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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Gives $45 Billion Shares to Next Generation

     
12:18 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are to give away 99% of their Facebook shares to the future of the young, and to the good causes they feel are worthy of support from their Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The 99% equates, currently, to a $45 billion stack.

I've always wondered about the really wealthy as to whether they really need all that net worth. After all, how much can you spend in a lifetime! Bill Gates has been one of the highest profile to give away their fortune, and that's great. I'm sure most people would do that if they had their wealth. it makes my meagre contributions look a little sad, but then, i don't have $45 billion. Every little contribution helps, which is what i believe.

[facebook.com...]
2:50 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes, every little contribution helps. I have what organisations that mostly get small donations can achieve, even leaving aside a widow's mite [en.wikipedia.org] view of things.

I am also a bit cynical about the super rich giving money away because once you get past a certain point you cannot spend any more on your self. What more money gives you is power and social position. When the super rich "give away" their money they usually donate it to an entity they control, so they keep their power and importance. Sometimes they never really give anything away at all [economist.com].
4:42 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Of course, i'm sure there are tax implications (benefits), and the "power" remains with therm in controlling the fund. That's the way it is. But, really, it's impossible to spend that amount of money on themselves. How much does one need!
I rather see the contributions of the wealthy go somewhere it may benefit others.
We all have "power" when i comes to donating to charity, whatever the amount. The more you have to donate the more power you have. Some, i'm sure, see the "power" as an important part of their stature. That's for them.
Personally, I get great satisfaction from knowing that the donations I make are helping, even if they are mostly anonymous, and relatively little. When I have time, I like to go along and see how the donations are being used, and to give my time to help benefit the needy. Time is something which is of great benefit, and only the wise recognise that time is of huge value. The difference is that I still have a day job, whereas the wealthy can dedicate far more of their time, should they choose.
Again, i'd rather see the wealthy give their fortune to good causes.
7:14 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'll stay at least 56% cynical on this one
9:02 pm on Dec 2, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is FB still registering corp headquarters in Ireland to avoid paying US taxes?
6:19 am on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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One of the odd things I've observed in life....

The people who complain about rich people not being charitable are often the same people who find something to complain about when they are charitable.

Me? I don't care if they give any away or not. It's their money, not mine, and theirs to do with as they please, just as my money is mine to do with as I please.
11:50 am on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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To be honest, if I had that wealth I`d pay off the foreign debt of a small post-communist country and watch it develop and grow and catch up to the first world countries. This would have not only huge scientific and economy impact but might fundamentally change the debt-enslaving policy of the IMF.
3:23 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It's interesting that this is going to be a Limited Liability Company, LLC, which is an unusual way of setting up a philanthropic operation.
3:50 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Me? I don't care if they give any away or not. It's their money, not mine, and theirs to do with as they please, just as my money is mine to do with as I please.


The tax they don't pay belongs to us all so it's not really theirs in the first place. Last year they paid less in the UK than the average taxpayer, working to support a family. I'd be more impressed if they stopped ripping taxpayers off.
11:07 pm on Dec 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I take a different view. It is not government's money, until government takes it. If a company or individual legally minimizes taxes, it never "belonged" to you or the government in the first place.

FB, like many other companies, seek to legally minimizing tax. Maximizing returns is the fiduciary responsibility of a company to it's shareholders. Likewise, I assume most individuals would not knowingly give up a tax credit or deduction they were legally able to take, or otherwise pay more than the legal minimum they are required to pay.

If FB were engaged in evasion, which is illegal avoiding paying of taxes, that would be different matter.

If we as individuals do not like something we can petition our government to change it (at least in representative governments). And if they do change it, then a business such as FB can make the decision whether it's cheaper to pay the additional tax, or to pull out altogether.
1:21 am on Dec 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If one reads through the details of this "gift" you will note it will take a number of years, capped at $1B per year, for this to happen. This is a tax shelter with a pretty face. Zuckerberg might not be that smart, but he can certainly afford the financial beaks to get the job done. The end result remains a controlling interest in the company when all is said and done.
9:12 pm on Dec 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Even at the capped rate that's one hell of a gift. Certainly makes me rethink my opinion as all I know about him was from the film, and what happened to his partner.
6:37 am on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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For those that think you can't spend $45B hand if over and I'll show you it can easily be spent, but spent wisely.

I'm actually surprised Zuckerberg and Chan just didn't just buy themselves a seat on Shark Tank :)

Remember, this is only $45B on paper, stock, not cash, and they could be worthless tomorrow.

I'm sure the reason for the cap of $1B per year is to sell them slowly and not flood the market with facebook shares which would drive the price down substantially. There's no guarantee that this donation will even amount to nearly $45B but it's worth that on paper today.
8:59 am on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Mark Zuckerberg’s Philanthropy Doesn’t Seem Particularly Charitable
Mark Zuckerberg kicked off December with a promise to donate 99% of his Facebook shares to charity… sort of. The reality of this gesture may be starting to catch up with the social media mogul.

Zuckerberg’s donation isn’t to just any old charity. In fact, it’s not a traditional charity at all. The nearly $30 billion will be filtered into the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC. What is it, exactly? That’s a good question, and one that more and more people are asking. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Facebook page isn’t very clear on the issue. Launched in 2009, its purpose is purportedly to “advance human potential and promote equality.” But how will it do so?

The full description is longer, but no more clear. The LLC wants to “make long term investments” over the next 25 to 100 years, “engage directly with the people we serve,” and “build technology to make change.” So far, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is sounding a lot like, well, Facebook.


[breitbart.com...]
Later in this report:

So in summary, the LLC’s stated mission is to engage with people, build new technology, support policy and advocacy, and back chosen leadership. If you think it doesn’t sound much like a charity, that’s because it doesn’t.

But maybe that’s the issue. After all, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative isn’t a Non-Profit Organization, it’s a Limited Liability Company. There are some pretty big differences between the two, and they are pretty convenient ones if you’re going to donate most of your massive fortune.

First of all, an LLC has a lot more leeway in how the money is actually distributed. Not only does an LLC require far less disclosure than an actual NPO, but it can handily avoid the federal requirement that at least 5 percent of its annual endowment actually reach charitable efforts.
9:16 am on Dec 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I never understood what was the problem with avoiding taxes via donation. It is one of the most prolific ways to support modern research and further global intelligence levels. It's not like they take away YOUR taxes, not to mention the thousands of created jobs and millions of affiliated jobs worldwide, all possible because Facebook exists. I guess this "taxpayers being robbed" thing is something American that I do not understand. Ahh, we are not here to be politically humorous though. I for one am looking forward to see if this new charity can support startups create the next big thing.