Suddenly, Republicans Want to Rein in the Financial Sector. Wanna Guess Why? | The New Republic

From Timothy Noah (emphasis added):

Biden didn’t reverse the Trump rule and rehabilitate ESG investing because Greta Thunberg asked him to. He did it because Wall Street banks asked him to. They asked because ESG is well established at this point and the financial sector can’t afford to avoid it. And while it is I suppose conceivable that the financial community has gotten so “woke” that it no longer cares about money, that strikes me as pretty unlikely.

Can ESG save the world? Probably not. As TNR’s Kate Aronoff has observed, there is no universally accepted definition for ESG, and the corporate and banking worlds engage in a lot of insincere posturing to persuade younger investors (ESG-heads tend to be young) that they’re doing good while doing well. Relying on corporate virtue to end climate change and racism and inequality is more than a little naïve, and I don’t recommend it.

Does ESG generate strong financial returns? There’s a lot of debate about that, not least because practically everybody wants to call themselves ESG these days, and figuring out which companies really are isn’t easily done. But as Aronoff has reported, the jury’s in on conservative state governments banning ESG investment. It reduces return and shrinks pensions. The Biden veto and the regulation it protects don’t require that retirement funds go into ESG; they merely allow them to without the bureaucratic impediments imposed under Trump. A retirement investment adviser must take into account many factors in determining which investments are best. The Biden rule just says he can take into account planet-saving too.

Suddenly, Republicans Want to Rein in the Financial Sector. Wanna Guess Why? | The New Republic

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