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Demand that the Nation's Largest Pension Fund Boycott World Bank Bonds!

World Bank Bonds Boycott (Center for Economic Justice)
November 15th, 2001

Please Note: This action has been discontinued.
Thank you for your support!

Protesters from around the world will gather in Ottawa, Canada for the postponed annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund from November 17-18. Demonstrators will once again raise their voices for global justice, and demand that the World Bank and IMF:

  • End policies that hinder access to food, clean water, shelter, health care, education, and the right to organize

  • Stop all support for socially and environmentally destructive projects such as oil, gas, mining, and dams

Meanwhile, a growing campaign, the World Bank Bonds Boycott, is taking the movement from the streets to the suites in its call for institutional investors -- including pension funds, city councils, churches, unions, and universities -- to commit not to invest in the bonds that provide 80% of the World Bank's funds, until the World Bank meets these demands.

TIAA-CREF is the largest pension fund in the U.S., and it holds approximately $5 million in World Bank bonds. At its annual meeting in New York City on November 13, TIAA-CREF was challenged by protesters demanding that it get out of World Bank bonds and instead invest its money more responsibly.

Please send a fax or letter today to TIAA-CREF chairman and CEO John Biggs, and Chief Investment Officer Martin Leibowitz, asking that TIAA-CREF adopt a policy not to invest in World Bank Bonds. If you are a member of TIAA-CREF, be sure to indicate this in your letter.

For more information on the World Bank Bonds Boycott, see www.worldbankboycott.org


Fax Numbers

Biggs' office: 1-212-916-6231
Liebowitzs' office: 1-212-916-5385


Sample Letter

John H. Biggs, Chairman, CEO and President
Martin Leibowitz, Chief Investment Officer
TIAA-CREF
730 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10017

Dear Mr. Biggs and Mr. Leibowitz,

I write to you to request that TIAA-CREF adopt a policy against investing in bonds issued by the World Bank (the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or IBRD), and instead invest in bonds that promote social good.

I understand that in your Bond Market Account you have approximately $5 million in IBRD bonds. I urge you to join the World Bank Bonds Boycott, which mobilizes institutional investors in 35 countries to agree not to invest in World Bank bonds until the Bank reforms its policies.

The World Bank is one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world. It raises roughly $20 billion on the bond market every year. People in the global South struggle every day with programs imposed upon them by the Bank. These programs limit poor peoples' access to health care, clean water, and education.

Many of the largest socially responsible investment firms in the US -- including Calvert Group, Citizens Funds, Harrington Investments, Progressive Assets Management, Trillium Assets Management, Pax World Fund Family, and Parnasssus Investments -- have already agreed to boycott World Bank bonds. Indeed, screening against purchasing World Bank bonds has become standard practice among socially conscious investors. Five U.S. cities, thirteen unions, and nine religious groups and Catholic communities have also committed not to purchase World Bank bonds. Students on dozens of campuses across the U.S and Canada are working to get their universities to sign on. The effort is already causing the World Bank to feel direct political and financial pressure to change its policies.

Even if TIAA-CREF does not feel compelled to adopt a policy against buying World Bank bonds for the reasons listed above, I would urge you to do so for purely financial reasons. As the boycott of World Bank bonds grows, the campaign is putting pressure on the Bank's AAA rating and could drive it down, making World Bank bonds a risky security for TIAA-CREF to hold.

I encourage you instead to look into investing positively in bonds that promote social good. Thank you for considering my request, and I look forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely,



For more information about the boycott, contact:

World Bank Bonds Boycott
Center for Economic Justice
1830 Connecticut Ave., NW, 4th floor,
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: (202) 299-0020 / Fax: (202) 299-0021
Web: www.worldbankboycott.org

To receive occasional updates on the World Bank Bonds boycott, join our listserve:

Send blank e-mail to bank-boycott-subscribe@yahoogroups.com