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Home JackpineRadical Rooms JPR Reading Room Impact Investing and Venture Philanthropy’s Role in Sowing the Seeds of Financia

  • polly7 (2614 posts)
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    Impact Investing and Venture Philanthropy’s Role in Sowing the Seeds of Financia

    Impact Investing and Venture Philanthropy’s Role in Sowing the Seeds of Financial Opportunity
    by Tim Scott / February 17th, 2017

    ……..

    Fast forward to the 1990’s when “venture philanthropy” emerged, shifting the social mission of philanthropy to focus on neoliberal structural adjustment programs, which dictate austerity measures in the service of elite financial investors. Since philanthropic foundations are established and controlled by billionaires whose wealth and power is derived from human exploitation and environmental degradation, this modern pursuit should not come as a surprise. The personal interests of this opulent minority are directly tied to today’s financialized economy as investors and as members of politically influential networks that oversee global financial markets. As such, in the 21st century venture philanthropists have focused their efforts on constructing new financial markets through what is referred to as “mission investing,” “social impact investing,” or just “impact investing.” Impact investing is a continuation of the sixty-year colonizing mission of the IMF, World Bank, World Trade Organization, “Troika” and the United States government; yet with a “friendlier,” but more duplicitous methodology.

    ……..

    This promotional material was published as the world was reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, when predatory investors and banks responsible for inflicting mass suffering were escaping prosecution and instead profiting from government bailouts. It is clear that under the global domain of the state-finance nexus, there is still a need to remind us of their altruistic intent. Yet, one gets a sense that their coded narrative has an emerging boldness, as if they are dropping the pretense of accountability, and instead taking on a more Orwellian “doublethink” approach to propagandizing.

    Impact investing was spawned from two Rockefeller Foundation convened meetings in 2007 where the attendees – leaders of finance, philanthropy and neoliberal development – were tasked with building the structural framework for an efficient worldwide social and environmental impact investment industry. Attendees agreed to create a global network of leading impact investors, a standardized framework for assessing social and environmental impact and to initiate a working group of investors that would focus on financing a sustainable market-based agricultural industry in sub-Saharan Africa. These efforts led to the establishment of the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) in 2009, as a tax-exempt non-profit organization based in the United States.

    ……..

    As briefly documented earlier, GIIN’s founding member, the Rockefeller Foundation, along with the Rockefeller family, have a dark history of leveraging their wealth and power in the service of U.S hegemony, both domestically and internationally. In line with the legacy of John D. Rockefeller Senior, the Rockefeller Foundation went on to become an influential founding member of the “Washington Consensus” and has since been an aggressive supporter of the IMF and World Bank’s draconian policies and practices. The Rockefeller family and its foundation were also early activists and funders of eugenics based population control efforts in the U.S. and abroad via forced sterilization of “inferior” populations (Black, Brown and disabled people). As Edwin Black documented in his 2003 San Francisco Chronicle article “Eugenics and the Nazis — The California Connection,” “Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune.” According to Black, “the Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.”

    ……..

    Full article:  http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/02/impact-investing-and-venture-philanthropys-role-in-sowing-the-seeds-of-financial-opportunity/#more-65687

    Koko, 7wo7rees, Haikugal and 4 othersOzoneTom, Downwinder, FanBoy, Shlabotnik like this

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  • FanBoy (6344 posts)
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    1. why they hate our kind hearts too

    Why They Hate Our Kind Hearts, Too
    By Joan Roelofs, Counterpunch, 13–14 May 2006
    In recent years, nations have challenged the activities and very existence of non-governmental organizations. Russia, Zimbabwe, and Eritrea have enacted new measures requiring registration; “Open Society Institute” affiliates have been shut down in Eastern Europe; and Venezuela has charged the Szmate NGO leaders with treason. In Iraq and Afghanistan, staff of Western charitable NGOs (CARE and Doctors Without Borders) have been assassinated.

    What are these organizations, and who or what is behind them?

    They are heirs of the missionaries, who did many good deeds, bringing sewing machines to Bulgaria, ideas of women’s liberation to Chinese footbinders, and life-saving medicines to the less industrialized world. Yet the missionaries also served as scouts for corporations and colonizers, tying knots with the most ambitious local people, especially those adept at bilingualism.

    Missionaries are still operating today, but the field has become more intensely populated and diverse. Today’s NGOs are elephantine, serpentine, and Byzantine. They may be international organizations, their local affiliates, or seemingly spontaneous grassroots groups.

    Most funding and direction come from the wealthy nations. Often the donors form a conglomerate creating mutual responsibility and considerable ambiguity. CIVICUS, a partnership to promote “civil society” worldwide, is funded by, among others, American Express Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Canadian International Development Agency, Ford Foundation, Harvard University, Oxfam, and United Nations Development Programme.

    If the source is confusing, the message is usually clear: “democratization” strives for civil rights and elections, but it also must include an open door to foreign capital, labor contracts, resource extraction, and military training. These networks also define “civil society” to include rock concerts and street mobs, but not government-provided maternal health clinics, child care, or senior services…

    Why would these philanthropic efforts offend anyone? Why do they hate our kind hearts…?

