Shakes continue among one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations. Iconic investor Warren Buffett announced his resignation as trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at a time of crisis at its top. The divorce of its two founders still echoes , and the ‘Oracle of Omaha’ is peppered with a tax avoidance scandal, involving most of the wealthiest in the country.
“My goals remain 100% linked to those of the foundation,” said Buffett, 90, in a statement also announcing that he has already donated half of all his Berkshire Hathaway shares to charities.
Buffett has contributed more than $ 27 billion to the charity over the past 15 years. He is one of three board members for the Gates Foundation, along with Bill and Melinda, who announced their separation last month after 27 years of marriage. Buffett did not name it as a reason for his resignation.
The famous investor has been embroiled in a ProPublica investigation into tax avoidance : Most American billionaires pay low tax rates relative to their fortunes. Buffett alleged that his contributions, worth 41,000 million dollars to five foundations, have saved him in taxes of just 16.4 million, or 0.004%.
“That’s because I have relatively little income,” Buffett said in the statement. “My wealth is tied almost entirely to my Berkshire shares, and Berkshire regularly reinvests the earnings to further grow its production, employment and profits. The income I receive from other assets allows me to live as I wish.” Still, he said it is “appropriate” for Congress to periodically review fiscal policy for charitable contributions, especially when certain donors become “imaginative” with their ways of avoiding payments.
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Buffett’s resignation from the Gates Foundation board marks another change in his long friendship with Bill. The Microsoft founder served on the Berkshire board, before announcing last year that he would be stepping down. Berkshire’s chief executive decided in 2006 to donate most of his estate to the Gates Foundation, in part because the couple do a “much better job” of running such charitable operations than Buffett says they could.
Gates has made the foundation a powerhouse for charitable giving, in part due to his position as the world’s fourth-richest person, with a fortune of $ 144.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The “carbine” of the boards
The divorce of his two boardmates has also put Buffett in an awkward position, a carbine that has to act as a tiebreaker for disagreements between the two exes.
“With just three board members, there was really a lot of attention paid to the role of Warren Buffett in the middle of that,” said Greg Witkowski, senior lecturer in nonprofit management at Columbia University, shortly after the divorce. “In an ideal configuration, they would have had more administrators.”
Mark Suzman, the foundation’s chief executive, told employees last month that he is in talks to strengthen “the long-term sustainability and stability of the foundation.” Suzman noted last month that no decision has been made on future actions to be taken, but added that Bill and Melinda have “reaffirmed their commitment to the foundation and continue to work together on behalf of our mission.”
Buffett has been reducing his commitments in recent years, although he cautions that he does not plan to retire fully yet. “Please understand that these comments are not a farewell,” the billionaire said in the statement. “I still like to be on the field and carry the ball. But it is clear that my game has already reached the discount.”
Leon Cooper was born and raised in Vancouver. As a Reporter for CryptoNewsMarket, Leon has contributed to several online publications including Dream House Publications and Granville Magazine. In regards to academics, Leon has got a Post Graduation Degree in Department Of Archaeology from The University Of British Columbia. As a Reporter for CryptoNewsMarket Leon Covers International Topics.