Some days the material just falls from the sky.

The New York Times has a column today that, surprisingly, doesn’t have anything to do with giving away secrets to terrorists.

The story is called “Feel good investing with profits, too.”

Here’s a bit:

Secretary General Kofi Annan rang the bell recently to open the New York Stock Exchange, part of the public unveiling of six new rules of sound investing developed at the United Nations. The rules say that environmental and social costs should be measured and factored into investment decisions.

Sixteen managers of public pension funds throughout the world promptly endorsed the new doctrine and shook Mr. Annan’s hand.

Kofi’s recommendations didn’t have anything to do with an “oil for food” program, a favorite investment of the United Nations in the past.

The United Nations’ “Oil-for-Food” program, which began in 1996, permitted Saddam Hussein to sell oil, provided that the revenue went for food, medicine and other necessities. It was a deal between the world’s largest bureaucracy and one of the planet’s most crooked and ruthless dictators. What could possibly go wrong?

Eventually it was discovered, with a shock value equal to the one that hit us this morning when the sun rose in the east, that Hussein was skimming money off the top, and bottom for that matter. Skimming? More like building a dam. The General Accounting Office estimates that Hussein’s regime netted over $10 billion. The psychotic-yet-most-entrepreneurial mustachioed one who had a destiny with a spider hole was, with a lot of help from U.N. investment experts, inflating prices on humanitarian imports, which allowed him to sell that much more oil and keep the extra for himself and whoever else was involved. High markups, high profits and skimming – Iraq had become a 172,000 square mile jewelry store run by Jimmy Hoffa.

Oh yes, Kofi Annan’s son was receiving money from a company monitoring this winner of a program.

Now the U.N. and Annan are out promoting what is called “green investing.”

Listen intently to the U.N.’s investment recommendations, because when it comes to “green,” the U.N. knows what they’re talking about.


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