Rolling Stone Magazine famously called Goldman Sachs investment bank "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." But it's not just one horrendous bank; read below the chilling words of the Investment Manager of Strathclyde Pension Fund. Disgusting as it is, the rage and madness of ethnic cleansing and massacres always come to an end; British, French and German people no longer slaughter each other as we did the French for centuries and Germans within living memory. Hot blood cools, and each wave of murder finally ends but war profiteers have no hot blood that could cool; Goldman Sachs and the little Goldman Sachs everywhere - Richard Keery is but one example - seem like us on the outside but they are (at least in part) cold-blooded parasites on the human race who can kiss their own children off to school in the morning and then sell or invest in mass murder at the office to  earn a fat, blood-stained bonus. And they see no contradiction.

Below we reproduce an article from the Sunday Herald (30 September 2017) where Richard Keery, the Stratchclyde Pension Fund Investment Manager, therefore someone paid handsomely for overseeing investments of almost £14 billion, is claiming that the SPF did not hold information "that would allow us to identify which countries these companies [the fund invests in] sell arms to". This response is disingenuous, and a sign of how indefensible such profiteering from war crimes is. People in any of the twelve local authorities whose pension funds are managed by Richard Keery might well consider his response to be an insult to their intelligence.

Mark Bitel, currently Scottish Director of CAAT (Campaign against the Arms Trade) was incredulous:

I cannot believe that Richard Keery, Investment Manager of Strathclyde Pension Fund, is so poorly informed that he truly believes that the fund could not access information on the countries whose weapons supply comes from the arms companies that they invest in. At best this is corporate laziness; at worst is shows lack of care in the impact of its investments and a disregard for transparency, shrouded behind the cloak of fiduciary duty. I suggest that he takes a quick look at the Campaign Against Arms Trade website where he can find much of this information at his fingertips.

There is something seriously wrong when a highly-paid investment manager reponds in such a manner to a councillor raising issues about the propriety of our pension fund investing in mass murder and grotesque human rights violations. Time to Divest are ready to present Scottish Councillors with irrefutable evidence that companies included in Scottish councils' investment portfolios supply Israel to violate Palestinian human rights. The Scottish Government called for an arms embargo against Israel in summer 2014, during an Israeli army massacre of over 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children. To put teeth into such a call, Scottish councils and councillors should follow the example of Inverclyde SNP Leader McEleny and publicly call for divestment from the merchants of death. It's a scandal that Richard Keery wants to squeeze profits out of mass murder, is only concerned lest divestment from arms companies and the carnage they cause "restricts investment opportunity...and may impair investment returns". No wonder so many people despise bankers and investment managers such as Richard Keery.

Rolling Stone Magazine famously called Goldman Sachs investment bank "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money." But it's not just one horrendous bank; read beolw the chilling words of the Investment Manager of Strathclyde Pension Fund. Disgusting as it is, the rage and madness of ethnic cleansing and massacres always come to an end; British, French and German people no longer slaughter each other as we did for centuries and within living memory. Hot blood cools, and each wave of murder finally ends but war profiteers have no hot blood that could cool; Goldman Sachs and the little Goldman Sachs everywhere - Richard Keery is but one example - seem like us on the outside but they are (at least in part) cold-blooded parasites on the human race who can kiss their own children off to school in the morning and then sell or invest in mass murder at the office to earn a fat, blood-stained bonus. And they see no contradiction.

You can add your voice, a humane voice, to the call for divestment. It's quick and easy here.  Or download and use the 'Scottish Palestine' App

Mick Napier
20 October 2017

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Scotland's biggest public pension scheme happy to keep investment in arms traders...but can't say who they sell to
Martin Williams
Sunday Herald
30 September 2017

The Glasgow City Council-administered Strathclyde Pension Fund has been criticised after it emerged two years ago it had investments worth £83 million in 11 of the 20 companies with the biggest global involvement in arms manufacture. The fund which local authority workers across the former Strathclyde region are members of is estimated to have £189 million invested in various arms companies.Scotland's largest local authority pension scheme had shares worth £19.6 million, as of December 2014 in the top two arms-producing and military services companies alone, Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of Trident nuclear weapons, and Boeing. As of two years ago, the pension scheme had assets of more than £13.9 billion, paid 70,000 pensioners and had a further 130,000 members either paying into the fund or waiting to retire from 12 local authorities, including Glasgow, plus over 200 other large and small employers.

SNP group leader on Inverclyde council Chris McEleny made the call for a ban on arms investments in a letter to Ian Gow the convener of the Strathclyde Pension Fund Committee. He said: "I have recently been contacted by constituents who have raised concerns that the Strathclyde Pension Fund invests in worldwide arms companies as part of its investment strategy.

"I am sure you can understand that there are many people that do not believe that this type of investment is within the spirit of the fund's Responsible Investment Strategy. As you are aware there has been a change in political leadership across the region and I am hopeful that this will be reflected in future investments ensuring that the scheme makes ethical investments that support the wider fund."

He hoped that the fund managers would ensure that fund growth is "not on the back off profits generated by arms sales, many of which may be used in conflicts around the world."

But Richard Keery, investment manager of the fund said it was "unable to support calls for divestment". He also said it did not hold information "that would allow us to identify which countries these companies [the fund invests in] sell arms to".

He said the fund's position was that it gets regular calls from lobby groups to divest from one sector or another – fossil fuels, tobacco and defence in particular.

The fund's position was that disinvestment or screening out of individual sectors has never been part of SPF strategy as this "restricts investment opportunity, tends to increase volatility and may impair investment returns".

"Divestment based on a subjective, ethical viewpoint is not permissible and potentially subject to legal challenge in the context of a fund which is investing for the purpose of paying pensions liabilities to its members. The effectiveness of disinvestment is also questionable as it reduces investor ability to engage and influence," says the SPF position.

Mr McEleny said he was "disappointed" that the scheme is "not listening" to concerns.

"There is a growing consensus that people are not comfortable with this type of investment. Members of the Scheme that I have spoken to do not want their pension pot used to invest in Arms Dealers across the world.

" I would urge the elected committee that manages the scheme to challenge this and ensure that the pension pot grows to pay future pension liabilities on the back of an progressive ethical investment policy, not investing in arms dealers."

Comments   

0 #1 John Fullerton 2017-10-24 10:19
A Councillor who wrote to those responsible for the Strathclyde Pension Fund received a lengthy and detailed response, but the two key paragraphs are as follows:
'Divestment based on a subjective, ethical viewpoint is not permissible and potentially subject to legal challenge in the context of a fund which is investing for the purpose of paying pensions liabilities to its members.
'The effectiveness of disinvestment is also questionable as it reduces investor ability to engage and influence.'
I love the bit about 'engage and influence'. How does an investor 'engage and influence' if the fund managers won't do anything about it?
It's time to increase the pressure!
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