Last year, a student group made a pitch to the Regents to divest the University of its financial holdings in the fossil fuel industry. The students were motivated by environmental considerations — though with solar/wind reaching a tipping point their advice made financial sense too. The Regents formed a task force to study the matter, and at a September 2014 meeting decided against selling off its investments:
In presenting the task force’s recommendations, UC Regents’ Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher said that selling off all fossil fuel holdings would amount to $10 billion of the $91 billion total in the UC portfolio. Selling off holdings in “the carbon underground 200,” a privately-created index of the largest emitters of coal, oil and gas, would require UC to sell off $3 billion in its investments. Coal alone is half a billion dollars, he said.
“It is clear to me and from the homework that I’ve done that these actions will have financial consequences on all of us and on our portfolios,” Bachher said, later adding, “There are financial consequences every time we respond to an unfavorable industry or moral cause of the day.“
Too bad Baccher didn’t listen to those dirty hippies. Just days after deciding not to sell, the industry suffered one of its worst crashes ever. I would say the timing is fucking hilarious, except that it will be students and staff that will pay for Baccher’s bad financial advice.