Foreign investments

Straight Talk: Treasurer says our thinking on foreign investment needs to change in wake of Russian-Ukrainian war

Minot, ND — Officials overseeing North Dakota investments are moving quickly to divest from investments in Russia in the wake of the horrific invasion of Ukraine.

Already about 37% of the investments supervised by the State Investment Board have been withdrawn. It will take some time to pull out the rest — investments are complicated and officials are trying to limit the financial impact North Dakotans will suffer — but a plan is in place to make it happen.

Should our strategy of investing in countries whose political leadership is not so important change in the future?

“I think it has to,” Thomas Beadle said on this episode of Plain Talk.

Beadle was elected treasurer of North Dakota last year and is a legal member of the SIB. He said SIB officials, along with other state boards, such as the Land Board, which oversees the investment of North Dakota funds, are currently debating this policy change.

It can be complicated. Investing in public companies is one thing, but what about American companies doing business in countries like China or Russia? Also, is there a danger in setting a precedent for reactionary investment? Do we want to open the door to investments in companies based in other states because the people of North Dakota don’t like politics there?

Beadle says we have to strike a balance, and state investment officials are working to figure out what that looks like.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service and the host of the Plain Talk podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.