Wednesday, August 4, 2010

U.S. Billionaires Pledge to Give Half Away

The Guardian reported:

The world of philanthropy got a huge financial boost today as more than 30 American billionaires pledged to give away at least half of their fortunes to charitable causes, signing up to a campaign launched by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

In an unprecedented mass commitment, top figures lent their names to the "giving pledge", an initiative founded last month to encourage America's richest families to commit money to "society's most pressing problems". The pledge is not a legally binding contract but is described as a moral commitment.

On the list are:

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor New York
Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway
Barry Diller, media mogul
Larry Ellison, Oracle
Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO
Barron Hilton, hotel magnate
George Lucas, Star Wars series
Peter G. Peterson, Blackstone Group
Boone Pickens, energy/water
Julian H. Robertson, Jr.
David Rockerfeller, banker
David M. Rubenstein, Carlyle Group
Ted Turner, media mogul
Sandy Weill, former CitiGroup CEO

Warren Buffet is giving half of his $47 billion fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is largely orientated towards tackling disease in developing countries. This leads us to Hillary Clinton's State Department. Not long ago Hillary stated at the Peter G. Peterson Institute:

Aid chases need, investment chases opportunity.

She has a group of wealthy philanthropists to woo. The question is how many tax dollars will match those of the uber wealthy?