HSBC is being pilloried for comments made by its’ ESG head, but what he said is worthy of consideration. Overly emotional ESG is a distortion that may be as dangerous as climate change denial.
ESG is getting a bad press these days, blamed for energy insecurity and much else wrong with the allocation of capital. It needs to be refined: ESG version 2.1 will be critical for addressing the massive threats arising from social injustice and income inequality.
Energy Insecurity is the major factor underlying market angst. I’ve been warning about it for years; initially because of mis-investment due to the ESG/climate change bandwagon, and then bad government policy ignoring security of supply. Look where we are now…
This morning let me present 2 morning porridge offerings: 1) Why Energy Insecurity remains the Long Term Threat, and 2) The potential of Hydrogen/Ammonia to solve it. This includes a guest post from Brett Morris on what the Australians are looking at.
Porridge Extra – 30th September 2021: The Looming Energy Crisis: People Are Going To Die This Winter For many months…
The increasing use of the word “treasure” to define wealth, money and resources is a fascinating linguistic shift with implications for attitudes to the way money is managed. However, changing words won’t stop the powerful threads of self-delusion and groupthink that so dominate markets today.
ESG is a marvellous concept appallingly executed. To understand how it’s gone wrong I recommend Tariq Fancy’s rant about his time as Sustainability CIO at Blackrock. To figure out how we actually deliver climate-change mitigation, social amelioration and better corporate governance, and avoid these lofty concepts being hijacked and suborned by business and finance interests, we need to replace the carrot of ESG with the stick of Carbon Taxes and Corporate Legislation. Time to get real and dispense with ESG claptrap.
Don’t be fooled by thin summer markets – the world has changed, markets no longer take August off. Yet, finance changes slowly - for all the talk about diversity it’s taking generations to change the mindset and sense of entitlement that underlies markets. Maybe a good shock will be no-bad-thing – but banks making statements about their diversity ambitions should be treated with suspicion.
The dramatic global weather seen in June could be a wake-up call for us all. Green-bond huggers and ESG-compliant investment committees are determined to do the right thing to get us carbon neutral by whenever, but the climate crisis may be upon us now… which means we need immediate solutions – like insurance and how to mitigate the enormous and escalating potential costs of weather events like “heat-domes”, storms, flood and drought. Today. Not Tomorrow.
ESG tightened its grip on markets in a succession of wins over oil majors. Is that a good or bad thing? Probably better shareholders decide a company’s green objectives than them being set by bureaucrats, but there will be consequences.
The successful mass pushback on the European Super League may seem a minor issue contained in the sports arena, but it highlights growing voter dissatisfaction with politics, wealth inequality, questions who will pay for funding recovery, and just how much longer the speculative bubbles can continue as the world changes.