World Bank: Preaching is easy. Doing is hard.

Yes, I am talking about the other largest financial institution that countries can go to should they really need help. The other being International Monetary Fund and the 3rd largest would be Asian Development Bank followed by the the about to be formalised Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. (AIAB) Read here:  US$100 Billion new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.  In a news report, it was revealed that the World Bank indirectly invests part of its $18.8 billion staff pension fund in companies which are operating in industries such as coal and tobacco. This is of course in direct collision to what the institution preaches; ethical and low-carbon investing.
When the World Bank gives out loans, it is a lending practise to all the developing nations that it will not give funds for tobacco production and would totally ban financial support for the construction of coal-fired electricity with the exception of the poorest countries without any other options. In fact, based on a transparency and managing climate risks report by the Asset Owners Disclosure Project, the World Bank’s pension fund is ranked even below pension funds of companies including British Coal and the state oil fund of Azerbaijan. Let me repeat, ‘below state oil fund of Azerbaijan.’
Honestly, I do not think investing in these industries are wrong. Yes, I hate smokers but it is still a choice and these industries are safe, especially for pension based funds. What I do not agree is that if this is already known, then why not allow these developing countries to also benefit from such investments? Why selectively do it and then preaching everyone else not to do it? On second thought, perhaps this is just the world order. The stronger would normally be advantageous compared to the weaker ones. Just look at the subsidy which the rich nations gave to their farmers who would go on to defeat all the poor farmers of the poorest nations in the world. In the end, some of these poorest nations would remain poorest for a very long time to come. Yeah, this may have little to do with Malaysia. Just read for knowledge then.
written on 4 May 2015
next suggested article: Subsidy is not all BAD. Give to needy, not everybody.


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