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Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Gates Makes Largest Donation Since 2000 With $4.6 Billion Pledge (bloomberg.com) 163

From a report: Bill Gates made his largest gift since the turn of the century, giving away Microsoft shares that accounted for 5 percent of his fortune, the world's biggest. The billionaire donated 64 million of the software maker's shares valued at $4.6 billion on June 6, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing released Monday. While the recipient of the gift wasn't specified, Gates has made the majority of his donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity he and his wife use to direct their philanthropic efforts. It's the largest gift of Microsoft shares that Gates has made since 2000. The 61-year-old gave away $16 billion worth of Microsoft shares in 1999 and $5.1 billion a year later, according to calculations by Bloomberg.
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Gates Makes Largest Donation Since 2000 With $4.6 Billion Pledge

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  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @09:02AM (#55016609) Homepage Journal
    I make $55k doing IT support in Silicon Valley. What am I doing wrong?
    • You're doing it in Silicon Valley.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      (1) You are doing IT support. Bill did business manipulations around IP ownership. Not the same thing.
      (2) You are asking Slashdot for foresight. If we knew what to do, it would be too late. Bill figured it out on his own.
      (3) You live in Silicon Valley. One can live comfortably on $55k elsewhere.
      (4) I don't know. All I have to go on is what you said.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @09:08AM (#55016651) Homepage Journal

    He still controls all of that money, but now he doesn't have to pay taxes on it.

    • Mod this guy up!

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by MightyYar ( 622222 )

      He didn't pay taxes on it before, either. When he dies, the funds stay with the Foundation instead of being part of his estate.

      • You need to learn some economics. By donating the stock, he's gifted it pre-capital gains tax. Now, it's going to get cashed out by a tax exempt organization that can then spend it back on operating costs that likely go back to Bill via exempt or at least otherwise reduced taxes... likely in a country with little oversight on these things.

    • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @09:29AM (#55016827) Homepage
      They publish annual reports of where the money goes, and independent auditor reports. It's not like he's spending it on oil paintings of himself. https://www.gatesfoundation.or... [gatesfoundation.org] https://www.gatesfoundation.or... [gatesfoundation.org]
    • by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @09:42AM (#55016949)

      You think he's going to buy a yacht with it?

      You think he's gonna buy hookers with it?

      Why are you people so bent out of shape?

      • I think he's going to promote excessively strong IP law in developing nations with it, to a degree that will basically result in them being wholly owned by corporate interests when the first major health crisis comes along that requires patented medication.

    • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @09:48AM (#55016999) Homepage Journal

      He still controls all of that money, but now he doesn't have to pay taxes on it.

      He didn't pay any taxes on it before. You don't pay taxes on unrealized gains. Now, he's made it so that he'll never realize any gains on that stock, and so that he can't spend it on himself, but only on charitable efforts. By any reasonable definition of the word, that is "giving it away". The most you can argue is that until the Gates Foundation (assuming that's where it went) spends it on fighting malaria or whatnot, it hasn't actually been given away yet. But he's moved it to where it can only be given away, so that's a distinction without a difference.

      Not that he doesn't still have more money than he could ever possibly spend on himself anyway. This gift will have no impact on his personal life.

      • by hord ( 5016115 )

        It's reliant on instruments that have variable value and are inherently risky. This completely ignores the time value of money because accolades are awarded on nominal values rather the actual distributions that come out of a trust or fund. Tell me the *total* amount distributed and how that has impacted the world and you might get some applause from me.

        • You know that's public information, right? There are even links in this thread.

          I don't think he much cares about your opinion, or applause, however. Still, you can easily get this information. They get a complete audit, every year. You don't even have to pay to see the results, they'll give them to you.

  • The $4.6B donation will go to the Surface team to help improve the drivers.
  • by ledow ( 319597 )

    Is this news? He's "pledged" to give away 50% of his wealth (any timescale, I'm not sure?), this is about 5%.

    Who'd have thought it would be so hard to give away money and just live on the billions you have left? Just ask Monty Brewster, I suppose.

    But then, supposedly he gets a tax break, so is that defined as something that Monty's lawyers would class as an asset or profit?

  • by Black.Shuck ( 704538 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @10:15AM (#55017257)

    That should be enough for anybody.

  • by poofmeisterp ( 650750 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @12:06PM (#55018481) Journal

    When you have that much money, you can randomly do weird things with it, with no risk, to get attention focused on you or to see what comes out of peoples' mouths... sort of a litmus test, if you will. I can't imagine what it would be like to have that much money and get bored enough to fuck with it just to stir the proverbial pot.

    I digress.

  • If Gates wants to do something that was unquestionably sincere maybe he should give back that money to all the people he swindled so that they can be the revered philanthropists rather than use it to intentionally/inadvertently pump up his own reputation. Otherwise its just like a bankrobber donating to charity. Admittedly the money is going to a lot of good causes but its also going to some bad causes too. And the people he crushed could have donated that money all the same. When he’s as rich as he
  • There's no donation, just a move-around.

  • by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Tuesday August 15, 2017 @09:41PM (#55022767)

    I fully expect the comment area in this post to be filled with comments from people who never even heard all the stuff the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did over the years.
    Because of course there is a predominant bias against Microsoft that will certainly contaminate and overlook all the work that the foundation has done.

    Quick read here before you post your creed against it:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    If you'd rather have Gates keep his money and let it go to his own family so that we have another bunch of Trumps running around, I hope you rot in hell.

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