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.
Seaspiracy is a shocking, flawed, yet critical film. It should set the market thinking about what sustainability really means, addressing how we skirt the real issues on climate change and environmental degredation. It should provide a much-needed kick up the a**e to box-ticking ESG investment stupidity.
Q1 was “interesting”. More financial madness in 3 months than I’ve seen in 35 years, but at least it was fun. How much more sober and boring might the market become? Deliveroo’s botched IPO suggests Investors ain’t as stupid as we think.
Demand for the EU’s Social Bond deal was strong as ESG funds scramble to find qualifying assets, but just how much ESG is enough? Has ESG got overly Woke?
As vaccine wars hot up and markets worry about interest rates and central bank action, the theme of price distortion continues to unsettle valuations. One aspect of distortion is in the increasing weight being put on ESG metrics – which should be market positive, but look to be vulnerable to Woke-like “doubleplusungood” groupthink, potentially further distorting markets.