Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Private Investment

What's been surprising to me is the emphasis on private investment here today. Brad Pitt and Steve Bing are offering up to $10 million in matching funds to donors who donate to rebuilding the lower ninth ward in New Orleans. This morning, Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, clearly took the opportunity to be in the room with Goldman-Sachs people and took the opportunity to sell investment in Afghanistan. Obviously the World Bank president and the CEO of Wal-Mart have an interest in emphasizing the investment factor. As long as the free market is the answer, they're in a very comfortable position.

Philanthropy is often seen as the out to regulation for large corporations. They're investing in undesirable places or causes, so they use that as an excuse for not getting regulation imposed on them. The role of investment is certainly powerful, but I don't think we should allow it to be an excuse for not putting regulation on corporations.

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