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06.21.10

Gates Foundation Keeps Increasing Investments in BP, Super-Patent Troll Nathan Myhrvold Joins the Feast

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BP glass

Summary: Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates make money from the world’s energy (where the big money is), not just a software monopoly; we take a deeper look at their extensive use of patents

SOME of the more distasteful activities of the Gates Foundation revolve around energy. That’s where Bill Gates really makes a killing. We explained this many times before, but for those who are new to it, the short story is that Gates is making money while lobbying for nuclear energy that he and his unethical friend Nathan Myhrvold have patents on. In essence, the goal is to pass taxpayers’ money to the pockets of Bill and his circle of rich friends.

The following new article mentions quite clearly the involvement of Nathan Myhrvold, whose role has not been all that apparent thus far.

The company is already backed by two software magnates, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Nathan Myhrvold, who was Microsoft’s chief technology officer. TerraPower would not say how much of the $35 million came from Charles River and Khosla, or who the other investors were. Prior to this investment, the company said, it had raised “tens of millions” of dollars.

This is also mentioned in some other publications [1, 2] and from Reuters we have the following overview:

* Gates, Charles River Ventures, Khosla Ventures investors

* Investor says co. attracting interest from other players

* TerraPower aims to have test reactor in few years (Adds comments by Intellectual Ventures’ Nathan Myhrvold)

That’s the same thing Gates has been lobbying for in various events. Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's patent troll, is part of it too, not just Bill Gates who increases the investment in the very same company he lobbies the government for and promotes in public events (clearly not out of “goodwill” as much as self gain).

“Bill Gates hikes investment in nuclear-reactor firm,” says this report.

Bellevue, Wash.-based TerraPower said in a statement Wednesday that in addition to Gates, other prior investors contributing to the new funding round include former Microsoft Nathan Myhrvold.

Myhrvold now heads Intellectual Ventures, an intellectual property investment firm that spawned TerraPower in 2007.

It is worth mentioning that the Myhrvold-Gates pairing is rather common. Myhrvold is the world’s largest patent troll and he also has patents/investments in some of those pharmaceutical companies that Gates is promoting (while he invests in them too). It’s all about patents, i.e. monopolies. Let’s look at some examples from last week.

Here is the “Children’s Hospital” spin/lipstick [1, 2] being put on an actual investment in vaccination.

Our first challenge was to ensure that all the people who were eligible for the drugs got what they needed. There were issues around the delivery and how to finance it. The drug itself is donated, but to circulate it to every sufferer involves a lot of extra cost. Initially we received donations from the UK’s Department for International Development (Dfid), then from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And then we started to receive funds from the Tanzanian government, which is now our main source of funding.

A closer look at the press release shows that there may be patents involved. In other words, someone gains a monopoly here. It’s not exactly all about the children, or maybe it’s a bit of both.

Here is Gates’ exploration for more drugs [1, 2] and more news about Argentina getting Gates' vaccination treatment (there are again patents and pharmaceutical giants whose shareholders — Gates included — will gain).

This conflict of interests might not be as desired as it a coincidental one and in some cases it may also be innocent [1, 2], but sometimes it’s just hard to ignore, given that medical professionals too are complaining. Many of them do not like what the Gates Foundation is doing and few of them dare to speak out about it. The problem with the Gates Foundation and its affiliates is that they monopolise research (patents) and they also control data on health, based on this new report regarding IHME:

Founded with a $105 million grant from the Gates Foundation, IHME’s mission is to bring rigorous statistical analysis to the evaluation of health programs and trends worldwide.

There is a conflict of interests here and based on the bias of Gates Foundation-funded ‘studies’, this ought to strike a nerve. There is too much power in the hands of the foundation, which is also very close to GAVI [1, 2] and WHO.

“The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function. [...] Many of the world’s leading malaria scientists are now “locked up in a ‘cartel’ with their own research funding being linked to those of others within the group,” Dr. Kochi wrote. Because “each has a vested interest to safeguard the work of the others,” he wrote, getting independent reviews of research proposals “is becoming increasingly difficult.”

“Gates Foundation’s Influence Criticized,” in New York Times, February 2008

Here is some more news about GAVI and Gates. The alignment there creates suspicion of an incestuous relationship as Gates runs an investment vehicle that also has vested interests in overly expensive drugs. The Gates Foundation is close to companies like GSK and Merck (whose senior employees flock into the foundation) and here is a new example of Merck and Microsoft getting closer [1, 2], and not for the first time, either. They help bring the poor quality and unreliability of Windows to biology too.

