The New York Times reports unease at the stable of charities and companies centred around former President Bill Clinton. The unease stems in part from the former President’s freewheeling and informal style; part from the influence of a few close aides and; in part because Chelsea, Clinton’s daughter, worries that the Foundation will die with him. There are also questions about where the charitable interests stop and commercial imperatives start. The article is very critical of Ira Magaziner who has worked with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and the Gates Foundation to force down the prices of medicines and vaccines. Allegations of ill-thought out and impulsive schemes will bring wry smiles to some industrialists in developing countries who have benefitted from Mr Magaziner’s enthusiasms (and Mr Gates’ money). See Mr Magaziner expounding here (the video is from a UC Davis seminar earlier this year)

If Hillary Clintons runs for the White House in 2016, the Foundation will have to stand up to very close scrutiny. Clinton’s daughter Chelsea has become much more involved in its running and now there is to be a massive fundraising drive for an endowment. The plan is that the Foundation will live off the interest (as most big US foundations do) long after Bill can go on the stump to raise money. The reconstituted Foundation will focus on women’s empowerment, child survival and a few other initiatives. It will also avoid providing material for Republican attack ads

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