Empower Wisconsin | March 11, 2022
The painfully woke always seem to hurt the ones they say they love.
Like the poor, the victims of oppression, and war refugees.
So it goes with the woke investment fad known as ESG, or environmental social governance.
New York Post columnist Charles Gasparino describes it as an amorphous group of edicts that have been adopted by big Wall Street firms, investment managers and many corporations to allegedly make the world a better place.
ESG, which sounds like a Chinese food additive, is supposed to be all about windmills over oil companies and pumping money into “social justice” groups like Black Lives Matter. It’s virtue signaling investment.
ESG, like wokeness, is consistently at odds with reality.
“Reducing your carbon footprint might be a good thing but do it as the ESG zealots want and you get what we have now: Higher energy prices because of the inefficiencies of windmills,” Gasparino wrote.
Such environmental and social justice has helped bring $4-plus-a-gallon gas — the highest price at the pumps in 14 years. That’s a big tax on the poor, one of the groups this whole liberal investment campaign is supposed to be about.
Now, Gary Gensler, President Joe Biden’s lefty Securities and Exchange Commission chair, wants to make ESG the standard by which publicly traded companies are judged. Those that refuse would be punished.
As Gasparino wrote, Putin’s war on Ukraine has exposed the whole ESG charade even if Gensler and his corporate lackeys still won’t fully admit it.
“Bodies are piling up, bloody images of Ukrainian women and children are seen daily almost in real time, yet under ESG coda it’s OK to be operating a McDonald’s in Moscow,” the columnist wrote. “There is a case to be made that ESG has funded Putin’s tanks and artillery. Same with China’s President, Xi Jinping, who is setting his sights on Taiwan while operating a gulag to oppress anyone who challenges his autocratic rule.”
Under the cover of woke, ESG didn’t bar investment funds, banks or companies from doing business with Putin and Xi.
“Only now when Putin’s bloodlust appears to have gone too far, are the wokesters walking back their hypocrisy. They’re all scrambling to dump Russian investments from funds. Big companies are debating whether to pull out of Russian altogether as the Putin war machine rages on,” Gasparino notes.
Putin didn’t just suddenly become evil because he invaded Ukraine. He’s long enjoyed the reputation as bad Vlad, dating back to his old KGB days. But woke investors were all good, as long as the companies in the portfolio talked a good green investment game or outwardly supported trans rights.
The SEC chair boasts as much as $26 million across two emerging markets funds with a considerable stake in Russian assets, according to Fox Business’ Eleanor Terrett.
“No word yet from Gensler if he plans to virtue-signal his way out of that investment,” Gasparino wrote.
It’s exhausting being woke.
Read Charles Gasparino’s entire column at the New York Post.