Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gates Foundation should invest its money where its heart is

...At present, the Gates Foundation invests solely around trying to maximize returns, arguing that the more it makes, the more worthy projects it can fund. That means it has steered its dollars toward a number of companies that seem to undermine the good work it does with its programs: Exxon/Mobil, in which the foundation has $293 million, has been the prime global funder of institutes and individuals who deny global warming; mortgage company Ameriquest has been sued repeatedly for predatory lending; Tenet Healthcare has paid more than $1.5 billion in settlements for fraud, kickbacks and patient-care lapses.

...The socially responsible Domini 400 Social Index, for instance, has outperformed the S&P 500 on an annual risk-adjusted basis since its 1990 inception. Last year, 32 pension funds from six continents representing $2 trillion in combined assets agreed to place analysis of environmental, social and governance issues at the core of their investment approaches.

I'm going to have to check those Domini numbers.
From the Seattle Times