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Citigroup’s Destructive Practices

In light of Professor Chomsky’s speech on the World Bank, IMF, and globalization this past Tuesday night, and the current Career Fair climate, I think it is important that we recognize that global problems can begin and end right here at MIT as we choose our employment futures. It is equally essential that we know how we can solve problems and when we are unknowingly abetting behavior that we otherwise would not tolerate.

On October 13th and 14th, Citigroup will be at MIT, hoping to woo some of the finest minds in this institution into helping them plunder the environment for profit. Citigroup has funded some beneficial programs here, but that surely cannot mitigate the environmental and social ruin they have cast upon countries in Africa and across the globe. They are North America’s leading logger, miner, and red-liner, undermining labor and communities nationally and internationally.

Through credit cards, student loans, and bank accounts Citibank (the consumer face of Citigroup) has taken my money or my fellow students’ money and used it to fund high risk projects like the Three Gorges Dam in China, which will displace over two million people and drive many species into extinction. This is not moving us towards any sane and sustainable economy, and we must change it.

I ask you as a fellow student to please reconsider taking any position with Citigroup until they factor social and environmental costs into their lending practices. If you decide to attend their recruitment meetings, ask why they have mined in the Amazon, and why they profit from unjust community lending practices that keep poverty permanent. Citigroup is the World’s Most Destructive Bank and does not deserve the access they presently have to MIT students.

Vinay P. Kumar G