Josh on 'Graunocrisy' – mountains of cash need responsible investing

Josh writes: The Guardian has £600 million invested in stuff like fossil fuels. Well, it’s a lot of money so they have to act kind of responsible.


Cartoons by Josh

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March 31, 2015 5:21 pm

The Grauniad should have remembered that, in any argument, if you take the moral high ground it must be out of artillery range.

March 31, 2015 5:45 pm

Having read Rusbridger’s Wiki entry, I’m not sure what to make of him.

March 31, 2015 5:49 pm

The rag is already running at a 25 million pound loss per year just to make some North London geeks feel superior, but don’t expect the hacks to commit ritual seppuku on their fat subsidised pensions. Puhleese …

Reply to  Pointman
March 31, 2015 7:32 pm

Except it sold its stake in Autotrader to secure its nefarious future as the ducking stool and witch burning axis of evil alongside the BBC.
“The sale proceeds, coupled with GMG’s existing cash and investment fund, which stood at £254m at the end of March, are expected to provide financial support for the Guardian, Observer and website for at least 30 years, including funds for further potential digital and overseas expansion.”.

Reply to  Pointman
April 1, 2015 12:09 am

Us north London lot do not feel superior and we are some of the Guardian‘s fiercest critics. In any case, Rushbridger will be gone by June – hence the flogging of his favorite hobby horse to death while he still can.

Reply to  Sasha
April 1, 2015 3:58 am

Err, OK Quentin. Whatever you say 🙂

Reply to  Sasha
April 1, 2015 4:02 am

Darn it, try again.

Reply to  Sasha
April 1, 2015 4:13 am

Bah Humbug. That oughta do it 🙂

Reply to  Pointman
April 1, 2015 3:09 am

I get it. Liquidating assets to raise cash to keep a business afloat is a good thing …

March 31, 2015 8:14 pm

Here is a visual analogy of the Guardian’s spin on things.

(100% pure video feedback!)

Reply to  Max Photon
March 31, 2015 8:20 pm

comment image

Reply to  Max Photon
April 1, 2015 8:04 am

Reminds me of images I recorded back when I got my first “portable” VHS recorder back ~ 1980 . Camera ~ 6lb , recorder ~ 20 and aimed it at my TV . Feedback sound , too . Interesting standing waves . Tape still out in a barn , I think .

April 1, 2015 12:28 am

(Another wasted effort by a banned sockpuppet. Comment DELETED. -mod)

M Courtney
Reply to  icouldnthelpit
April 1, 2015 4:22 am

He’s still a hypocrite as he could follow his employers guidance or quit.
But it’s not easy to give up dirty cash to maintain one’s integrity – especially if you haven’t got any.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 1, 2015 5:14 am

(Another wasted effort by a banned sockpuppet. Comment DELETED. -mod)

Reply to  M Courtney
April 1, 2015 5:52 am

Watch this space.

M Courtney
Reply to  M Courtney
April 1, 2015 6:32 am

I do see something hypocritical with that.
Because “that” is such an extreme position.
This isn’t a case of a campaign for change to a TV soap or to play a footballer in a different role… this is about raising energy costs for the third world in order to prevent some disaster in the future.
That campaign is for deaths now in order to prevent hypothetical deaths later.
He ‘s demanding mothers sacrifice their babies. That’s what higher energy costs mean.
And yet he won’t even sacrifice his income? I know it’s a lot of income but, really.
This campaign is promoting an extremist view. It promotes immediate suffering. He ought to believe in it enough to suffer too.
But he doesn’t.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 1, 2015 6:48 am

(Another wasted effort by a banned sockpuppet. That one must havce taken 30 minutes or more to write. Sorry. Comment DELETED. -mod)

M Courtney
Reply to  M Courtney
April 1, 2015 8:44 am

icouldnthelpit, I’ve read their aims.
It is sophistry to cover the complaint I make. They know it is true that denying the poor the cheapest energy leads to the poor dying. As the poor are dying today. And as they will tomorrow if the Guardian’s campaign works.
Were there an alternative to the only proven way of raising people out of poverty (fossil fuels) then the Guardian would promote it. But renewables are more expensive. And the price is in the lives of the starving and ill.
So it can’t safely not be burnt.
The suffering is not hypothetical modelled harm – or even a true believer’s devout prophecy. It is happening in reality, now!
Aiming to discourage investment in the source of health, wealth and the culture of first world societies is immoral. It raises the costs of progress.

The intention is not to bankrupt the companies, nor to promote overnight withdrawal from fossil fuels – that would not be possible or desirable.

The Guardian knows it – they have no alternative to that investment. But they campaign anyway. For the giggles, perhaps. Or as a marketing device to develop their commercial USP, maybe. Or maybe they think overpopulation can be solved murdering black babies at their mother’s teat?
(From the comments I’ve read there I’ll go with the last one).
And, of course they keep investing themselves.

