Investment-fund web: CIA, Cheney, Whole Foods, everybody
Sunday, March 23, 2014
First the bottom line: if you’re a publicly traded company, your shares are selling in the same web that predators control.
If you put your money in a huge investment fund, you’re in that web, too.
For example, take the Vanguard Group. It’s the world’s largest mutual fund company. Corporations, smaller funds, and individuals place their money into the pot, and Vanguard takes it wherever it wants to go.
With 14,000 employees in offices in the US, Europe, and Asia, Vanguard manages $2 trillion in assets.
At the moment, it’s the biggest shareholder in Monsanto, the biggest in Halliburton, the second biggest in Facebook, the third biggest in Whole Foods, the second biggest in Hain Celestial Foods, and the biggest shareholder in the largest defense corporation in America, Lockheed Martin.
Ready for a little head-spinning whiplash? To get a more personal glimpse of the inter-connected spider web of investment funding, here are a few Dick Cheney connections that Maggie Burns, writing in The Progressive Populist (2003), pointed out. Then I’ll add my own.
Dick Cheney headed up Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. As US Vice President, he had to divest himself of his stake in the company. The exact figure is hard to pin down, but he put somewhere between 18 and 87 million dollars in the Vanguard Fund. Well, it just so happened that Vanguard, in that general time period (2003), was the 10th largest mutual-fund investor in Halliburton. So Cheney, indirectly, still had a stake in in his former company.