|March 31, 1997
Dear Mr. Deck:
Thank you for your inquiry concerning the CREF Social Choice Account and the possibility of setting up a special segment that would target investments into small and progressive or so-called "model companies."
Actively seeking out such socially conscious targets for investment purposes would involve a number of practical difficulties. The first is the problem of defining what is "progressive" and what the term "socially responsible" means.
[Additionally] we would have to add to the investment staff in a rather uncharted area. Our present securities analysts seek to find investments attractive for their financial prospects. Analysts who are primarily focused on social considerations in the manner you suggest would be extremely rare and, in fact, are not currently on our staff.
With best wishes and thanks for writing,
Were you not aware that your investments in Disney/Capital Cities/ABC are every bit as offensive to shareholders as the South African investments that were the occasion for creating the Social Choice Account? It may be that your analysts do not find the enormous disparity between Disney CEO Michael Eisner's income and the slave wages payed to Haitian garment workers offensive, but I would suggest you either make conscientious attempts to improve your investment selections or change the name to something more accurate like: "Pretense of Social Choice Account."