ESG: ‘Investing 101’ or 2+2=5?

The investment “discipline” of ESG, which measures companies against varying environmental, social, and governance guidelines, ...

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BY ANDREW STUTTAFORD Image September 11, 2022
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BY ANDREW STUTTAFORD September 11, 2022
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ESG: 'Investing 101' or 2+2=5?

The investment “discipline” of ESG, which measures companies against varying environmental, social, and governance guidelines, is bad for investors, and it is bad for democracy. That there are signs of a political pushback against it by elected politicians is to be welcomed. Michael Bloomberg, however, disagrees, and writing in, well, Bloomberg, he explains why.

Republican elected officials seem to think they've found three new evil letters to pair with their favorite bugaboo, CRT, or critical race theory. This one is called ESG . . .

Referring to CRT as "a bugaboo," is, in its own way, telling, if not, perhaps, in the way that Bloomberg might hope.

He notes that ESG's critics describe it as "woke capitalism," and many of them do. Although ESG is indeed being used to pursue a progressive agenda with, often, a great deal of wokery about it, that is only part of a wider (and more important) story. As alluded to above, ESG, especially when intertwined with stakeholder capitalism, is using other people's money to push for societal changes that, in a democracy, are more properly decided upon by an elected legislature.

ESG's critics are not too unhappy with the term "woke capitalism" either. As I noted the other day:

It is far easier for defenders of ESG and stakeholder capitalism to frame the debate as another chapter in the culture wars than to address the serious threat to both property rights and to democracy that their efforts represent.

That is why Bloomberg brought CRT so quickly into his article.

But, to his credit, he moves the ...   READ MORE

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