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"Goldman Sachs poured $11.2bn in small arms, cluster munition & weapons of mass destruction."

The Impaakt Team

7 min Read Time | March 26th 2021

The W.O.W. Award

Awarding the great work of our community of writers, the WOW award highlights some the best impact analyses that week as voted for by our reviewing team. It might be particularly well written, focused on important topics or bringing an innovative angle to the subject, read on to find out who the winner is this week.

“Goldman Sachs poured $11.2bn in small arms, cluster munition & weapons of mass destruction.”

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Written by: Jennifer Tapia Boada

Company: Goldman Sachs
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Feedback from the reviewing team:

"Another fantastic article from Jennifer this week, and another spotlight on Goldman Sachs and the power of the financial industry. We think our readers will find this an enlightening read."

Read the full impact analysis below and ensure you log-in or sign-up to make your ratings about the impact the topic in this analysis has on the environment and society.

Armed conflicts have surged globally in the last 30 years, having an impact beyond battle casualties, conducing to forced migration, destruction of infrastructure, a negative effect on most of the SDGs, and a humanitarian cost of $23.5bn, targeting 93M people in need1;p4. Small Arms and Light Weapons caused half of the 200,000 annual violent deaths from 2010-20152. Globally, there are 875M small arms, of which 600M are in the hands of private citizens3. For its part, Cluster Munitions are indiscriminate weapons that spread hundreds of bomblets over an area, and if they fail to explode, they remain on the ground like landmines4;p8.

From 2009–2018, 4,128 cluster munition casualties were recorded in 17 countries5. Lastly, Nuclear Weapons are of mass destruction6;p22, of which there are ≈27,000 worldwide6;p36. The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs killed ≈200,000 people6;p60, with 1,900 identified cancers among survivors after several years7.

In 2017, Goldman Sachs (GS) contributed $1.8bn in preferred equity to the retailer Bass Pro Shops to finance a $4bn purchase of its rival Cabela's whose guns were also involved in a massacre of dozens of people in Las Vegas8. Bass Pro Shops makes $1.7bn a year from small arms; 48% of its revenue9.

GS is also on the 2018-report of 88 financial institutions that invested $8.7bn in cluster munition producers from 2015-20184;p8. GS invested in two producers with $833.8M (9.6%)4;p127.

A 2019-report shows that since Jan'17-Jan'19, 325 global financial institutions invested $748bn in the top 18 nuclear weapon producers: a 42% increase from $325bn in the previous report10;p6. GS made available $8.595bn to 12/18 of nuclear producers10;p78.

GS should effectively implement a human rights due-diligence process before investment decisions, and immediately divest from sectors that massively impair human rights.


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