Reply to  M Courtney
April 1, 2015 9:20 am

Didn’t take long. But it is April the 1st.

Reply to  icouldnthelpit
April 1, 2015 6:02 am

The whole point of hypocrisy is not doing what you say, it doesn’t matter what Rusbridger says publicly privately or otherwise, it is what he does that is significant.
The Guardian preaches what it does not follow. No one likes a hypocrite, a hypocritical institution is worse and of course working for a hypocritical institution in a leadership position invariably makes you a hypocrite.
The term apolegetic often refers to defending ones faith. You have strong faith, but unfortunately little convincing evidence.

Reply to  Alx
April 1, 2015 6:54 am

The fact is he’s attempting changes that are consistent with his views. It seems churlish to accuse him of hypocrisy based on that.
Anyway. All my comments are being parked in moderation, some go missing, some not. There’s an interesting conversation to be had but this is probably not the place for it.
Cheers and ‘bye.
(Reply: You’ve been in a time-out before. In that case we like to moderate comments prior to approval. No one is deleting posts without a moderator comment. – mod.)

Reply to  Alx
April 1, 2015 8:38 am

1. I’ve not been in a time-out before.
[Reply: The following was posted on 2015/03/24 at 9:57 am: You have been repeatedly warned about labeling others as “deniers”. Commenting here is a privelege, not a right. Since you have a hard time learning the site Policy, your comments for the 24 hours surrounding this post will be snipped. When you’re out of the doghouse, please keep the site Policy in mind. -mod]
2. A reply to ‘old44’ on this thread
was deleted without moderator comment. There were others but that’s one I definitely remember as I waited a couple of days before I replied.
[Reply: The moderator (not this mod) did in fact comment. Deleting a post without comment would be very unusual. Since WordPress is not perfect, we regularly advise readers to keep a copy of their post for that very reason. It is also unusual for any of the several moderators to explain their actions, which are expected to conform to site policy and Anthony’s Rules for Moderators. Since your complaint is very unusual, we trust this will be the end of it. -mod.]

Reply to  Alx
April 2, 2015 12:47 am

(Enough. The decision was made case closed. -mod)

jim hogg
April 1, 2015 12:58 am

The Guardian . . . ? £600 million invested in fossil fuels . . ? The Guardian is constantly broke . . It runs at a loss – a real loss, not a paper loss (npi) – and has done for years . . Might be that a supporting company has money in fossil fuels, but if it has, then it looks as if the Guardian is able to follow an independent line – . .probably to the great annoyance of its sponsors . .

Reply to  jim hogg
April 1, 2015 2:04 am

The Guardian has a trust fund of £600 million. That’s how it manages to spout stuff that has no support amongst the wider public.

jim hogg
Reply to  TinyCO2
April 1, 2015 6:12 am

My apologies to all, and thanks for that informationTinyCO2. Any day where I learn something new is a good day . .I didn’t know the background to the ownership of the Guardian. Given it’s continual losses I thought it had to have a sugar daddy . . Presumption is the mother of blunders. . . The outright owners of the Guardian, The Scott Trust Limited would appear to have money in fossil fuels. Should be interesting to see just what influence on investments Rusbridger will have now that he has a senior position in the Trust . . And, no matter how hands off the relationship is between Trust and Guardian I think they need to make it plain that they are persuading the Trust to divest or come across just as Josh has portrayed them . .

April 1, 2015 1:14 am

A bit like Diana Nutti Celli working for an evil fossil fuel company.
Or Hansen flying first class to lecture people not to fly.
Or Al Gore’s carbon foot print with his cruise ship and mansion!

April 1, 2015 2:38 am

Investment ‘high rollers’ want to make as much money as they can. If they can talk other people into selling a stock they think will grow, then they can buy that stock for themselves – cheap.
Never take investment advice from someone who wants what you’ve already got.

April 1, 2015 3:16 am

I wonder what Rusbridger’s pension fund is invested in?

April 1, 2015 3:18 am

The Grauniad is not very clean when it comes to tax avoidance either!

April 1, 2015 3:42 am

Josh said: The Guardian has £600 million invested in stuff like fossil fuels.
Mr Rusbridger said: We have about £600 million invested at the moment, and I don’t think our fund managers could say exactly how much was invested in fossil fuel.
Hmm. Spot the difference.

M Courtney
Reply to  Alba
April 1, 2015 4:24 am

One says they have investments in stuff like fossil fuels.
The other says that it isn’t not invested in fossil fuels.
So I think we can agree that the stuff like fossil fuels probably includes fossil fuels.

david smith
Reply to  Alba
April 1, 2015 4:59 am

Josh says: the Guardian has investments in fossil fuels, but I can’t say exactly how much.
Rusbridger says: I don’t think our fund managers could say exactly how much was invested in fossil fuel.
So in other words the financial experts at the Grauniad know as much as a cartoonist. I’d say that’s a damn good showing for Josh and a damn awful showing for the financial “whizzkids”.

