With an endowment larger than all but four of the world's largest hedge funds, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is easily one of the most powerful charities in the world. According to its website, the organization "works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives."For those who still believe that the world's largest foundation, run by the world's richest plutocrat, is all about helping people, Mother Jones has news for you. Most of the investments made by the Bill & Melinda Gates Fund have nothing to do with curing disease or educating the poor but are directed to some of the worlds greatest polluters, war makers and jailers.
In its most recent annual report to investors, private prison company GEO group listed some risks to its bottom line, including "reductions in crime rates" that "could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences," along with immigration reform and the decriminalization of drugs.Gates has put another $2.4 million into G4S, a UK-based private security company and operator of juvenile detention facilities in the U.S.
Other Gates investments include global polluters Exxon, BP, Shell, Peabody Coal and a host of companies involved in the production of nukes.
Military contractor DynCorp, meanwhile, has faced allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and even slavery from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.