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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Faith-based Shareholder Activists Profiled in NY Times November 14th, 2011

Photo from Associated Press

Religious groups have worked through the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility for 40 years to encourage corporations to ‘do the right thing’ by people and the environment. Sr. Nora Nash, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and active in faith-based shareholder activism since the 1980’s, was profiled in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. She explained their involvement thus: “We’re not here to put corporations down.We’re here to improve their sense of responsibility.”

Seamus Finn, OMI – also deeply involved in the ICCR dialogs with the banks as well as other corporate sectors, was cited in the article: “Companies have learned over time that the issues we’re bringing are not frivolous,” said the Rev. Seamus P. Finn, 61, a Washington-based priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and a board member of the Interfaith Center. “At the end of every transaction, there are people that are either positively or negatively impacted, and we try to explain that to them.”

Learn more…

Vatican Suggestions for Financial Reform Debated November 8th, 2011

Fr. Seamus Finn argues in The Wall Street Journal that global regulatory changes suggested by the Vatican could help the global financial system function more fairly:

“Robert A. Sirico’s “The Vatican’s Monetary Wisdom” (op-ed, Oct. 27) correctly praises the analysis of the causes of the financial crisis that was included in the Vatican’s statement on reforming the financial system. His summary dismissal of the suggested responses in the document clearly states that no sovereign or international regulatory authority is up to the task of regulating the major actors in the financial sector. Are we then to believe that they will do it themselves?

Haven’t we just experienced the consequences of deregulation, regulatory arbitrage and the capture of elected officials and assemblies by banks and industry associations? Greater cooperation, coordination and collaboration among sovereign regulators and authorities, as the Vatican suggested, is a step in the right direction if the public is to have a safe, stable and fair financial system that is worthy of their trust and their transactions.”

The Rev. Seamus P. Finn OMI


Faith Based Investors Welcome Vatican Statement on Financial Reform October 31st, 2011

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility issued a statement welcoming the recent Vatican proposal and recommendations for reform of the global financial system. The statement reads:

The document, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority”, released by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, offers a very helpful analysis of the ongoing global financial crisis and makes some sound proposals and recommendations to reduce the probability of meltdowns of such magnitude in the future.

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Restore Faith in the Markets August 17th, 2011

Read Fr. Seamus’ latest blog post on Huffington Post and learn why religious values are important in maintaining a well-functioning economy.

Oblates Join Call for a Financial Speculation Levy June 17th, 2011

The Oblates have joined calls for a levy on financial speculation, specifically on trades of stocks, options and swaps. A modest levy of 0.25 percent could provide a permanent, reliable revenue stream of approximately $100 billion a year.

The small financial transaction levy proposed would exempt the middle class and those who hold securities for longer-term investment. It would discourage dangerous financial gambling and high volume, rapid speculative trading that ratchets up prices on precious commodities while inflating the bonuses of those on Wall Street.

The IMF has confirmed the feasibility of such taxes. In fact, the United States had a transfer tax from 1914 to 1966, which levied a 0.20 percent tax on all sales or transfers of stock. In 1932, Congress more than doubled the tax to help financial recovery and job creation during the Great Depression.

Critics charge that if the United States reapplies this tax domestically, it would push trading overseas. This claim is demonstrably false as the United Kingdom currently levies a similar tax and has the highest volume exchange in Europe.

Learn more: Read the letter to Mr. Gene B. Sperling, Director of the President’s National Economic Council


Interfaith Investor Group Urges Fed and Top Banks to Restore Public Confidence in Financial System April 20th, 2011

Citing Widespread Confidence Loss in U.S. Banks, Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility Advance Shareholder Proposals at Citigroup and Other Top Banks.

New York, NY

Today, a task force from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) meets with representatives from the Federal Reserve to discuss its progress implementing regulation passed as part of the Dodd-Frank Bill last July. At issue are structures created by the Operations Management Group to monitor the global trading of derivatives in an effort to limit the excessive risk-taking that nearly toppled the financial system in 2008, left millions jobless and homeless, and shook global confidence in the markets to its core.

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