Kid just loves him some cows (komos) wrote,
Kid just loves him some cows

I'm as socially conscious as anyone, but...

The "Would you like to save Darfur?" zombies appear to be backed with a fairly impressive marketing campaign that's fielded convoys of 'rolling billboard' trucks, television ads, and signage in T stations and trains. Though we're not talking about Budweiser's expenditures for Superbowl ad space, this is a national campaign, and it strikes me that there is a significant amount of money that's being poured into this blitz. I also note with some interest that the cause celebre, the sole thing that the WyltsD? zombies are selling us (and this is selling), is that Fidelity has significant holdings in SinoPec and PetroChina, which themselves conduct business in Sudan, which supposedly uses 60-70% of its oil revenues on military spending - which, according to some sources, is tantamount to 60-70% of the oil revenue being used to directly fund genocide.

Given that Fidelity is the second largest investor in these companies, it leaves me wondering what's really going on here. Are they being targeted in this campaign solely because their name is more readily recognizable than Berkshire-Hathaway? What about Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and John Hancock? Given the vagueries and complexities of international finance, I'm having a difficult time accepting that pressuring a single holder to divest will have any real effect. That there are companies that have invested in other companies that have ties to companies, industries or governments that are engaged in reprehensible activities is not shocking. It is, instead, an expected result of globalization and capitalism run amok. Fidelity's investments are symptomatic of a larger issue, and the divestment at best creates a situation where undervalued petrolium stocks get snatched up by other investors. It won't stop the flow of money if there is money to be made, and it won't prevent genocide from occurring.

Grandiosity aside, I keep coming back to one question that I've yet to see answered: Where is the money funding this divestment campaign coming from?

I want to know who stands to gain.

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