“Trainwrecks of Thought” — Economists Should Stop Opining On ESG And How Businesses Should Run by Erik Sherman for Forbes

Erik Sherman’s definitive takedown of the dreadful WSJ op-ed on ESG and the movie “Air,” quoting VEA Vice Chair Nell Minow:

Boudreaux and Henderson expand that to include environmental considerations and—this is an immense headscratcher—apparently corporate governance as well. That last in the trio is critical to a strong investment culture and adequate protection of shareholders. But let’s have at the category.

The two authors argue that ESG investing creates confusion “not only over how best to pursue company goals but over what the goals are.” These are both trainwrecks of thought when viewed through the lenses of managing a company and of investing in one….

If managers can’t consider what is good for the company in the future, they can’t do their jobs. Similarly, if investors cannot consider factors that might affect their investments in the future, and consider whether a business pays attention, they cannot ensure their own interests.

This is where the ESG haters make the biggest mistake, because they think such considerations are only for some “woke” social recognition, not growing the future customer base, getting the best employees, avoiding environmental risks (nice factory you have there, too bad it you didn’t move it from the flood plain it’s on), and ensuring the best governance.

Economists Should Stop Opining On ESG And How Businesses Should Run

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