Well, he is the second richest man in the world, but he may not be for long. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he is going to give away most of his multibillion-dollar fortune, less, at least to the, less fortunate. Now it will be the largest philanthropic gift in history. Buffett is worth about 44 billion dollars and he's pledged to give away 85% of it. The 75-year-old CEO controls Berkshire Hathaway. He plans to gradually give away the bulk of his stock to five foundations, most of it (is) going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is focused on ridding the world of malaria, AIDS, and other diseases. So joining us now is a man who knows Buffett and his motivations perhaps better than anyone. Biographer Andrew Kilpatrick. Andrew, good to have you.
So many people thought that, that Buffett would never give away his money to charity until after he dies. So why the change of heart?
Well, Carol, that's right. He, he's always said it would be after he died, he has changed it. I think Gates has influenced him a lot and I think what he sees is the, the Gates foundation can do a better job of giving than he can. And what this is really is a merger(ºÏ??, ?é??) of Buffett and Gates. It's not a business deal but it's, it's two great minds joining together for charity.
So that explains perhaps why he gave it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I mean to have the second richest man give his fortune to the richest man in the country, might make sense?
Well, it's pretty, it's pretty funny but he says he's really not giving it to Bill Gates, he's giving it through Bill Gates to, to give to the causes of that foundation deems, deems(ÈÏÎª, ÏàÐÅ) the best use of the money.
Which is already worth er, something like 30 billion dollars already even without Buffett's money?
Right. When he...
So I guess the relationships mean a lot to the men then, perhaps.
The relationship does mean a lot. They met in 91. They, they played bridge together, travelled together,ur, been to each other's football games and homes, and I think they've talked about this for a long long time. But people always thought, I always thought that maybe they would do some business deal, you know, Berkshire, Microsoft would merge or something, but that, that doesn't make much sense. But this really is almost a merger of Berkshire and Microsoft in some way, I mean the stocks of these companies, are really going to this great charitable(?ÈÉÆÊÂÒµµÄ) interest and er, it's just that he sees, that er, Gates Foundation had, has the staff and the manpower and it's already ramped up and running and that they can do a better job, and he admits it. He says, if you're gonna do a bet on the golf game, go with Tiger Woods, so he is doing it with the way he thinks that money will do the best for society.
Well, Andrew, give us the inside story on, would the children's reaction would be. I mean Buffett has always said that he wasn't going to give them his fortune that he wanna them to have the incentive to work. But I'm wondering what are their feelings about their dad and his money?
This is a question about their children that's, it's, they, they've joked about it, say that's not about their mother used to think/say, but they,they are in full agreement with their father about this, I mean they,they joked about it,er(not bitter). But they, they, they are in synch with him, in fact, some of the money is going to the children's foundations, so that they can give it to the causes they,they believe in.