Brian Carr Education and Research Charitable Trust

Brian Carr Education and Research Charitable Trust

If you live in the U.S. you have almost certainly heard the story that the native American indians sold Dutch colonists the island of Manhattan (in what would become NY) in 1625 for $24 of beads1. The conclusion is that the colonists bought the island for a bargain price and sort of cheated the indians. However, a few years ago I read that if that $24 had instead been invested at the current rate of return (assumed 6%), by the year 2000 it would be worth about a trillion dollars (more or less the current value of the land which is the island of Manhattan, NY)2. So, perhaps it was a fair price.

That got me to thinking that it is sad that no one had ever tried to really take advantage of the miracle of compounding interest to do something significant and good. What if someone had invested $24 back then in a charity which would grow until it was significant and could then do something of substance. That is the idea of the Brian Carr Education and Research Charitable Trust which is documented here.

Let the fund increase until it is truly massive (valued at perhaps 10% of the GNP) and then start making charitable contributions to keep the fund from getting too huge. If there were several hundred of such funds, in a few thousand years this could represent a peaceful transition away from the excesses of capitalism without the serious drawbacks which communism has presented.

If this idea appeals to you and you live outside the U.S., perhaps you could help me. It is important that the charitable trust grow under tax exempt conditions to insure that the rate of return exceeds inflation (not always true in the U.S. in the last century). Sadly, there are several taxes on 'tax exempt' trusts in the U.S. as in 4940, 4942, etc.

If you could help me set up a trust in your country (assuming it would be truly tax exempt), I would love your help. Please contact me at brian@brian.carr .name (take out the space).

Eventually there will need to be trusts in most countries, but for now I need at least one where the trust can grow without being taxed on its investment income. Initially its investments and charitable contributions (minimal to start) will focus on that country.

The following organizing documents are available:

Each year there will be an IRS form 990PF as listed here:
YearForm 990AddendumBalancesMinutes
2009Sep 13, 2009
2010 f990, signature, sent to f990 Addm April 4, 2010 June 16, 2010
2011 f990, signature f990 Addm March 31, 2011 April 28, 2011
2012 f990, signature f990 Addm April 12, 2012 April 12, 2012
2013 f990, signature f990 Addm May 11, 2013 May 11, 2013
2014 f990, signature f990 Addm May 12, 2014 May 12, 2014
2015 f990, signature f990 Addm May 19, 2015 May 23, 2015
The final terminating tax filing f990 with signature as well as the final minutes of May 7, 2016.

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1 I have always wondered how they could claim $27 as there wasn't any such things as dollars at that time. However, it seems it would be more precise to say 60 guilders of trade goods which would have likely included beads as well as other goods. The accuracy of the original story is discussed in http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/41/415.html.

2 My own calculations show that at 6% interest over 375 years $24 would increase to almost $1.8 trillion dollars which is in the same ballpark as the value of Manhattan's land.

This page was last updated on May 7, 2016