Is Woke Investing Hurting Your Retirement Fund?
Paul Atkins on ESG and Public Pensions
Over 50 years ago, Milton Friedman took the op-ed section of the New York Times to weigh in on the debate about the alleged social responsibilities of business.
Then, as now, it was in vogue for corporations to tout their dedication to certain social causes. Whether it was being done sincerely, or merely to boost their reputation among consumers, it was clear to Friedman that such framing was undermining the ultimate purpose of business: to maximize profits for its shareholders, within the boundaries of the law.
The term “social responsibility” has morphed over the years – going under names like “impact investing,” stakeholder capitalism, and most recently, “ESG investing.”
Short for “Environment, Social, and Governance investment,” ESG gained prominence in 2005 as the United Nations outlined its six principles of responsible investing.
Today, many states are confronting the question of whether the firms tasked with managing their pension funds are fulfilling their obligations to the public sector retirees that depend on them.
Paul Atkins, a former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, recently participated in a Reason Foundation webinar on the impact of ESG investing on public pensions. Even if you’re not counting on a public sector pension, your retirement fund could be underperforming on account of your managers’ ESG philosophy.
Atkins joins me live this Sunday (Dec. 11) from 8-9 am PACIFIC.
We will discuss why states like Florida are withdrawing billions of dollars in pension funds out from investment firms like BlackRock. Governor DeSantis says that ESG investment puts politics ahead of profitability. Meanwhile, proponents of ESG say that DeSantis is the one playing politics.
Who’s correct? Find out this Sunday on the show of ideas, not attitude.
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ICYMI - New Title IX Rule Change Threatens Due Process on Campus
Last week, Joe Cohn of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression explained how the federal government gets private universities to do its bidding by threatening to withhold funding.
The Department of Education’s infamous “Dear colleague” letter compelled universities to drop the usual “clear and convincing” standard of evidence in favor of the much weaker “preponderance of evidence.” What does that mean in practice?
Listen to the whole episode, or read the transcript: