This story is just too fun not to pass along:
Greenpeace has suffered a 3.8 million-euro ($5.2 million) loss on an ill-timed bet in the currency market by a well-intentioned — if reckless — employee in its finance department.
The environmental group, which is based in Amsterdam, said Monday the employee — who had bet the euro would not strengthen against other currencies in 2013, when it did — had acted beyond the limits of his authority.
Greenpeace International fired the employee, whom it did not identify, but said there was no evidence of fraud. . .
[Greenpeace spokesman Mike Townsley] said the organization was deeply concerned that the incident would offend its supporters, and apologized. Greenpeace does not accept contributions from companies or governments and is funded entirely by individuals. . .
Just makes you feel all warm and tingly, doesn’t it? Of course Greenpeace is big business, validating Eric Hoffer’s great axiom that “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” With its frequent adventures in lawlessness (trespassing, etc), Greenpeace is actually more of a racketeer. (See image below.)
[Townsley] said the employee was fired for ignoring rules, not for the loss itself, which — although sizeable compared with donor contributions — amounts to a fraction of the organization’s annual revenues of around 300 million euros ($406 million).
Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO Monitor, which studies accountability at nonprofit organizations, said he wasn’t familiar with Greenpeace’s finances. But he said 300 million euros is “a huge amount of money,” and it puts Greenpeace in the first rank of international non-governmental organizations in terms of size. . .
In the 1970s, human rights groups and environmental groups may have been “mom and pop operations with a lot of volunteers and limited budgets,” he said. Now any image of head offices filled with “T-shirts and jeans” should be discarded.
“It’s big business,” he said. “But what you see sometimes at an organization like this is that its ability to manage finances has lagged behind its ability to solicit and raise funds.” . . .
The group said it would absorb the loss by cutting planned investments in “infrastructure” and pledged not to reduce spending on campaigns and protest actions.
By the way, keep Greenpeace’s $400 million budget in mind next time you hear the left complain about the Koch brothers/fossil fuel-funded critics of environmentalism. The combined total budgets for all purposes of AEI, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and the Hoover Institution is barely half of Greenpeace’s annual budget.