It is the most elite club in the world. Ordinary people need not apply. Indeed there is no way to ask to join. You simply have to be very, very rich and very, very generous. On a global scale.
This is the Good Club, the name given to the tiny global elite of billionaire philanthropists who recently held their first and highly secretive meeting in the heart of New York City.
The names of some of the members are familiar figures: Bill Gates, George Soros, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey, David Rockefeller and Ted Turner. But there are others, too, like business giants Eli and Edythe Broad, who are equally wealthy but less well known. All told, its members are worth $125bn.
The meeting – called by Gates, Buffett and Rockefeller – was held in response to the global economic downturn and the numerous health and environmental crises that are plaguing the globe. It was, in some ways, a summit to save the world.
SOME of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population and speed up improvements in health and education.
The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.
Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr, the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey.
These members, along with Gates, have given away more than £45 billion since 1996 to causes ranging from health programmes in developing countries to ghetto schools nearer to home.
They gathered at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist and president of the private Rockefeller University, in Manhattan on May 5. The informal afternoon session was so discreet that some of the billionaires’ aides were told they were at “security briefings”.