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Is Fidelity Investing in Darfur Genocide?

On the news last night I saw this commercial which criticizes Fidelity for making investments that indirectly fuel the genocide in Darfur. According to those that created the commercial, the ubiquitous and Get Fidelity Out of Sudan, Fidelity invests in two Chinese oil companies that do business in the Sudan — PetroChina and Sinopec. Financial details on these investments ($1.3 Billion in stock), as well as other companies' investments, can be found at Get Fidelity Out of Sudan's website.

While I had vaguely heard about the rally here in Manhattan last month, I didn't realize it was tied to Fidelity. Nor did I know that Harvard stopped investing with PetroChina two years ago for this reason. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is also being pressured to divest from PetroChina ($2.8 Billion according to Get Fidelity Out of Sudan). It is amazing what you don't see on the news — and then catch during the commercials. I have investments with Fidelity and I am considering ending them in light of this information.

Do you think investment decisions should be motivated by political and moral issues? And should such socially-minded investing (or divesting in Harvard's case) be considered social capitalism?

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