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« To hell with the U.S. economy, it's all about pleasing Copenhagen | Main | Extrordinary and ordinary inspiration »

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

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Mommynator

This is sooo spooky.

Douglas Adams in his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has one scene on a far off planet where a society collapsed immediately upon the pronouncement of the society being all "joo joo flopped" (their version of all wee weed up), and people applauding how enlightened and relaxed and cool he was to be able to say that.

Who knew satirical science fiction could be prophetic.

Chris Vehr

"All these things have contributed to _ I wouldn't say a safer world _ but a world with less tension," he said.

Let me get this straight. The world is not safer, but there is less tension?

Yep, I'd say the award is still a farce.

Jose Martinez

President Obama should donate his $ 1.4 million in Nobel Peace Prize funds to the U.S. government to pay for his two Scandanavian trips: 1. Copenhagen for his failing bid to push the Olympic games there and 2. To pick up Nobel Peace Prize funds. Each trip cost the U.S. taxpayer about $ 920,000 for Air Force One, security etc.

And there is the issue of how the Nobel foundation funds invested in Swedish armament industry and in weapons of mass destruction.

1. Originally the directive from Alfred Nobel was to place the funds in real estate or similar safe investments, however since 1953 the foundation was allowed by the Swedish government to invest in shares, which stopped the hither to depletion of the funds.

2. The funds are at the moment approx US$ 500 million in total (it shrunk approx 20% last year).

3. The management is not done by the foundation itself, it is split across several (about ten) portfolios managed by different asset managers in Sweden and other countri es, the spread across countries and by asset type can be found here: http://nobelprize.org/nobelfoundation/finan-manag.html

4. As late as 2005, there is an explicit admission from the foundation that there are NO ethical guidelines issued to the asset managers:

www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/article256458.ece?service=articlePrint - in Norwegian)

5.There have been several 'scandals' surrounding the asset management, presumably deriving from the lack of ethical guidelines from the Nobel foundation

- In 1998, the Observer made an investigation into the investments and found that many of the world largest arms manufactureres (including Boeing, British Aerospace, GKN och Smiths Industries) were in the Nobel foundation portfolios

- in 2005, a Norwegian organization 'Norwatch' looked specifically into the portfolio handled by a US firm group called T Rowe Price who in their general portfolios have manufacturers of both cluster bombs and atomic bombs (Lockheed Martin). The Nobel foundation did not exclude the possibility that their funds were invested in such shares

6. it is probable that such investments are held in the the Bofor group, which has a high level chemical plant in Ifshahan, Iran, which manufactures TNT, and quite likely sophisticated chemical precursors used to help create nuclear enriched uranium.

However, dynamite and related products was the original invention and=2 0business which gave Alfred Nobel the means to set up the prize in the first place, and he was the owner of Bofors from 1894-96, during which he "had the key role in reshaping the iron manufacturer to a modern cannon manufacturer (...)" : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bofors

No doubt the prestige of the prize to a large degree derives from the large sums involved, but is therefore also stained by the way the money was and is procured.

But the prestige also derives from Alfred Nobels testamentary wish to promote peace and international understanding.

The paradox the funds for the Nobel Prize are invested and retained in funds related to armament productions and weapons of mass destruction and many people are unaware of this situation.

Mommynator

Considering that Nobel was involved with dynamite, I don't have a problem with investment in arms.

You need to be strong to keep the peace.

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