Monday, August 16, 2010

Did Harvard Quietly Divest from Israeli Companies - or Not?

Over the years, I've sometimes seen a bumper sticker of t-shirt that says "Jesus Saves- Moses Invests." Harvard Management Company, which handles the university's investments dumped all its Israeli stock in the 2nd quarter of 2010. Neocon blogs all over the place are declaring war on them. Why? The companies were losing a lot of money:

TEVA has been trending down steadily since April, for example, losing about 1/5th of its value. NICE has also been dropping over the period, losing about 1/6th of its value. CEL shed almost a third of its value in April and May. It could well be a pure investment decision with no political motivation. So some of the knee jerk hysteria may be misplaced.

Harvard did pick up some Turkish stocks about the time they dumped some of their Israeli stocks, but it appears this was pre-Mavi Marmara.

Sometime early this week, somebody from Harvard or Harvard Management Company is going to have to trot out to a microphone or two and explain this seemingly prudent decision to get out of an economy that looks like it wants to relive the South African experience of the 80s and early 90s, and may have to endure 25,000 rocket attacks from Lebanon in the near future if a war with Iran is started.

Here are some of the comments at early articles that have picked up on the story:

Harvard is Anti-Semitic? So what else is new?


Few of the major universities are what they used to be.

The reputations of almost all the Ivy League colleges have been irreparably tarnished and I doubt that many of them can regain their former greatness as well as their once proud heritage and reputations.

I attribute these losses to the fact that many of these once great institutions have been overrun by Marxists, communists, socialists and far left radical extremists like Bill Ayers and Ward Churchill just to name two among many, far too many.


American's will divest their money from each and every HARVARD trained money manager in protest.

Harvard is beyond disgusting. The school violates America all the time. Look at Elena Kagan's treatment of our military.

Disgusting. My child would attend Yale or Princeton….NEVER Harvard!

but articulate pushback is evident. Here's a response to a comment about Harvard investing in Palestinian firms (they aren't):

Palestine's entire economy has been restructured into a periphery to Israel's core for the last 40 years. The entire Palestinian economy has stagnated, and not on its own — because of Israeli policy, specifically things like checkpoints and land theft (not to mention periodic massacres).

If Israel has a good record, then it's not a surprise. It has a vast source of cheap labor to exploit (Palestinians who have lost all of their property and livelihoods with few choices left other than to apply for permits to work in Israel, when the option is even available), they have large reserves of land and capital to develop that they stole/are stealing from Palestinians, and of course the rest of the world is/has always invested into some of the most murderous parts of the Israeli economy to the detriment of everyone else.

If the issue is having a state/country develop medicines and other products then there are ways to do it without screwing over the indigenous.

My own view is that this happened quietly. It wasn't a political move on the part of the investors. They may be genuinely concerned about war with Iran and its effect on Israel's economy, but perhaps not. They may announce a new investment in an Israeli company this week.

We'll see. But would Moses invest in Israel right now?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

go fuck yourself munger