    For several centuries NGOs have been providing “disaster aid” for societies being “marketized.” What can we learn from this history?

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27a/204.html

    • FanBoy (6344 posts)
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      3. ps: roelofs has a bernie connection

  • FanBoy (6344 posts)
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    2. Gates Foundation = largest funder of research in GMO on the planet

    The Gates Foundation is the largest funder of research in genetic engineering on the planet and is one of the world’s major donors to agricultural research and development. In line with GIIN’s objectives, most of the Gates Foundation’s focus in these areas target the continent of Africa. A 2014 report by the biodiversity and small farmer advocacy organization GRAIN found that the Gates Foundation was indeed living up to its colonizing character, with the claim: “The Gates Foundation fights hunger in the South by giving money to the North.” 

    (Same way we are currently ‘fighting’ poverty at home, by giving money to a class of bureaucrats and private businesses who essentially sit at their desks and ‘manage’ the poor but do little for them besides pump platitudes like ‘we’ve given you the tools, now go out and get a job’.  The exciting tools = how to construct a resume, how to do a job search on a computer…).

    GRAIN went on to report:

    … the Gates Foundation is promoting an imported model of industrial agriculture based on the high-tech seeds and chemicals sold by US corporations… the foundation is fixated on the work of scientists in centralised labs and that it chooses to ignore the knowledge and biodiversity that Africa’s small farmers have developed and maintained over generations. Some also charge that the Gates Foundation is using its money to impose a policy agenda on Africa, accusing the foundation of direct intervention on highly controversial issues like seed laws and GMOs.

    When contrasting venture philanthropy’s larger mission with their official propagandized mission, these financial investments further reveal their duplicitous character. Accordingly, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation claims to exist “to dramatically improve the quality of life for billions of people.” With that in mind, according to their 2014 tax return, they invested over 40 billion dollars in equities and securities in hundreds of financial markets and companies. Some of these include investments in nations from Canada to Saudi Arabia and Egypt as well as mortgage and student loan financing firms. Others include major corporations such as Comcast, Verizon, Walmart and Dow Chemical as well as major investment banks, including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Bank of America, CitiGroup, Lehman Brothers, Wells Fargo, Bear Stearns and Deutsche Bank.

    According to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, their mission “focuses on improving people’s health” and ensuring “that all women and children have the nutrition they need to live healthy and productive lives.” Under this banner, the foundation invests in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, the multitude of highly processed Kraft products; and until very recently, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. In a 2014 article in Mother Jones titled, “How Bill Gates Is Helping KFC Take Over Africa….”

    In sum, impact investing is promoted by neoliberal governments and their private sector partners through manipulative marketing storylines intended to convince us that elite financial investors are best positioned to mitigate long-standing social inequities. Never mind the fact that these social conditions are the generators of their wealth and power and result from the financial instruments they employ to allegedly “do good.” Thus, in the age of financialization and within the ever solidifying state-finance nexus, venture capitalists – through the veneer of their generous and public spirited foundations – are the benevolent titans of international development and the arbiters of public, civic and social life. More dramatically, these powerful dynamics enable billionaire foundations to hasten the process by which financial institutions serve as the overlords of all aspects of life on our planet.

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/02/impact-investing-and-venture-philanthropys-role-in-sowing-the-seeds-of-financial-opportunity/#more-65687

  • Koko (2408 posts)
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    4. It's a pretty grim read, but one that many of us have seen in action

    in our lifetimes.  And, just most recently, the Wikileaks  exposure of the Clinton Global Initiative which is heavily invested in by the Gates Foundation.  All is promoted as doing “Good Works” but when digging in the weeds past their vast promotion in the Mainstream Financial Media we see that they reap great benefits while eventually helping destroy what they touch.

    ———————————

    From the Article:

    Social Impact Bonds (SIB) are one of the most popular instruments of the impact investment industry, which are, in essence. derivatives or swaps (bets). According to the Rockefeller Foundation, which has pioneered SIB’s:

    Sitting at nexus of the Foundation’s work in scaling innovation and impact investing, social impact bonds (SIBs), like ‘pay-for-success’ projects, represent one component of the rapidly growing field of innovative finance, aimed at helping state and local governments fund critical social programs through a combination of government initiation, private investment, and non-profit implementation.
    In sum, impact investing is promoted by neoliberal governments and their private sector partners through manipulative marketing storylines intended to convince us that elite financial investors are best positioned to mitigate long-standing social inequities. Never mind the fact that these social conditions are the generators of their wealth and power and result from the financial instruments they employ to allegedly “do good.”

    Thus, in the age of financialization and within the ever solidifying state-finance nexus, venture capitalists – through the veneer of their generous and public spirited foundations – are the benevolent titans of international development and the arbiters of public, civic and social life. More dramatically, these powerful dynamics enable billionaire foundations to hasten the process by which financial institutions serve as the overlords of all aspects of life on our planet.