Many links between Cato and Mercatus

By Laurie Bennett

November 12, 2012 at 9:59am

Think tanks have social networks, too.

The Muckety map below shows some of the more prominent connections between the Cato Institute and the Mercatus Center.

The two have different structures. Cato is a libertarian think tank. Mercatus is a market research center affiliated with George Mason University.

Both have a large Koch imprint. David Koch is a director of Cato. Brother Charles is a director of Mercatus, as is the Kochs’ right-hand man, Richard Fink. Charles Koch’s foundation has contributed to both organizations.

After the Kochs’ public battle for control of Cato, banker John Allison was named the new CEO of the institute. He replaced Ed Crane, who had accused the Kochs of attempting a hostile takeover.

Allison is a follower of Ayn Rand and “appears to almost completely share the Koch vision,” writes Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. He is also a director of Mercatus.

The Koch brothers are certainly not the only links between Cato and Mercatus. Tamko Building exec Ethelmae Humphreys is a director of Cato; her foundation has supported Mercatus.

Other mutual benefactors include conservative-leaning funders such as Phil Anschutz’s foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, Donors Trust and Searle Freedom Trust.

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