ESG Scam is Hurting Your Financial Investments
Authored by Becky Behrends, M.D. Vice President of Research for Michigan Citizens for Election Integrity (MC4EI).
Feb 4, 2023 – Originally published on 100 Percent Fed Up
The US stock market has been in a bear market throughout 2022. There has been a $3 trillion loss in U.S. retirement accounts since the end of 2021.
Do you know what the investment philosophy is which is governing your retirement account?
Woke American corporations have marched in lockstep to embrace the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment philosophy.
This puts green, racial, gender, and other issues ahead of profit and loss investment considerations.
Wait, you thought the idea was to enhance your profits and minimize your losses in your 401k or IRA? Think again! Virtue-signaling businesses now pay more attention to stakeholders than you, the shareholder.
What is a “stakeholder”? It is any person or entity which can be affected by your investment dollars. It is anyone who has a financial interest in the performance of businesses, such as employees, creditors, suppliers, and communities.
Stakeholder enthusiasts say that it puts ethics into the heart of the business world. Problem is, who decides what those “ethics” are?
Yes, you guessed it! Elites, globalists, social and economic justice wheelers, and dealers.
Thus, progressive values on race, gender, health care, wages, military, universal healthcare, climate change, corporate regulations, board diversity, gun control, and abortion on demand, to name a few, are decided by those who view life through the “progressive” lens.
Here is an example:
To wave their big “Me Too, I’m In” flags, corporations rushed to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Isn’t it interesting that BLM co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a self-proclaimed Marxist, went on a multi-million dollar real estate spending spree? A Marxist enjoying the evils of capitalism! Isn’t that rich??!!
After the money started rolling into BLM, she snagged four high-end homes for $3.2 million in the US alone. Hey, why not when BLM took in $90 million in 2020? BLM says that $21.7 million of it was committed to grant funding and helping 30 black-led groups across the country. But they never specified how the rest of the money was spent. Even Khan-Cullor’s fellow activists were “concerned.” Hawk Newsome, leader of the NYC BLM chapter, said, “ We need black firms and black accountants to go in there and find out where the money is going.” He said that his group did not receive any support from BLM Global Network.
So, if you invest in a corporation that jumped in on the “Fund-Me” BLM pickpocket scamming bandwagon, you might ask yourself- couldn’t that money have been returned to the shareholders in the form of dividends or used to buy more shares in a profitable enterprise? How selfish! Don’t you want your retirement funds to be invested in businesses with high social credit scores? Doesn’t matter if your retirement account is short-changed in the process.
If individuals or corporations don’t comply with ESG mandates, they will be shamed and canceled, or customers will be driven away. Don’t buy from this anti-woke business, or we will be coming after your business! Look what happened to cartoonist Scot Adams, the creator of “Dilbert.” He was dropped from 77 publications after three decades of providing satire beloved by the public. Why? He poked fun at ESG.
One of the biggest industries that ESG ideologues go after is the fossil fuel industry. Anyone investing in fossil fuels will be slammed and shamed.
Last September, in a House Financial Services Committee meeting, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich, asked the CEOs of major banks whether they will commit to stopping funding fossil fuels. They all declined! Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said her plan “would be the road to Hell for America.”
A joint study from the London School of Economics and the Columbia Business School found that ESG investment funds do not outperform non-ESG investment funds as is often claimed. Further, they have violated more labor and environmental laws than non-ESG firms. And, if your investment portfolio manager is investing based on using ESG rating scores to determine which funds are more socially responsible and correct, be advised that the rating scores themselves are very unreliable.
Take, for example, the SK Group, which built a dam in Laos in 2021. The dam collapsed and killed 70 people, displacing thousands from their homes. It was alleged that the firm quietly made design changes to the dam to save money, which included lowering the height of an auxiliary dam that failed. It created a human rights nightmare for families in rural Laos. Yet, even after this, its ESG score was increased to AA (the highest score being AAA). Go figure!
ESG investments bill themselves as “sustainable investments.” But, because they lack exposure to traditional energy stocks (which have done well this year), they have lagged behind the market. As rightly stated by one observer:
“Seems that ESG investors are happy to put gas in their cars, wear vegan leather derived from petroleum products, turn on their gas stoves, jet around on private jets, and flip the ‘on’ switch on to their computers, but they won’t put a penny into all the dreadfully wicked and “morally wrong” energy utility companies that make this modern lifestyle possible.” Monica Showalter
More than two dozen states are fighting back, such as Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee, in an effort to protect their states’ pensions, investments, and contracts.
This is why Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida put a stop to investing Florida’s public pensions into ESG funds. Not much pushback from pensioners in Florida. When their income source is on the line, virtue signaling is down the drain for them. The CFO of the state of Florida pulled the plug on BlackRock Investment Management several months ago to the tune of “$2 billion”! He basically told them to take a hike with their “woke” shenanigans with Florida’s pension funds. Enough!!!
Investment managers have a “fiduciary duty” to their clients, meaning they have the obligation to act in their best financial interest. But they are in a dilemma when the pressure is on them to invest in costly, profit-losing ESG funds.
How did stakeholders get the upper hand over shareholders? They swarmed corporate boardrooms shoving their woke ideology down the throats of weak-kneed board members, flooding them with emails, phone calls, and proposals. Big Tech/ Big Media was happy to go along with this because investment funds diverted from traditional stocks went to……..you guessed it, tech and communication stocks!
Time to fight back with shareholder activism! The American Legislative Exchange Council is a network of conservative private investors and state legislators which exists to stop state pension fund managers from using “woke criteria” in their investment decisions. Corporate America has been caving in far too long to woke investment managers who won’t invest their funds unless businesses toe the line and support progressive causes.
Ordinary citizens need to attend shareholder meetings of corporations and flood them with their “social and environmental” concerns from the conservative perspective to fight the leftist agenda and overreach. Overwhelm them with letters, emails, phone calls, whatever it takes. Shame them, blame them, frame them for their cowardly knee-bending to wokeism!
If we don’t, we will continue our national suicidal slide into insanity. ESG investing needs to be dumped on the ever-growing manure pile of leftist nonsense!