All you can eat Buffet

Tuesday 27 June 2006

A news story that sounds like the Onion but is not: Warren Buffet giving most of his money away... to Bill Gates. I understand the notion of giving huge sums of money away. And I think Bill Gates is doing great stuff with his Gates Foundation. But isn’t there something to be said for diversity? The $32B that Buffet is giving to the Gates Foundation could create a really big foundation all by itself (as big as the mighty Gates Foundation is now). It could do similar work to the Gates Foundation if it wanted to, but could go in a different direction if it was important to. The rich get richer I guess. The good news is that the Gates Foundation is using the money to do good work.


Bill Mill 8:35 AM on 27 Jun 2006

Are you sure Gates' foundation is doing good things? link.

name 9:57 AM on 27 Jun 2006

They were on Charlie Rose last night, and Buffet said that he'd boon looking at the various charities for years. He said that he like the approach that the Gates Foundation takes with it's money--it researches and investigates several options (spending lots of money in the process), then picks the most pragmatic.

petrilli 9:59 AM on 27 Jun 2006

I think the #1 reason that Warren chose to give to the B&M Gates Foundation was that he understands how hard it is to manage a foundation of that size. $30B is a gigantic amount of money, and dwarfs just about everything short of the United Nations. Managing that kind of money and being effective is critical.

The history of Berkshire-Hathaway is one of efficiency of management and the understanding of capital. I don't think his decision to give the money to the Gates Foundation is any different than how he's approached any other problem. Find intellegent, trustworthy people who know what they're doing and give them the money to make a difference.

Kevin Dangoor 11:03 AM on 27 Jun 2006

Note also that the money comes with the string attached that either Bill or Melinda must still be working directly with the foundation. Warren is putting specific faith in those folks to manage the giant sum involved...

Dan Schwarz 2:29 PM on 27 Jun 2006

I heard a Slate podcast this AM on this subject; it noted that Mr. Buffet, value conscious as always, would rather leverage the existing administrative infrastructure of the Gates' foundation than spend his money setting up and maintaining a separate foundation. Makes sense to me.

Richard Schwartz 3:03 PM on 27 Jun 2006

Buffet knows that lots of people trust him to invest their money because he's very good at investing, so it makes perfect sense for him to seek out someone who is very good at giving money away and trust him to do it. Buffet and Gates have been friends for 15 years. Gates is 25 years younger, a very very hard worker, and very very smart. Buffet knows that Gates will do whatever it takes to become very, very good at giving away money. Who else can he really trust more than a person who is already facing the necessity of giving away similar amounts of his own money?

Jim Lebeau 5:25 PM on 27 Jun 2006

To help put things in perspective

David Boudreau 12:57 AM on 28 Jun 2006

The Gates Foundation itself should be diverse enough- this is wonderful news, and I think the Parable of the Talents explains the idea quite well in Matthew 25:14 - 30. Praise be to Gates and Buffet! I just hope everyone still calling Gates "evil" to get a reality check or show a little more respect. They likely have more righteousness in their left pinkies than just about anyone else's got in his whole body, considering all the good done in the world by the end of the day.

Marshel 12:36 AM on 1 Jul 2006

I think it's really good that Gates foundation is really doing nice work and the money that Buffet is gonna give that will also be used in good deeds and for good cause. Those who need help need not to wait anymore!

albert 1:03 AM on 2 Jul 2006

Oh yes, sure, and everyone giving 1 dolar should use half of it to create its own fundation, yeah right. Can't you see that it's better to channel the money through an established and successful one?

Madison 8:10 AM on 6 Jul 2006

But the latest news i heard was this..................about Bill Gates, so wat's he gonna do with this huuuuuuuuuuge amount of money????

Alrighty. So we lose Scoble, we lose BillG (in two years) from Microsoft. One of my community mentor, Olivier Ribet, ...

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