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The Daily Missive

Go Woke, Go Broke?

By October 21, 2022February 8th, 2023No Comments

We “will not have our [Canadian] resources landlocked or our energy phased out of existence,” vowed Danielle Smith, the new Premier of Alberta. “Especially by virtue-signaling prime ministers.”

Smith went on to blast Canada’s Environment Minister, Steven Guilbeault, saying “he’s done nothing but attack our industry.” She also said Alberta will send its own delegation to the COP27 climate meeting next month.

It’s about time, eh?

The slew of political battles across North America – in which members of conservative parties vy for freedom of choice and autonomy amid increasingly over-reaching liberal governments – will, in our view, come to head with the midterm elections in the United States this November.

In the meantime, we entertain ourselves with the dopey prime minister up north. Trudeau accused Smith and other Alberta politicians of being “political impediments” to the green economy, alleging that they were deliberately ignoring the pro-renewable sentiments of ordinary Albertans.

“Their politicians are not on their side right now,” Trudeau claims, even though it was those very same ordinary Albertans who elected Smith in the first place. Trudeau, the Klaus Schwabbian wunderkind, still seems a bit smug for having duked it out with ordinary Canadian truckers earlier this year.

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Lorry drivers rallying against Canada’s Covid vaccine rules back in February. (Source: BBC News)

Farther down south, the Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System (MOSERS) pulled $500 million in state pension funds managed by New York-based asset management firm BlackRock over the company’s Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) priorities.

Missouri joins a growing list of states who have quit BlackRock and other banks over “woke” initiatives.

“This is the right thing to do for Missouri state employees who rely on the assets managed by MOSERS for their retirement,” state Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick told FOX Business on Tuesday. “Fiduciary duty must remain the top priority for investment managers— a duty some of them have abdicated in favor of forcing a left wing social and political agenda that has failed to succeed legislatively, on publicly traded companies.”

Alison Taylor, a specialist in ethical business at the New York University Stern School of Business finds a “conceptual emptiness” behind financial decisions based on ESG. “It’s focused on the win-win business case — you can fight climate change and make more money — we have dropped the wider ethical and development arguments,” Taylor argues.

The overall sentiment of hesitancy– even suspicion– around ESG-related investment strategies is evident in Q2 cash flows into “sustainable investment funds,” according to Financial Times.

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(Source: Financial Times)

That being said, global asset managers are expected to nearly double ESG-related assets under management to $33 trillion within five years according to PwC, whose base-case growth scenario for the U.S. shows such assets more than doubling to $10.5 trillion by 2026.

“It’s a strange morphing from the starting point, which was ‘how can investment make the world a better place’, to the place we are now, which is ‘how can investment not expose me to risk and make me more money’,” says Stuart Theobald, co-founder of Intellidex, a research consultancy.

That’s a shift we as individual investors should be aware of. Not least because it goes hand in hand with inflation, lower earnings, rising mortgage rates, a burgeoning energy crisis and the other calamitous things we find ourselves writing about.

P.S. A simple tweet from our good friend Dan Denning at Bonner Private Research, that puts the threat to our economic integrity in perspective:

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Stay tuned folks. It’s going to get hairier.

P.P.S. Bookies in London give Rishi Sunak – whom we quoted yesterday as calling Liz Truss’s tax plan “immoral”– a 60% chance of becoming the next prime minister of the UK.

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin Addison Wiggin is an American writer, publisher, and filmmaker. He was the founder of Agora Financial and publisher for 18 years. An acclaimed New York Times best-selling author, his books include: Financial Reckoning DayEmpire of DebtThe Demise of the Dollar, and The Little Book of the Shrinking Dollar. Addison is also the writer and executive producer of the documentary I.O.U.S.A., an exposé on the national debt, shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2008. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his family. Addison started his latest project, The Wiggin Sessions, powered by The Essential Investor, in March 2020. He films from a homegrown studio in his basement.