The first rule of argument is that you have to describe the other side’s position accurately. But if the anti-ESG crowd did that, everyone would think they were crazy. And so we get a misinformation campaign and outright lies like this from the ultra-right Association of Mature American Citizens, which says its goal is “recovery of our country’s moral compass.” The top three officers all have the same last name, so it seems rather insular. Here is a sample of what they wrote about ESG with some corrections from us in bold.
Last week, Congress passed House Joint Resolution 30, (H.J.Res. 30) a measure that disapproves the “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights” regulation endorsed [made law following a rigorous notice and comment process] by Joe Biden’s Department of Labor. This regulation would place leftist Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) priorities, like climate change, over fiduciary responsibility and duty in the decision-making process utilized by finance professionals. [This is exactly what it explicitly says it does not do and what DOL would not have the authority to do anyway. The rule makes it very clear that ESG can only be considered in the contest of evaluating risk and return “for the exclusive benefit of plan participants” as the ERISA legislation requires. We challenge AMAC or anyone else to point to language to the contrary.]
In other words, your hard-earned retirement savings would be pointed towards poorly performing, ideologically driven assets instead of investments that could perform better. [Those are other words because the actual words say the opposite.]
Furthermore, some of the companies in ESG fund portfolios had less-than-stellar compliance records for both labor and environmental metrics according to researchers at Columbia University and the London School of Economics in a paper that was written last May. [Wait, so now they’re criticizing funds for not being ESG enough? Perhaps they could cite many other studies and official government reports to the contrary? We also note that the SEC is currently working to make sure ESG funds make more consistent and complete disclosures which should help address this concern.]
To say that seniors’ financial retirement security is at risk with ESG investing would be an understatement. [No, it would be untrue.]Biden Response to AMAC Action ESG Campaign is Pathetic