10th January 2007

Gates Foundation Invests In Company Sued for Predatory Lending Practices

posted in Mortgage |

From a story in The Los Angeles Times on January 9th, 2007: Reporter Charles Piller broke the story today revealing that The Gates Foundation which is the largest philanthropic organization in the world and is chaired by Bill & Melinda Gates of Microsoft Corp fame, profits from companies which run counter to the foundation’s aims.

Bill Gates of MicrosoftIn January 2006, mortgage company Ameriquest Mortgage, a subsidiary of ACC CapitalHoldings Corp., settled a class-action lawsuit with 49 states and the District of Columbia where it was sued for predatory lending practices between 1999 and 2005.

The LA Times investigation also revealed that, in the Niger Delta, where the Gates Foundation funds programs to fight polio and measles – the Foundation has also invested more than $400 million dollars in companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp, and Chevron. These oil firms have been responsible for much of the pollution that many blame for respiratory problems and other illnesses among the local population.

The Gates Foundation also holds investments in sixty-nine of the worst polluting companies in the US and Canada, including Dow Chemical. It owns stock in pharmaceutical companies whose drugs cost far more than what most AIDS patients around the world can afford. Other companies in the Foundation’s portfolio have been accused of transgressions including forcing thousands of people to lose their homes.

Overall, the LA Times says nearly $9 billion in Gates Foundation money is tied up in companies whose practices run counter to the foundation’s charitable goals and social mission.

Nice Bill. Run your Foundation like Microsoft why don’t ya!

(link to audio and video report on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman)

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