Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

Archive for October 8th, 2017

Size Still Matters — So, How to Assess Who’s Got the Biggest (Most) Assets, Where Are They Stored, Who Manages the Most of OTHERs’ Assets (AUM), How Much are Americans Bankrolling Both, or Should We Be Measuring Something Else? [Started 8/24, Published 10/8/2017.]

leave a comment »

Post title: Size Still Matters — So, Who’s Got the Biggest (Most) Assets, Who Manages the Most of OTHERs’ Assets (AUM), How Much are Americans Bankrolling Both, or Should We Be Measuring Something Else, like Donations? [Started 8/24, Published 10/8/2017]  (case-sensitive short-link ends “-7up”)

This short, informative, and I admit at times flippant post still makes its points about distinguishing size of entities and ones that seek to present themselves as smaller (or larger) than they actually are. I also was going through some of the definitions of “syndicate” in reference to topics I was more focused on in August, 2017 (Tobacco-RICO-related), than I have been in September 2017. Those comments are on: Basic Definitions and Etymology (Roots) of the word ~syndicate. Syndicates can be formed for legal OR illegal purposes. Know the Difference! (8/26/2017, published Oct. 3) [short-link ends “-7vi”]

Still, with persistence, I find that topics covered in one context tend to come up in others, too. Some of these revelations (to me at least) continue to astound as to the casual tossing around of millions, or sometimes billions, of dollars from a given entity towards the cause, and from there to subcontractors, grantees, while being retained — or lost — as reflected on the corresponding huge and sometimes rapidly fluctuating, but always illuminating balance sheets of each entity.

Take for example the American Legacy Foundation later renamed “Truth Initiative Foundation(™).”

The post title, and this post, came from my feeling I should qualify the statement that the American Legacy Foundation (total gross assets around one billion, only formed in 1999, too) as being “monster-sized.”  Obviously, with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation being ten times its size (and involved in some of the same projects) — or a center under the CDC which involved a tobacco-cessation nonprofit I was writing about (because it was among the USDOJ Intervenors in the RICO Case against Phillip Morris et. al…) which referenced this nonprofit — that center’s 2016 budget was $1.17 Billion, I learned — size is still “all relative” (only meaningful in comparison to other entities or some outside standard).  (where it started, ca. August 29, 2017)

After publishing the post, on reviewing it more, I saw and decided to label its three basic sections, which may help people understand why those particular organizations.  American Legacy Foundation (first section) relates to the ongoing recent blog themes re: big tobacco litigations as it intersects with HHS and agencies under it.  The second and third sections below are:

  • 2nd section: CENIC (Corp. for Educ. Network in Calif.) & CITY OF HOPE
    • For non-Californians:  other states surely have parallel organizations, and City of Hope typifies what comprises a major healthcare operation, with its component parts as shown on their financial statements.  The takeaway here is, ALWAYS check for tax returns, but realize because of the networking, individual tax returns are rarely the whole story.
  • 3rd section: Forbes’ 50 Largest Foundations 2016 and its #2 Charity: The Task Force for Global Health & Related /Similar Orgs. associated w/ Emory University in Georgia.
    • Take-away here includes the tendency of organizations that get big — often from public funds but not always — to form spinoff entities in later years, often on the exact same website.
    • Emory University anchoring both Task Force for Global Health and (see that section) the famous “Carter Center” (named after former President Jimmy Carter and his wife) in effect clouds the types of in-kind medication donations, and in the latter case, millions every year targeted specifically to sub-Saharan Africa through the spin-off entity.
    • Not reported here — but I will post: I found through looking at board members, another small but still “iffy” set of nonprofits run by an Emory University business (not Public Health) professor. From what the tax returns are telling me, this is a legitimate professor using tax-exemption for illegitimate purposes (i.e., simply paying less taxes, write-offs, etc.).  That’s not what academic privileges are for, and has me even more curious about what else is going on in Georgia, and at this institution.
    • Organizations also tend to copy each other’s behavior.

I believe all the topics are interesting in their own right, but as usual and as ever, am still promoting individual initiatives to look up and look at foundations, charities, and of course the direction of government programming (especially under HHS) over time. I found that even turning away for just a period — a year, a half year, two years — major developments that are NOT typically referenced in the mainstream media, OR the “alternate” media supposedly correcting mainstream (“alt-right” or “far left,” “progressive”), although once you start looking some of the big ones up, the connection to MSM and headline news will become more and more regular.


AMERICAN LEGACY FOUNDATION SECTION:

American Legacy Foundation funds as I recall came from the MSA Tobacco Litigation settlements, a process which had been driven by some of the organizations mentioned in the (see next link) post, which in part was also pushing for major HHS/NIH (Nat’l Institutes of Health) expansion especially for biomedical research, also for cancer.

