We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, June 28, 2010

BP’s Dumb Investors

by George Monbiot from his blog. 

I don't think that fund investors were "dumb", just greedy and aware that corporations rule. So why worry about risk? Governments, that is, working people will always pay for any damages the corporations cause, notwithstanding Obama's assurances that BP will pay for everything. While corporations like BP are too big to fail (see this), American workers are dispensable.
...whenever greens or ethical investors warned them about BP’s cavalier behaviour, instead of thanking them, the big fund managers reacted with hostility. On 15 April, five days before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, a group of investors led by Co-operative Asset Management tabled a resolution at BP’s AGM requesting more disclosure of the risks it was running in its tar sands operations(12). It was one of the most successful ethical resolutions ever, but all that means is that funds holding 15% of the shares either supported it or abstained. The other 85% supported the company’s right to keep bamboozling them.