But anyway, going back to energy and patents, watch how Bill Gates lobbies for that same company he’s investing in (or several of them) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The news goes on and on about him being so smart and generous, but rarely is his vested interest mentioned at all. He tries to convince the government to shell out some money for him to profit from. Also, it’s not as though Gates is a true proponent of nuclear energy. He seemingly promotes whatever pays well. How else can one explain Gates’ investments in BP [1, 2, 3], which continued to increase based on this new report?

Exactly how many shares of BP does the Gates Fund really own?

[...]

H/t to commenter David C. for telling me that I badly understated the BP stock holdings of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which I reported first as 4 million and than revised to more than 7 million shares. Here’s where I got my original figures. But in yesterday’s NYT, Green blogger John Rudolph (“How British is BP?) reports that the Gates Fund actually owns an astonishing 43 million shares. The estimates keep climbing on par with BP’s spill estimates.

As Gates Keepers puts it, “The Foundation is a major investor in the gusher.” That’s just the latest propaganda — not saying that he lobbies for his own gain while supporting BP*. In the case of nuclear energy, he wants more money from the public, he is not donating to this cause at all. Gates Keepers also says:

Pledge? Social contract? Document? What do rich people (or poor people) need a pledge for? It has been for the last several years the norm for the very rich to give away a lot. Why the hegemon? Three billionaires’ dinner party diners decided on the 50% figure.

On the Charlie Rose show Melinda says she doesn’t care what the funds are given to. Huuh? Warren has not missed a meal or a movie because he gives most of his money away. No surprise there. Philanthropy appears to be enriching the Gates’ relationship. Good for them. Bill says: “there’s a broad set of things that would never happen without philanthropy.” What arrogance! Charlie says: “This is not a billionaire’s club”. It sure looks like it – no one else is invited.

See if you can find Charlie Rose with the Gates and Warren http://www.charlierose.com/ or http://bit.ly/w12m.

This short complaint refers to the typical glorification from the national press, which receives less-than-flattering comments from the public [1, 2]. Despite more PR from the mainstream media, both for Buffett [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and for Gates [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], not everyone is gullible enough. One person opines that “Gates now runs an investment company in the guise of a charity.”

“World’s Most Generous People” was the headline from the business press. Well, the people they name hardly feel the giveaway (a fraction of the money, which otherwise they would pay in state tax anyway, so essentially they give away taxpayers’ money). Who are they kidding? The same PR charade has Slim joining to receive a lot of press coverage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] along with Gates. There is also this piece about Benioff and Gates’ illusion of being humble while his father compares this work to that of Rockefeller. At least they are being honest about exploiting people and then pulling the same trick as other robber barons:

Bill Gates Sr. believes that a charitable foundation should be set up to run forever — in “perpetuity.” He points to the success of the foundation created by John D. Rockefeller Sr. in the early 1900s.

Rockefeller’s work is nothing to be proud of. It’s a story of someone who looted the public and later gave a fraction of this money to get people off his back. Both the Rockefeller Foundation and the Gates Foundation are currently bringing US patents to Africa, in order for the population there to be more dependent (enslaved). They call it “Green Revolution” and it’s GMO.

Someone has just mailed us a link to this new 3-part post about the Gates Foundation and how its goals relate to Rockefeller’s. We do not know if this particular site is reliable, but it begins as follows:

Like many of the world’s richest businessmen Bill Gates believes in a special form of democracy, otherwise known as plutocracy, that is, “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor”. Following in the footsteps of the robber barons, like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, who founded two of America’s most influential liberal foundations (e.g. the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation), Gates, like most capitalists, relies upon the government to help regulate and protect his business interests from competition, but is less keen on the idea of a government that acts to redistribute wealth to the wider populous. Dean Baker surmises this idea when he writes that Bill Gates is after all “one of the heroes of the conservative nanny state.” In the minds of such massively powerful would-be capitalists, the State is merely a tool to be harnessed for profit maximization, and they themselves, the ones who have acquired their wealth by exploiting and manipulating the economic system then take it upon their own shoulders to help relieve global inequality and escalating poverty – the modern day’s white man’s burden. As one might expect, the definitions of the appropriate solutions to the capitalist-driven inequality that are generated by the world’s most successful capitalists neglect to seriously challenge the primary driver of global poverty, capitalism. For the most part the incompatibility of democracy and capitalism remains anathema to all, instead liberal philanthropists industriously fund all manner of ‘solutions’ that help provide a much needed outlet valve for rising resistance and dissent, while still enabling business-as-usual, albeit with a band-aid stuck over some of the most glaring inequities.

Tomorrow we are going to cover Gates’ and Microsoft’s latest subversion of the education system. There is no real separation between those two.

Gates Foundation logo

* There are also new Microsoft connections to the oil and gas industry.

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