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"Worst Investor in America" Not Practicing What He Preaches

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Bono, who earned the dubious distinction of being named the "Worst Investor in America" by 24/7 Wall Street this past March, after sinking a fortune into Elevation Partners -- which itself earned the equally dubious distinction of being described as "arguably the worst run institutional fund of any size in the United States" -- may soon find an equivalently unimpressive honor bestowed upon his charity, the ONE Campaign.

Last week, St. Bono messengered gift boxes to newsrooms around New York City to bring attention to the charity's challenge to President Obama -- a challenge that would have the US government give $6 billion to the UN's Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in Africa.

A spokeswoman for ONE, Kimberly Hunter, said, "Sometimes it's pretty hard to get through to reporters with the information about the lives of the world's poorest people," Hunter said. "We think it's important enough to try and break through the clutter... That's why we sent the boxes."

Hunter wouldn't say how much the organization spent on the swag -- which included a bag of Starbucks coffee (to foster support for African agriculture), a leather Moleskine notebook (to get people thinking about African education) and a black-and-white cookie (not to promote racial harmony, but to point out that some people live on less per day than the cost of the cookie, which costs, a note explained, $1.25).

But, while ONE pushes for others to spend their own money on the causes that matter so much to one of the world's wealthiest rock stars, the ONE Campaign is hardly practicing what it preaches.

The New York Post reports that the "nonprofit took in $14,993,873 in public donations in 2008, the latest year for which tax records are available.

"Of that, $184,732 was distributed to three charities, according to the IRS filing.

"Meanwhile, more than $8 million was spent on executive and employee salaries."

When you stop to consider that U2 is the highest-earning band on the planet, with each tour stop bringing in $10 million in gross ticket sales, perhaps Bono might consider chipping in a few bucks of his own.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.