required to present at a polling place.

As Hillary Clinton seems to be gearing up for a 2016 presidential run, Bill Clinton’s presidential foundation is clamping down on public access to papers from Mr. Clinton’s term as Arkansas governor, Washington Free Beacon reports. The former president donated his gubernatorial papers to the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) in 2003, and they are located at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in Little Rock. But the foundation, which owns the papers, is now denying all public access requests. “The documents could provide new insight into the early chapter of the Clintons’ political careers, as reporters take a second look at Hillary Clinton’s past in light of the information contained in the public materials of the Diane Blair collection. Hillary Clinton played a key role in her husband’s health care and education initiatives during his time as governor, from 1979 to 1981 and 1983 to 1992.”

Kriss Deiglmeier has become the San Francisco-based Tides network’s fourth CEO in four years, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. She replaces Gary Schwartz, the interim president of Tides who will return to his previous post as senior vice president at Tides. Deiglmeier comes to the extreme-left philanthropic network after serving as executive director of Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation. She refused to disclose her salary but her predecessor in 2012 earned $634,434 in total compensation from Tides Foundation and Tides Center, according to publicly available tax filings. Tides founder Drummond Pike left the network in 2010.

GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) that hurt customers by creating monopolies are great for business, Goldman Sachs asserts in a research report. “M&A that drives an industry toward oligopoly is the good kind,” according to the paper. “An oligopolistic market structure can turn a cut-throat commodity industry into a highly profitable one … because they simultaneously satisfy multiple critical components of sustainable competitive advantage—a smaller set of relevant peers faces lower competitive intensity, greater stickiness and pricing power with customers due to reduced choice, scale cost benefits including stronger leverage over suppliers, and higher barriers to new entrants all at once.”

Goldman Sachs Group and Deutsche Bank are quietly trying to exit the raw uranium trading business, a business few people even knew Goldman was involved in, Reuters reports. Over the past four years, the two banks have acquired low-grade stockpiles of the nuclear fuel ingredient (also known as yellowcake) larger than those held by Iran, and sufficient to operate China’s nuclear power generating facilities for a year. “Goldman’s uranium business can trace its roots back to an apartheid-era South African trading conglomerate that sold Iran its only known source of foreign yellowcake 35 years ago,” the wire service reports. “To this day, that uranium delivery underpins Iran’s disputed enrichment program, which western powers fear is aimed at developing atomic weapons, although Iran denies that.” But demand has dropped in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster in Japan and Goldman is trying to offload its nuclear trading desk, known as NUFCOR International Ltd.

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