Moral compass points north-east-east across the North Sea

The Norwegians, flush with cash from their oil exports, put a lot of money away over the last decade. $300billion to be exact.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/business/worldbusiness/04norway.html?ex=1335931200&en=bf2bff622406f256&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

With this they make investments in companies “to make the Norwegian people feel less guilty.”; so, they’ve decided to pull out a lot of money from American companies that don’t meet their ethical investment criteria, such as makers of cluster bombs and mines (Lockheed Martin) and “toleratores of child-labor violations” (WalMart).

Now, having sold off over $400million worth of WalMart stock, the Americans did what they do best; blame everyone else. The ambassador stated that ” Norway has taken aim at companies arbitrarily, based on unreliable third-party reports and, in the case of Wal-Mart, on a cottage industry of Wal-Mart bashers.”

This why WalMart didn’t bother to reply to the Norwegian governments’ concerns in March? If I were a large investor in a company, I would expect them to at least send a letter of acknowledgement back.

WalMart basically thought “we are WalMart, we’re the largest company on earth, we don’t have to reply to our investors”, then get the American government to cry foul when the investor dumps their stock.

As the proponents of a completely free economic market, they get their government to apply a lot of pressure on their behalf, in a kinda Mafia-esque style.

In other news, our robot BEAST came 2nd out of 18 competitors. Ben’s write up will save me having to type the same thing again :-)

Right, I’m late for chasewater, everyone enjoy the bank holiday :-)