The Multinational Monitor

December 1988 - VOLUME 9 - NUMBER 12

  • INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Ethical Investing: How to Make Profitable Investments Without Sacrificing Your Principles
    Amy L. Domini with Peter D. Kinder Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1984
    $17.95, 288 pp.
    Ethical Investing offers a complete overview of the hows and whys of socially-responsible money management. Starting with easy to understand explanations of the basics of the investment business, Domini goes on to show readers how to understand corporate finances, annual reports, and other sources of information that can reveal a corporation's social track record. In addition, the book presents step-by-step outlines for the socially-responsible investor, including a financial "Self- Assessment" chart to use in determining the best types of investments. Domini also discusses the different types of investment opportunities, from mutual funds to retirement plans, and the issues to consider in selecting them. Finally, the book presents a wealth of information on companies, such as "Top Ten Sponsors of Sex, Violence and Profanity on TV," most in easy to read chart form. While many of the appendices and charts on corporate behavior are now outdated, Domini gives readers enough sources and instruction in the body of the book to keep current without much difficulty.
  • Directory of Socially Responsible Investments
    The Funding Exchange New York, The Funding Exchange, 1984
    $5.00, 26 pp.
    The Directory of Socially Responsible Investments includes brief descriptions of mutual funds, conventional interest-earning instruments, alternative investments and investment advisors and brokers. Information provided includes address and telephone number, minimum investment needed, investment options and company history.
  • Economics as If the Earth Really Mattered
    Susan Meeker-Lowry Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1988
    $9.95, 294 pp.
    Meeker-Lowry goes beyond the traditional"investment" perspective of socially-responsible economics to detail such diverse subjects as home loans, minority-owned banks, revolving loan funds, worker cooperatives and recycling-all with an ethically- minded, profit generating slant. In addition, Economics as If the Earth Really Mattered lists hundreds of specific investments for people concerned with Third World Development, U.S. policy in Latin America, and alternative energy. The book features profiles of organizations, case studies, contact and resource lists, and an extensive bibliography.
  • Directory of Alternative Investments
    Michael Kilcullen New York: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, 1985
    $25.00, 200 pp.
    Focusing on community development investment opportunities, the Directory of Alternative Investments profiles 54 community-based financial institutions, enterprise development groups, low- and moderate-income housing developers, and cooperatives. Each profile includes a description of the organization, an outline of the nature of the investment and financial information on the investment, including amounts requested, rates of return, and the availability of business plans and audits. Indices by geographical location and type of investment provide easy cross- referencing and tailoring for interested investors.
  • Rating America's Corporate Conscience
    Steven D. Lydenberg, et. al. New York: Council on Economic Priorities, 1986
    $14.95, 499 pp.
    Like its Shopping for a Better World, the Council on Economic Priorities' Rating America's Corporate Conscience is a guidebook to the corporations that produce and market commonly used consumer items. The guide is divided into sections on food, health and personal care, travel and household goods. Each section features "Product Charts" that rate corporate behavior on charitable donations, women and minority advancement, South Africa, general military and nuclear weapons contracting, and information disclosure. "Company Charts," in addition to cross- referencing the above information, include PAC contributions, with Democratic/Republican breakdowns, and more detailed explanations of the criteria in the Product Charts. While Rev. Sullivan's renunciation of the Sullivan Principles has made this aspect of the book's rating system obsolete, much useful information, including brief essays on corporate histories and performance, remains to guide the careful shopper.
  • Unified List of U.S. Companies Doing Business in South Africa and Namibia, 2nd
    Ed. Richard Knight and Roger Walke New York: The Africa Fund, 1988
    $8.00, 84 pp. ($30 for institutions)
    The Unified List is a comprehensive directory of U.S. companies doing business in South Africa or Namibia. The list traces the often complex trails U.S. companies use to hide or minimize their South African involvement. Each entry includes the company name, its current South Africa/Namibia status (e.g. ownership or licensing), the names and ownership shares of both U.S. and South Africa subsidiaries, product or service provided, the number of South Africa employees, and the sales and assets of the South Africa business. Cross-referencing eases identification of parent companies for the reader. The Unified List is an essential resource for the individual investor who manages his/her own portfolio.
  • How Institutions Voted on Social Responsibility Shareholder Resolutions in the 1988 Proxy Season
    By Rebecca A. Williams IRRC Washington, D.C.: IRRC, Sept. 1988
    119pp., $25.00
    An annual series from IRRC, How Institutions Voted, examines each shareholder resolution on social responsibility issues, discussing why institutions voted as they did on the major issues of each proxy season. Each entry lists resolution sponsors, how major institutions voted, the total percentage voting in favor of the resolution, and the percentage required for automatic reconsideration next year. It is divided into issue-specific sections, ranging from South Africa withdrawal to pesticide and chemical hazards.
  • EthInves: The On-disk Almanac of Ethical Investing
    Jerry Whiting, Seattle, 1988
    Ethinves is a shareware almanac that provides reference material on socially responsible investing. ("Shareware" refers to free computer software that users are encouraged to pass on to others.) Ethinves is available in either IBM (and compatible) or Macintosh versions. The information can be retrieved by any word processing program. Ethlnves' files are crammed with lists: utility companies with nuclear power plants; the top 100 defense contractors and companies involved in South Africa. -Louis Nemeth .