Zuckerberg Responds To Critics, Explains How He’s Spending $45B

4 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to leave his mark on the world.

Glenn CHAPMAN – Mark Zuckerberg has grown from a Harvard dropout who changed what it means to be social into a billionaire philanthropist bent on shaping a better world for his daughter. SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke out publicly on Thursday on why he and wife Priscilla Chan established a limited liability corporation to give away 99% of their Facebook shares over the couple’s lifetime in a bid to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest mining company, is looking into investing in Ecuador amid a push by the OPEC nation to cut its dependency on crude oil and jump-start its nascent metals industry, Mining Minister Javier Cordova said. Setting up an LLC, rather than a charitable trust or personal foundation, to distribute the massive wealth, currently valued at $45 billion, allows for more flexibility, Zuckerberg said in Facebook post.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg discussed his recent move to donate his stake in the company he created Thursday, giving more details about the structure of his organization after a wave of scrutiny. Cordova met with Rio officials in April and the miner is now waiting to see how other local projects fare before making a final decision, the minister said Wednesday in an interview in London. He denied the corporate structure allowed him to dodge paying taxes. “By using an LLC instead of a traditional foundation, we receive no tax benefit from transferring our shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, but we gain flexibility to execute our mission more effectively,” Zuckerberg wrote. “In fact, if we transferred our shares to a traditional foundation, then we would have received an immediate tax benefit, but by using an LLC we do not. Ecuador, an Andean nation which claims metals deposits similar to those in mineral-rich Chile and Peru, will begin offering new mining concessions in January and is in talks with potential bidders, including SolGold Plc., Cornerstone Ecuador SA and Odin Mining & Exploration Ltd., he said.

And just like everyone else, we will pay capital gains taxes when our shares are sold by the LLC.” The Zuckerberg Chan initiative is set up as an LLC, owned and controlled by Zuckerberg. But the organization the couple established was formed as an limited liability company, or LLC, which many questioned because such an entity can be used to generate profits. “Since we announced this a couple days ago, many people have asked about what we’re planning to focus on and how we’re structuring our work,” Zuckerberg acknowledged in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon. The push to attract more foreign investment and boost non-oil exports comes amid a collapse in global energy prices so steep that the South American nation says it’s losing money on every barrel of crude that it pumps.

The Facebook FB, -1.59% co-founder said that the structure provides flexibility for the couple to donate funds as it sees fit, while a foundation would have been limited in the types of organizations to which it could contribute. Slumping metal prices make this a difficult time to attract new mining ventures, but the country has passed a series of legal and tax reforms that may help entice companies to invest, Cordova said. “We’re not very optimistic because of the industry’s moment, but the most important thing is to start the process,” Cordova said. “It’s important to diversify and since we have the resources, it is the smart thing to do.” Rio Tinto’s press offices in Melbourne didn’t respond to a telephone and e-mailed message seeking comment on any investment plans in Ecuador. The couple will have the freedom to lobby lawmakers or engage in other political activities and will be able to more easily enter into joint ventures with for-profit organizations. In addition, the initiative won’t necessarily be donating all the money to charitable causes — it will also make private investments and do things like advocacy work and lobbying.

The $16 billion IPO was structured to keep control of Facebook in the hands of Zuckerberg, who has been Time’s “Person of the Year” and cracked the Forbes list of 20 richest people in the world. In their letter to Max — but really to the world — the new parents say, “Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world.” The upside of that likely improvement is that as more people lead better lives, they will create more capital and consume more of the kinds of goods and services that firms such as Facebook might offer.

