Bill Gates and Warren Buffett share a strange problem: no matter how hard they try to give their money away, it seems, they’ve still got more of it than any of their countrymen.
Mr Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, has just been named the wealthiest person on the US, for the 20th consecutive year. Second on the list, announced this week by Forbes magazine, is Warren Buffett, the legendarily canny investor.
And yet these two friends are the founders and chief advocates of the Giving Pledge, a programme launched in 2010 to convince others of great wealth to promise to give at least half their fortunes to good causes.
Mr Buffett has pledged billions to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donates billions of dollars annually to research and service delivery on vaccines, microcredit, agriculture, emergency relief, and more. Mr Gates was in Abu Dhabi in April to take part in a “vaccine summit with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
The world needs more people who spend their wealth trying to improve the lives of others and make the world a better place. The Forbes list brings us encouraging news: well-managed wealth can benefit everybody.