It's every revolutionary's nightmare: Trying to embrace a just cause, you find yourself transformed into a mere pawn of the international banking cartel.
All around the country, an anticapitalist revolution is in the making. At colleges and universities ranging from NYU to Macalester, from Bard to Carleton, and most recently at the University of Michigan -- 10 schools in all -- student activists are working to get fizzy beverage purveyor Coca-Cola
At issue are allegations that the soda behemoth has been sucking up too much groundwater in India and hiring paramilitary thugs to harass union workers at its plants in Colombia. Or so say the Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality, which stands behind many of the boycotts. Coke, for the record, disputes all of the charges and calls itself "an exemplary member of the business community" in Colombia (no surprise there).
It might surprise the activist idealists, however, to learn that in opposing international capitalist rapacity in the developing world, they're indirectly supporting that other anticapitalist bugaboo: bankers. Specifically, hedge funds. More specifically, hedge fund honcho Max Keiser, the self-described "investment activist" who embarked on a quest to kill Coke -- or at least its stock price -- a little more than a year ago (read all about it by clicking here).
As far as I can tell, Keiser hasn't been much more successful in his quest to conquer the capitalist West than his name's sound-alike in 1918. Ever since his plans were announced in December 2004, it's been all quiet on the western front. Google his name today and you'll find that Mr. Keiser has pretty much dropped off the search engine's radar. One possible reason: Coke's stock price hasn't changed much since this time last year. It now trades about 0.2% below where it was when recommended by Motley Fool Inside Value last January, and for much of the last year was actually up several percent.
Assuming his hedge fund hasn't closed yet, though, Keiser has to be chuckling into his spreadsheets. Who would have thought that a money-losing hedge fund would find itself dependent on the anticapitalist youth movement to save its bacon?
Read more about hedge funds and the people who run them in:
Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.