Friday, July 20, 2007

The buck stops...where?

The blurring/blending/merging/shifting of public, private and commercial sectors is one of the main themes of this blog (and of my work in general). But I admit, the following "adventure in blending" boggled even my mind.

Dramatis Personae/Companae:
Paul Tudor Jones II, commodity trader.

Senator Charles Grassley, Republican Senator from Iowa.

Tudor Investment Corporation, (TIC) investment company founded by Mr. Tudor Jones. Tudor Ventures is part of TIC.

Robin Hood Foundation, (RHF) a New York City-based, nonprofit poverty-fighting foundation.

GreenDimes - private commercial do-good organization that charges customers ten cents a day to cut down their junk mail (saving paper, trees and the environment) and plant trees. I wrote about GreenDimes here.

July 15, 2007: Senator Charles Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee calls for investigation of the Robin Hood Foundation's $144 million emergency fund, much of which is invested in hedge funds managed by foundation board members, including Paul Tudor Jones. Foundation tax records from 2005 show:

"... a stake in Tudor BVI Global Fund Ltd. grew to $10.07 million at the end of 2005 from $8.78 million a year earlier; an investment in the Tudor Futures Fund grew to $5.76 million from $5.03 million.

... Saltzman said Jones [and others] were compensated for managing the charity's money because their funds don't allow for charging some investors and not others."

Jul 19 2007 Green Dimes announces raising $20 million in Series A investment round led by Tudor Investment Corporation. Deal is noted under VC deals in PE Week.

July 19 2007, Robin Hood Foundation sends letter to its donors announcing it will stop the practice of investing its money in funds managed by board members.

Now --- follow the money:
  1. A dollar given to RHF (nonprofit) goes to emergency fund.
  2. Emergency fund is invested through TIC (commercial).
  3. TIC invests in GreenDimes (commercial do-good company).
From the dollar's point of view, there really are no sector differences. The original Robin Hood, as we all know, took from the rich to give to the poor. Modern day Robin Hood takes from the rich, gives to the poor, invests and grows the funds for the poor, then reinvests and makes the rich richer. Now that's an adventure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another company that will stop a household's junk mail - for just $8.20 a year (2 cents a day) is 41pounds. 41pounds also donates more than 1/3 of the fee to environmental and community nonprofits such as, American Forests and Habitat for Humanity (East Bay). Check them out at