My August 5, 2017 post (ca 15,500 words) has many details, images and documentations.  I was studying some of the background of key organizations and of the related (driven by some of the same major players in this field) NIH funding expansions…because Congress appropriates the HHS (NIH is under HHS) funds, when I say “driven by,” I’m talking here about the ability of well-connected people and their well-funded organizations to influence Congress and specifically here regarding smoking cessation efforts on the basis of smoking causing cancer.

An Alternate Viewpoint on the Anti-Smoking / Smoking Causes Cancer! Campaign and its Syndicated (?) Backers incl. the Whiteheads, the Laskers, the NIH and the U.S. Congress (from SmokersHistory.com and Other Sources. See also Tobacco Lawsuits and 1998 MSA Settlement Funds ~~} American Legacy Foundation, now the so-called Truth Initiative®) (post started 7/31, published 8/5/2017) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-7na” 

(Check out the closing paragraphs on the “Alternate Viewpoint” post…)

For a general “size” point of reference, I showed that back in 2002, the “ALF” managed to lose $35M by selling over $8B of securities — but then again, it also earned $54M** $16M from dividends and interest the same year.  Then again, it spent $91.7M on “Other expenses” per its tax returns, of which (says the Form 990 detail) most ($87M) went to “Contract Services”.”  The other major chunk of expenses that year were $32M of grants, the delegation of most ($27M) of them being presented at least as uploaded to the databse which gets them from the IRS, in virtually illegible form.  Of another $4.2M (of those $32M) grants under the “sponsorship” category, the largest chunk went, unsurprisingly given the subject matter, straight to UCSF ($3.3M as I recall). Here’s that tax return, all of it, in pdf format:

American Legacy Fndtn (Tobacco MSA grants est 1998) FY2002 Sold 8’5B investmts at a 53M Loss (!!) 911956621_200306_990 (all pp, ptd 7-30-2017)

**correction — double-checking the $54M quote, I see that referred to “unrealized gains” part of the return, not shown on Page 1 summary.  This would’ve been shown in the financial statements.  On the other hand, $54M of the $91M (“Other expenses) that year was shown going to a single contractor in Boston “Arnold Communications.”

Three images from within the FY2002 return and one from FY2003 showing a $46.8M gain from sale of securities..  Which securities, one wonders!  Who is donating $8B worth of securities over such a short period (or possibly even within a single year).

 

ALF 2002 details some of the “sponsorship” grants — showing ca. ¾ ($3.3M of $4.2M) went to UCSF.

ALF FY2002 detail from a listing of $27M grants to others had been shrunk to below visibility, in explicably… and the entity is at this point only a few years old…

ALF FY2002, $87M in “Contract Services” is major “Other Expense” of $91M total.

American Legacy Fndtn FY2003, prior yr lost $35M selling over 8B assets; this year somehow they profited $46M. Where that many assets came from, I still don’t see reflected on tax returns.

 

The numbers we are dealing with over time are, by a normal person’s standards (supporting self, family, maybe contribution to charities, or saving for retirement, helping/hoping to send children to a decent college) are phenomenal — millions, hundreds of millions (regularly) and billions.  Plural.

But within these there are still degrees of relative size, there are types of donations (for example, in one example below — actually two — among the $100M+donations (or close to it some years) of donations, were in-kind donations of drugs, medications and related inventories for use in, (Carter Center Collaborative, Inc.) primarily sub-Saharan Africa.

Another issue that came up as I looked for some of the “50 largest foundations” on different lists, besides how they were categorized, is what are actually membership dues (contributions, technically speaking) are classified on the Form 990s as “Program service Revenues” in one place, and contributions (same organization) in another.  Also, in looking for “the largest” for some list — for example, Forbes had one — this often doesn’t take into account related organizations, which consideration of the tax returns would quickly show.

Here’s “American Legacy Foundation” (“Truth Initiative”) tax returns from that post:

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
American Legacy Foundation DC 2016 990 65 $957,381,718.00 91-1956621
American Legacy Foundation DC 2015 990 92 $1,096,789,302.00 91-1956621
American Legacy Foundation DC 2014 990 97 $1,151,506,314.00 91-1956621

It’s hovering around $1B assets (Gross) now — but it had its hands on much more a dozen-plus years ago.  See also my post published 8/19/2017 (continuation of this one) which may have more detail.  I looked at this again recently, took more “screenprints” and am considering posting a separate page just on that year’s return, to emphasize — what’s really going on there?  Why should the public be funding such an operation?
Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: