Episode #35

Socially Responsible Investing After Newtown

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Friday, December 21, 2012

A week after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, the mass shooting continues to have a ripple effect in the conversation around guns, even in the financial community. 

The pension fund for California’s teachers questioned its investment with the private equity firm Cerberus because it owns Freedom Group, a company that makes the gun used in the shootings. Funds in other states like Massachusetts have followed suit.

Now Cerberus says its looking to sell the company.

This week on WNYC's Money Talking, regular contributors Joe Nocera of the New York Times and Rana Foroohar of Time magazine look into the challenges people face when trying to invest in a socially responsible way. 

Among other questions, they debate what makes a company "socially responsible" in today's globalized economy. 

Hosted by:

Jeff Greenfield

Produced by:

Daniel P. Tucker


Charlie Herman


Rana Foroohar and Joe Nocera

Comments [1]

Lily Scott from New York, NY

To add to the conversation:
Robert Zevin, a pioneer of the "socially responsible investing" field which, as stated in this interview is now a ~$4 trillion industry, was interviewed on WBUR’s Radio Boston on December 19th regarding State Treasurer Steve Grossman’s decision to ask the Massachusetts Pension Board to review its investments in handgun or retailed assault rifle companies. Robert reaffirmed his belief in the role of investors in affecting social change and cited the important public policy changes that occurred after tobacco and South African Apartheid divestments by state treasuries. Importantly, Robert pointed out that so far no criteria applied by social investors has interfered with maximizing returns. Robert believes this is an opportune time for states to begin to express interest in addressing the cost of state police, prisons, healthcare and public safety while attracting investments from outside the state by reducing gun ownership and gun violence. States could do this by first codifying their beliefs by divesting from such companies and then taking other avenues such as lawsuits against handgun and rifle companies as a beginning for legislation on these matters.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
(Robert Zevin’s short interview starts at 7:18)

Thank you,
Lily S.

Dec. 21 2012 09:54 AM

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