“The commitment of Jeff Bezos, one of the most criticized bosses in the United States, is new”

En August, when he was still a few billion dollars after having accumulated more than 30 billion dollars (about 28.84 billion euros) in personal wealth at the beginning of 2022, the boss of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange platform promised to continue to devote most of its income to ” rescue “ struggling crypto companies and charities. Sam Bankman-Fried will give them nothing, since he has nothing left: his company has gone bankrupt.

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No risk with Jeff Bezos. The founder of Amazon and the space company Blue Origin, “savior” of the washington posthas just announced on CNN that he plans to give, during his lifetime, most of his fortune to philanthropic works.

For a time the richest man in the world, dethroned by Elon Musk (Tesla) after a 45% drop in the e-commerce giant on Wall Street, he is now in fourth place (124 billion dollars), according to Bloomberg.

Messianic accents

Such a commitment is new for one of the most criticized bosses in the United States, even if he created, in 2020, the Earth Fund for the environment, endowed with 10 billion dollars. The 58-year-old billionaire had not subscribed – unlike Mr. Bankman-Fried! – “The Giving Pledge” initiative, launched in 2010 by billionaires Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) and the couple Melinda and Bill Gates (Microsoft). The list now has 236 “pledgers” in 28 countries, the vast majority of them American.

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No Frenchman is there. In 2018, inspired by the “Giving Pledge”, the presidents of Axa and Sanofi, Denis Duverne and Serge Weinberg, launched an appeal to the wealthiest to donate“at least 10% of their income or assets for philanthropic purposes”. But the approach is not in French culture, while it has made it possible to partially overcome the weaknesses of the American state in terms of health, education or art. Not without some messianic overtones from the Rockefellers, Fricks and Carnegies, who went so far as to defend the suppression of inheritance.

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The munificence of these magnates did not move President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909): “The spending of these fortunes on charity can never compensate for the misconduct that made it possible to amass them. » Because some had used all means to break the strikes and eliminate competition. This brutality finds an echo within the Gafam, where the refusal of the unions and the elimination of the slightest rival are the rule. And what does the $169 billion donated by America’s top 25 philanthropists weigh in their lifetime, according to Forbesin the face of rising inequalities?