Monthly Notes

Philanthropy Notes: August 2013

Warren Buffett has allocated $2 billion worth of stock in his massive holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, making this the largest contribution he has made in his eight years of annual gifts to the largest charity in the world, according to reports. The new gift of 17.5 million shares is worth more than last year’s gift of 19.3 million because the price of the company stock has risen since 2012. To date, Buffett has donated 168 million shares to the Gates philanthropy, worth $19.4 billion at the current price.

President Obama has created a National Service Task Force to help federal agencies find new ways to squander tax dollars on efforts to radically transform America. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the group will be headed by Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and National Council of La Raza veteran Cecilia Muñoz, now director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The perpetually scandal-ridden AmeriCorps is part of CNCS, a federal “service” agency that doles out millions of dollars to left-leaning groups. “Representatives of 12 Cabinet agencies—from environment and energy to homeland security and labor—have 180 days to determine how they can use volunteers, how to evaluate the effectiveness and cost of such partnerships, and how those relationships can create a pipeline to employment for volunteers,” the newspaper reports.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) complained that he is “getting stonewalled” by New York University which refuses to cough up vital information he needs on compensation and financial assistance for top university officials. Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, launched a probe in the springtime after he learned that Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew accepted mortgage subsidies and a $685,000 parting bonus as an executive vice president at the school. The senator also investigated unusual spending at Harvard and Yale. NYU is “a nonprofit organization, they ought to act like a nonprofit organization,” he said. “They’ve got to justify their tax exemption.”

Hungarian immigrant Paul Soros, the older brother of radical philanthropist George Soros, has died at 87. He had reportedly been in treatment for cancer, renal failure, and Parkinson’s disease. Apart from a few grants here and there, such as a $55,000 grant in 1999 to People for the American Way, very little of the New York-based Paul & Daisy Soros Foundation’s giving was ideological in nature. The philanthropy focused on assisting new immigrants to the U.S. The elder Soros, an engineer, made his fortune as an innovator in the bulk shipping industry.


National Australia Bank Ltd. claims in a $230 million arbitration proceeding that Goldman Sachs Group broke industry rules in a transaction involving mortgage-related securities that went sour, the Wall Street Journal reports. Goldman disclosed the existence of the case in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Goldman packaged the mortgages and sold them to investors such as the bank. Exact details of the claim have not yet been made public.

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum, former senior vice president at CRC, writes and speaks widely…
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