A bunch of Harvard students who think UBS is pro-genocide because it underwrote PetroChina’s listing on the Shanghai stock exchange this past month are taking a stand. They’re going to show up at a recruiting event being held by the Swiss bank tomorrow night at the Faculty Club and “get as much information as possible regarding UBS’s complicity in PetroChina’s ties to Sudan” and “rigorously question representatives [on the firm’s] role in securing the Sudanese government’s greatest benefactor such a lucrative deal.” While we encourage subversive demonstrations of any kind, and have in fact been told by sources from within UBS that they plan on giving the kids detailed information, including pie charts, on the various ways in which it is complicit with, nay, in favor of, funding murder, we at DealBreaker can’t help ask—are Harvard students really that dumb?
First of all, if you’re going to go after a bank for being pro-population restructuring, expose one nobody knows about, like Lehman Brothers, not the one that has a well-documented predilection for genocide (I’m referring to the Holocaust, of course, but also the employee suicides the bank has indirectly encouraged with its salary cap). B. Let’s assume for a second, that UBS is a little embarrassed by its role in the crisis in Darfur—in the grand scheme of the many, many things it has to be self-conscious about, of late, including multi-billion dollar writedowns, shitty bonuses, 1,500 layoffs, Dillon Read, etc., this is low on the list. Finally, the directive that students ought to “think twice about working for a company that underwrites genocide”? That’s a bit rich, not to mention presumptuous, considering that UBS isn’t even allowing its current class of first years to “get too comfortable.” And, okay, let’s say some of the Crimsons have already been offered positions—no one’s going to take a job at a bank that asks for money back in December, genocide or not. You don’t see any Harvard students refusing offers from $16.9 billion Goldman, despite its flagrant disregard for plant life in the outer reaches of Long Island, do you? The answer is no, you don’t. UBS was the safe, "we'd never work here anyway," move. But maybe that was part of their plan all along? It would be pretty sick and twisted, but that's a Harvard student for you. [Disclosure: John Carney attended Harvard for one semester in the early 90s.]
Shame On UBS [Harvard Crimson]