In a great example of why government bureaucrats shouldn’t consider careers in hedgefund management, a recent International Herald Tribune article highlights how a group led by Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier has been leaning on ExxonMobil to take more aggressive action on global warming.
This is not the first time that Ms. Nappier has used her position of responsibility for investing pension funds to pursue her pet social causes. She is the subject of an admiring profile in Ms. Magazine. No such luck in Institutional Investor.
This group is demanding a meeting with Michael Boskin and other directors to discuss ExxonMobil’s attention to global warming. According to the article, the group “acknowledged a six-hour meeting with Exxon management”. I don’t care how over-paid you think corporate CEOs are – can you imagine spending six hours in a room with a bunch of shareholder social activists?
Denise Nappier is not an actual shareholder of course, she is an agent of the state of Connecticut hired to manage pension funds on behalf of others who have earned them. Do you think this is how those beneficial shareholders want the management of ExxonMobil to spend their time?
The article goes on to point out that “Exxon Mobil is viewed as a laggard compared with competitors such as BP PLC, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell’s U.S. arm, all of which have joined a corporate-environmental coalition urging Congress to require limits on greenhouse gases tied to global warming.” The punch line that the IHT doesn’t bother mentioning: ExxonMobil stock is up 20 percent – 60 percent vs. BP, Shell, and ChevronTexaco over the past five years.