Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday, 26 June 2006

Bill and Melinda and Warren talk in a question answer conference

I was startled a few years ago when I learned that Bill Gates and his wife Melinda had set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with funding that was almost beyond the comprehension of someone who is only moderately 'well off'. This morning I had another of those moments of startlement when I heard that 'The Sage of Omaha', Warren Buffett (the man behind Berhshire Hathaway, one share in which costs - well a lot!), is planning to give 85 per cent of his personal wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further its ends. I've read for some years that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are close friends, but this is a very public and wonderful example of how close that relationship and trust must be. Bill and Melinda have so far given a considerable proportion of his/their own wealth to their foundation and Mr Buffett's donation will roughly double the funds it has at its disposal from what I can gather. Here is a link to a live webcast where Bill and Warren talk before a [presumably] invited audience about what governs their charitable thinking (in case that no longer works, here is a link to a statement on the Foundation website by Bill and Melinda Gates). I know that some people think that great personal wealth is not necessarily a 'good thing' - I am most certainly not one of those people. I think it is quite wonderful that some very wealthy people (particularly in the US, and only partly because of their very sensibly-organised tax regime in this area) consider it not only a duty, but a privilege, to return to the wider world in a practical way some of the good fortune with which their lives have been blessed - and I am just listening to Melinda Gates talking about their gift to Warren of a copy of 'The Wealth of Nations'' by Adam Smith.
(thru, in turn thru QueerFilter.)

UPDATE: (Tuesday 27JUN06 10.10 BST) The New York Times today carries an article on Warren Buffett's donation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - it makes interesting reading:

'He gets particularly upset at his country club, he said, hearing members complain about welfare mothers getting food stamps "while they are trying to leave their children a more-than-lifetime-supply of food stamps and are substituting a trust officer for a welfare officer."

To widespread applause, he smiled and asked: "Is there anyone I forgot to insult?" '

- not only a savvy investor, but a wit as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to my comment area. Whilst all comment is welcome you are requested to respect the views of others. To read full terms for use of this facility, please visit my 'Terms of Use' section, linked to under the 'About this Blog' heading at top right of the blog. Note added 12JUL2010 - All comments will now be pre-moderated before they appear in this blog; this is a measure to prevent 'spam' commenting, which has become frequent of late. Thank you.