Wouldn’t it be nice if you could invest without the ESG virtue signaling? Well, you can if you own your own stocks, not a mutual fund or ETF. How about someone speaks some truth to the waste of money called ESG? Hold the press. That’s exactly what HSBC executive Stuart Kirk did in a presentation last week. How’d it go? Not great, as the editors of The WSJ explain.
HSBC executive Stuart Kirk gave a presentation at an investor conference last week, taking banking regulators to task for overbaking the financial risk of climate change. What was he thinking? As punishment for his heresy, the British bank has sent him to re-education camp.
Mr. Kirk is, or at least was, the bank’s global head of responsible investing, so his candid presentation titled “Why investors need not worry about climate risk” naturally attracted attention. We understand why banking regulators and businesses that hope to make money off the coming tidal wave of climate regulation might be offended by his truth-telling.
But he merely said what many in his industry believe but are too timid to say: Climate change poses a negligible risk to the global economy and bank balance sheets. Oh, and central bankers are partly to blame for the current economic turmoil because they’ve focused too much on climate change while ignoring far greater, more immediate risks such as inflation.
Mr. Kirk’s boss stood up for him, right? Hardly. CEO Noel Quinn referred to Mr. Kirk’s remarks as “inconsistent with HSBC’s strategy.” What exactly is that strategy, Mr. Quinn? Return on assets?
Look, this isn’t the 1950s. We don’t live in Gotham City, where the streets overflow with glowing sewage. Even Your Survival Guy recycles. Most Americans recycle, pick up after themselves, and care about the country/earth. If you’ve ever been to a Trump rally, you know what I’m talking about. Unlike Antifa protesters, Trump rally attendees leave the place cleaner than it was when they got there.
Action Line: ESG is another movement to tell you how your money should be invested and how you should live your life. Stop. If you want control over your money, to vote your shares the way you want them voted, invest in a diversified mix of individual stocks. If you don’t like the politics of your stocks, vote with your feet, and sell them. That’s how Your Survival Guy deals with ESG. Contact me. I can help.