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A lengthy non-story

With all that is wrong in the world, today's LA Times devotes front-page space and dozens of column inches to complain that the Gates Foundation charity has money invested (in this case $2 million out of $66 billion, or less than 0.1%) in "companies that were accused in lawsuits or by government officials of making it easier for thousands of people to lose their homes." (In this case, a family sues a lender for letting them borrow money without reading any of the paperwork, and then claims that they should be allowed to recover because they obtained the loan only through fraud; this is, of course, the fault of the shareholders of the loan company.)

I'm curious what the newspaper's point is. Is it that a plaintiff's lawyer's complaint should require an institution to divest itself from the defendant? What about bonds from municipalities accused of police brutality? Are charities supposed to keep their money under mattresses? (And how would a plaintiffs'-bar-conducted audit of the LA Times' pension portfolio fare?)

The money manager for the Gates Foundation needs to invest tens of billions of dollars. If as the Times argues, a lawsuit can taint that investment, the Times is essentially arguing against large charities existing at all.

Update: Mickey Kaus notes other silliness in the series.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.