Ivor Ward
April 1, 2015 5:54 am

Any fund manager who cannot say what his fund is invested in needs a good kick in the arse…all the way to the employment agency.
(A lot of spinners from the Grauniad have been let out today…must be cleaning the asylum.)

Reply to  Ivor Ward
April 1, 2015 8:38 am

Ivor Ward
April 1, 2015 at 5:54 am
Any fund manager who cannot say what his fund is invested in needs a good kick in the arse…all the way to the employment agency.
(A lot of spinners from the Grauniad have been let out today…must be cleaning the asylum.)
That’s a bit of an oversimplification. Some of the investments may include mutual funds whose composition change almost daily and holdings are not disclosed real time. Some may include index funds which contain vast arrays of stocks, which too may be rebalanced. Even if you had absolute certainty of specific holdings, classifying large multinational corporations as a “single” class of investment is likely a stretch. Even something as obvious as Exxon/Mobile has significant operations in plastics, chemicals, ore mining, transportion, real estate development, etc… You’d be surprised when you peeked into the holding companies how many other pies they have their fingers into.
If a telecom utility company owns some land which also is leasing out the mineral rights to an oil company, is that utility an “energy” producing stock? Sure 99.9% of their business may be in telecommunications, and that 0.01% is real estate, and who knows if that land is actually yielding any oil production, but there is a sliver of a chance that part of their operation is producing oil. And if so, they technically are an oil producing company. These are the kinds of hairs you’d have to split to say with absolute certainty what industries a portfolio contains.
Ever wonder why those cause-specific mutual funds seldom perform well? Part of the answer is that so few investment choices are pure, it really limits your options. Another part would be that you have to spend a seriously large part of your research effort to understanding the businesses holdings that not much research is left to do serious investment analysis. I digress.
If a trust fund manager doesn’t know “precisely” how much his fund is invested in energy, it shouldn’t surpise anyone who understands just how complex large businesses are. Even if some thought had been given to it, and some moderate level of analysis put into it, and the fund manager were to say something akin to “though we try to avoid significant direct investment, due to holdings contained within mutual funds and some diversity in multinationals, we hold approximately 5% investments in energy production.” The response from some eco-nazi’s would be “holy cow! 5% of $600m is $30m ….get rid of it now!!!1!”
It is probably less controversial to say, “We make every reasonable effort to avoid meaningful investment in energy, but some small fraction is a reality in investing in index funds and mutuals funds which hold large mulit-national corporations.” And then try not to get pinned down on how big of a fraction that is to limit the backlash. I seriously doubt the trustee has no clue what fraction is in energy, rather more likely he knows it realistically can’t be entirely avoided, and therefore doesn’t want to get dragged down into the weeds in trying being precise.

April 1, 2015 8:31 am

They want to buy low, so they want you to sell heavily first!

April 1, 2015 8:41 am

April 1, 2015 at 8:31 am
They want to buy low, so they want you to sell heavily first!
That thought had occurred to me. Even better, buy some puts, then trash the stock. That way you don’t own any energy stocks and are even betting against them so you can spin that in your PR while profitting from the bad advice.

John B()
April 1, 2015 11:49 am

I’m confused, now …
You mean ‘black’ is the ‘new black’?

April 1, 2015 2:59 pm

All explained here:
Seems they are putting their money where their mouth is after all….
Not such a relevant cartoon anymore.

Latimer Alder
Reply to  charlie
April 1, 2015 11:47 pm

Fine but empty words in an attempt to pacify their slavering green hordes wanting FF blood?
Let’s come back in the ‘couple of years’ and see if they actually did it rather than just talked about it.
Never forget that the grauinad is the spiritual home of sanctimonious hypocrisy.

April 1, 2015 5:10 pm

They made 600 million when they sold auto trader, yes auto trader.
No doubt they refused to use that filthy fossil fuel dosh

April 2, 2015 7:32 pm

It’s pretty much what you expect from a left green newspaper.
Rich and powerful Green Alarmists own waterfront mansions. Like Al Gore, Barak Obama, the list goes on. So they don’t believe in sea level rise being a problem. So I bought a little beach shack.
Green Alarmists fly round and round the world to tell us not to fly. It’s polluting. So I am doing what they do, I am flying 5000 kms to a great spot for a short term contract. Love flying (as a passenger). Like the watermelons, I fly as much as I can. Just like Green alamists.
The rich and powerful of Green persuasion invest in gas, coal and oil. It’s been a fantastic investment over the last few years. So Just like Tom Steyer, Al Gore, the Guardian and many others, I have put my money in the same places they do. Divestment??? – just a way for Greenies to get there shares cheaper!
Next year I will move to a little village that is off grid, I will depend on solar power and rain for my water supply. I hope to emulate people like Anthony Watts and George Bush in lifestyle. That makes me unlike any Green that I know, Greens in my country are on grid city urbanite hypocrites

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