Listen to Hitting Left with guest Bill Ayers

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tough times for billionaire power philanthropists

Bradley on the ropes

This could be bad news for wing-nuts, voucher activists, and racist bell-curve theorists.

Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation, has been “hard hit” by investment losses the past two years and will need to reduce its grant-making next year, said president and CEO Michael Grebe. The Milwaukee-based foundation, which ranks first on The Business Journal’s most active Milwaukee-area foundations Top 25 list, saw its net assets decline by 43 percent, to $464.2 million, during 2008, according to the foundation’s year-end financial statements.

Gates Foundation goes into the loan business

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is doing more with its money than giving it away. It has been moving into investments, loans and loan guarantees aimed at furthering its programs.This according to according to a Seattle Times report, calling it a step that "could mark a shift from the strategy of the past several years in which it invested its endowment, or asset trust, solely with the goal of maximizing profit."

According to The Times:

The Gates Foundation came under fire in 2007 following a report that it was investing in companies contributing to health problems and other human suffering the foundation was working to alleviate through its grants. At the time, the Gates Foundation said it would not alter its approach to investing its endowment.

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