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Seamus Finn, OMI on Nightly Business Report: Discusses Impact of Derivatives on the Poor June 7th, 2010

Fr. Seamus Finn’s work on derivatives is profiled on PBS’s Nightly Business Report.

Watch the Nightly Business Report from June 7, 2010…


How doesNBR the financial system affect the poorest of the poor? Watch the June 7th issue of the Nightly Business Report for a segment on faith-based investors and efforts to rein in the derivatives market – a cause of the recent instability that has affected nearly everyone.

In an interview with Darren Gersh, Seamus Finn, OMI clearly draws the connections between decisions made by bankers and the lives of the poor. Fr. Finn talks about the need for greater disclosure of derivative risk – disclosure that a significant number of other shareholders have favored in recent Resolutions with Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. Up next is legislation on Capitol Hill that could force banks to spin off their derivatives business.

Watch the Nightly Business Report from June 7, 2010 on Vimeo…

Voting Your Proxy May 17th, 2010

imgname--shareholder_rights_wronged---50226711--ballotDo you hold stock in publicly owned corporations? If so, you should receive information from those companies prior to their Annual General Meetings (AGM) with a proxy ballot enclosed. Bolster democracy in the Boardroom – join with others and support corporate change you care about.

Learn more in the Faith Responsible Investment section of this website…

Fr. Seamus Finn Speaks at Socially Responsible Investment Coalition April 29th, 2010

Seamus at SRIC 2010 002On April 28, Fr. Seamus Finn was a panelist at the annual Socially Responsible Investments Coalition Annual Event held at the Oblate Grotto Ministries Center in San Antonio, Texas. The discussion panel on current events was titled “Care, Climate and Cash.” It included Alyssa Burgin, founder of the Texas Drought Project, who spoke about specific consequences of climate change in Texas and around the world, as well as Donna Meyer of CHRISTUS Health who spoke about the recently passed health care bill.

Fr. Seamus spoke of the progress made recently by ICCR in pressing for socially responsible investment policies with corporations. He highlighted the much-higher-than expected 39 percent vote at Bank of America earlier in the day in support of the religious shareholders’ proxy resolution on derivatives filed by the Missionary Oblates. The Resolution calls for greater disclosure on derivatives trading on Wall Street. This surprising response from Bank of America shareholders and those of Citicorp, where a strong vote of support was also registered for a similar Resolution led to invitations from EWTN and the Daily Show. (Learn more)

Fr. Seamus also talked about responsible investment in the light of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in Veritate”. As most of the 100 plus members of the audience were members of Catholic religious orders and church activists, the articulation of the moral, spiritual foundation of work for financial reform and other socially responsible investment work was much appreciated. Fr. Seamus ended with a plea to broaden our thinking and awareness so we see that actions taken in the world of finances and investments have implications not only for people in the United States, but consequences for the entire world.

Thanks to Patti Radle who supplied the material for this report.

Vatican Radio Interviews Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI Interviewed on Bringing Faith Values to the Financial Sector April 26th, 2010

Vatican RadioPutting faith principles back into the world of finance and business is not usually the business of priests, but it is for Oblate Seamus Finn, Director of the Justice, Peace/Integrity of Creation Office of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Washington, DC. Past President of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Executive Committee member of 3iG (the International Interfaith Investment Group), Fr. Seamus has worked for two decades to encourage faith institutions to bring their values to bear on corporate decision making.

Fr. Seamus explains why people of faith can and should bring their values to bear on the financial sector in particular in an interview with Vatican Radio. What is the economy for? What does it do to people and how do we participate in it? Is it helpful to local communities? What impacts are the economic structures in which we participate having on people and on the earth? How do we account for the damage done to the environment? Many would say that this system is built on the basis of continual growth and consumption without always taking into account the fact that natural resources are limited.

Learn more – listen to the broadcast…

Senate Urged to Include Derivatives Regulation in Financial Reform Bill April 25th, 2010

Derivatives ReformThe Oblates joined a broad array of groups concerned about commodity speculation in urging the inclusion of a bill regulating derivatives in the larger Senate financial reform legislation being debated this week. Specifically, the groups are asking that the “Wall Street Transparency and Accountability Act” (reported out of the Agriculture Committee on Wednesday by a bipartisan vote), be incorporated into the “American Financial Stability Act” (S.3217) – otherwise known as the comprehensive “Wall Street Reform” bill.

The Missionary Oblates signed a letter generated by the Commodity Markets Oversight Coalition, an informal alliance of industry groups, consumer advocates and academics, representing commodity producers, processors, distributors, retailers, and residential, commercial and industrial end-users. The signatories believe that policy in the commodity trading markets should aim to strengthen oversight, transparency and stability, and to address inadequacies in the existing derivatives markets, both regulated and over-the-counter. As faith-based shareholders, the Missionary Oblates have been pressing for better management of derivatives in discussions with the financial services sector for a number of years.

Read the letter… (Download PDF)

Citigroup Faith-Based Shareholders Call on US Government to Vote Its Shares in Favor of Derivatives Reform April 17th, 2010

1357308Faith-based institutional investors are urging the Obama Administration to send the same message to Wall Street that it is sending to Congress on financial reform. The United States government controls 27 percent of outstanding Citigroup shares, and  faith-based shareholders say the US should support their Resolution urging the company to provide more disclosure about its derivatives trading. Voting will take place Tuesday morning at the Citigroup Annual Meeting in New York. The groups, which include the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, are members of the 300-member Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).

Rev. Seamus Finn, OMI, actively engaged in pressing financial institutions for greater transparency and accountability and an ICCR board member, said, “The U.S. government controls over a quarter of outstanding Citigroup shares today. It has an extraordinary opportunity here to send a clear message to Wall Street that more derivatives disclosure is vital. Even more to the point, the Treasury Department really has no choice other than to support our resolution since a failure to do so would directly undercut its campaign for critical financial reform.”

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