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Divestment, or disinvestment, is the opposite of investment. To invest in an organization is to contribute resources to that organization. To divest is to withdraw resources from it. The resources in question are usually capital but need not be. Strictly speaking, divestment happens all the time, and almost always for financial reasons. Billions of shares of stock are traded every day on the world’s stock exchanges. The buyers are investing; the sellers are divesting. Divestment can thus be examined as a purely financial phenomenon: When is it prudent to sell what you own? But divestment can also have a moral and political character. Firms, organizations, and individuals may divest—sometimes under public pressure—from markets that are morally problematic. Understood this way, the point of divestment is ...

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