The hoodie-wearing 31-year-old, depicted in the Hollywood drama “The Social Network” as a socially challenged computer geek, has evolved into a confident chief executive presiding over an online community boasting more than 1.5 billion users monthly as of September. Despite his massive wealth, Zuckerberg still favors t-shirts, jeans and sneakers, topped off by his trademark hooded sweatshirt and a mop of brown, curly hair. Brisbane, Australia-based SolGold Chief Executive Officer Nicholas Mather said his company, which operates a joint venture with Cornerstone at the Cascabel copper, gold and silver concession in the country’s northern Andes, was interested in additional exploration projects. “Having learnt from our exploration successes at Cascabel in northern Ecuador, we have thoroughly researched all the available data and identified a number of very compelling additional key targets we’d like to explore,” Mather said in an e-mailed response to questions. There is growing alarm over how unchecked capitalism is distorting the world by creating two classes of people — the super-haves, and the have-nots — where the minority with the money are obscenely wealthier than the majority without.

Gawker pointed out that Zuckerberg’s donation is going toward furthering the things that he thinks would help the world, which are not necessarily the things that other people think would help the world. Ecuador’s national mining chamber says the country’s mineral deposits may contain more than 39 million ounces of gold, 88.7 million ounces of silver and 8.14 million metric tons of copper. For instance, the writer called Zuckerberg’s question “Can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?” a “patently hellish” vision that could only be hatched by a “technocrat.” There were several takes with this angle.

Last year, Fortress Minerals Corp., a company controlled by Sweden’s Lundin family, agreed to buy Kinross Gold Corp.’s idled Fruta del Norte gold project in Ecuador for $240 million. As American billionaire Nick Hanauer, who helped fund Amazon, warns in his essays, “I see pitchforks… wake up people, it won’t last.” In India, though, most plutocrats are in slumber. The most valuable path may well be to simply invest this enormous pool of resources in the people and institutions that are already doing this work (including, yes, public institutions funded by tax dollars) and trust that they know their domains better than someone who’s already got a pretty demanding day job. He began writing computer programs at the age of 11, including one said to resemble Pandora’s musical taste program which reportedly drew the interest of AOL and Microsoft. The stated goal: “Making the world more open and connected.” In 2008, a $65 million settlement was reached with three Harvard classmates – twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra – over their charges that Zuckerberg had stolen the idea for Facebook from them.

Zuckerberg left Harvard in May 2004 for Silicon Valley, where he received his first major funding – $500,000 – from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel followed by nearly $13 million the next year from Accel Partners. In November, one of India’s billionaire non-resident businessmen, Ravi Pillai, reportedly spent some Rs55 crore to host the wedding of his daughter. D evon Maloney at The Guardian had a similar caution and linked it to white imperialism: But it also means that the rich are still effectively buying the future they’d like to see, no matter how selfless their intentions may be.

Analysts credit the social network with innovating, or acquiring new technology, to stay popular in an Internet Age known for fleeting loyalties to online services. International philanthropy and the western world’s desire to eradicate poverty and disease can’t ever truly rid themselves of their mperialist roots; as many critics have pointed out, the white saviour industrial complex has never been more pervasive in global culture.

His “likes” include charities such as his newly formed Zuckerberg Chan Initiative; US politicians Obama and Hillary Clinton, actors Seth Rogen and James Franco, and the book “Ender’s Game.” Zuckerberg has been referred to by some as being struck in the mold of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Similarities between the men have been said to include not being afraid to risk falling down while chasing big dreams, and passionately pursuing visions despite obstacles or detractors.–AFP

But if you’re seeing this strictly as a public relations move meant to distract us from the evils of Facebook, you need to turn off your computer for a while and go for a walk. Youngsters often grow up, never being asked what global problem they will solve, instead only how they will resolve problems in their own family firms. This contrasts sharply with Zuckerberg’s gesture of giving away the bulk of riches on entering parenthood, relatively stripping his newborn of the world’s biggest silver spoon. Indian billionaires, too, need to start asking what tomorrow they want their children to have and whether they want their gilded cage to be the world they currently occupy, or a reimagined India they have the ability to shape. In a country groaning with problems on a scale that only a billion people can create, there’s plenty to choose from — from abysmal sanitation and shelter, poor learning in schools, and an under-performing healthcare system, just to name a few.

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