I was curious to see the context before the two sentences you quoted. The Callahan quotes are from an interview he did with BBC Business Daily. Here's what he actually said in this section (which starts at approximately the five-minute mark). The journalists over at BBC Mundo removed some repetitive material and pulled out Callahan's message in a pithy way with some artful paraphrasing. Your two sentences are in bold.
Philanthropy by its nature is "La filantropía, por su propia
not very democratic. These naturaleza, no es muy democrática
philanthropist foundations, Los filántropos, las fundaciones, no
they're accountable to nobody; rinden cuentas a nadie", subraya
they can do what they want Callahan. "Pueden hacer lo que
with their money and that can quieran con su dinero y eso puede
be a very good thing, because ser muy bueno, porque pueden
they can take the kinds of risks asumir riesgos que los gobiernos
that government officials can't y las empresas no, porque los
take, who are accountable to v primeros deben rendir cuentas
oters, or that corporations can't ante sus votantes y los segundos
take, because they're accountable ante los accionistas. En ese sentido
to shareholders. Philanthropists los filántropos tienen mucha
have a lot of leeway to push libertad de acción para impulsar
forward dramatic ideas that may ideas muy rompedoras", explica.
be unpopular or may be risky.
The downside is they're not "Pero que tengan tanta libertad de
accountable and have a lot of acción y no necesiten rendir
leeway, right? So the same thing cuentas es también peligroso",
that's a strength of philanthropy añade.
is also a danger because you have
particularly now, these billionaires Y advierte que el hecho de que
who already have so much power nadie los fiscalice "es algo que
in our society - they will power debería asustarnos".
through their political donations,
through their control of big
corporations like google or facebook
or amazon, and now they're also
moving into the area of civil society
through their large-scale philanthropy
and exercising a lot of power there.
So this is a scary thing.
Wikipedia in English has some helpful material:
The subjunctive is a grammatical mood (that is, a way of speaking that
allows people to express their attitude toward what they are saying)
found in many languages. Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used
to express various states of unreality such as wish, emotion,
possibility, judgment, opinion, obligation, or action that have not
Subjunctives occur most often, although not exclusively, in
subordinate clauses, particularly that-clauses. Examples of the
subjunctive in English are found in the sentences "I suggest that you
be careful" and "It is important that she stay by your side." (The corresponding indicative forms of the verbs in bold would be are
The most useful parts of this for your question, I think, are "judgment"
and "Subjunctives occur most often in that-clauses."
Wikipedia in Spanish has something helpful too:
Toma el carácter subjetivo de posible, probable, hipotética, creída, deseada, temida o necesaria.
Here, the most relevant part for your question is "hipotética."
The pundit explained in the interview that this new type of philanthropy is uncharted territory. That's the trigger for the subjunctive here.
It might be helpful to think about these sentences this way:
But the prospect that [these neophilantropists] could have so much leeway and not need to be accountable is also dangerous.
He warns that the prospect that no one would be providing financial oversight is something that should frighten us.