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America's corporate activism: the rise of the CEO as social justice warrior

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Following on the heels of JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, which both divested from private prisons in March, Bank of America recently announced that it will no longer finance the operations of prisons and detention centers. While the bank has cited political disagreement as the reason for the divestment, its decision to sever ties comes after a Miami Herald article revealed that Bank of America had provided a $380m loan and a $75m credit line to Caliburn, operator of a facility that houses separated migrant children.

Bank of America claimed the decision was due to the prison industry’s lack of “needed” criminal justice and immigration reforms, though it didn’t elaborate. But it’s obvious that bad PR was a factor.

Corporations have belatedly developed something approximating a social conscience. Apple’s Tim Cook has called the Trump administration’s border policies “inhumane” and urged it to stop. JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon criticized the policy in an email to employees and wrote that his “heart goes out to the impacted families”. Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd........

© The Guardian