Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Columbia University-Linked Kresge Foundation Owned $2 Million Worth of Halliburton Stock In 2005

Most U.S. anti-war activists don’t think it was moral for U.S. corporations like Halliburton (whose CEO during the 1990’s was U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney) to make windfall profits following the Bush Administration’s military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq after October 2001. Yet as the http://www.halliburtonwatch.org/ site notes:

“Halliburton saw its revenues increase 30 percent to $16 billion in 2003, largely because of its military contracts in the Middle East. Halliburton was the number one U.S. Army contractor in 2003 with the total value of its Army contracts valued at $3,731,725,648. Dan Briody, in his book The Halliburton Agenda, described Halliburton’s relationship with Cheney as `the embodiment of the Iron Triangle, the nexus of the government, military, and big business that President Eisenhower warned America about in his farewell speech.”

Most U.S. anti-war activists also don’t think it’s moral for a university president to also sit on the board of a foundation that invests in Halliburton. Yet in 2005 Columbia University President Lee Bollinger (http://youtube.com/watch?v=g0JpF07SOo4 ) was paid $48,000 to sit on the board of trustees of a foundation, the Kresge Foundation, which owned 32,500 shares of Halliburton stock, worth over $2 million, according to the Kresge Foundation’s Form 990-PF financial filing for 2005.

The total value of the Columbia University-linked Kresge Foundation’s marketable securities on Dec. 31, 2005 exceeded $1.4 billion, including $802 million in hedge fund investments and $191 million in oil and gas corporation investments. The Kresge Foundation also owned over $4.6 million (99,100 shares) worth of Wal-Mart Stores stock and over $2.7 million (68,500 shares) worth of Coca-Cola Company stock in 2005. That same year, the tax-exempt Kresge Foundation also gave a $500,000 grant to the U.S. Department of the Navy’s Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and a grant of $1.5 million to the University of Michigan, for UM’s renovation and expansion of Alumni Memorial Hall.

Coincidentally, Kresge Foundation board member Bollinger used to be the president of the University of Michigan before he relocated to Low Library to become Columbia University’s current president.

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