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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

It’s Gone Too Far

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

In the last couple of years, we have seen a practice of movement backed by the current administration in Washington, D.C. to have large and small wealth management firms pressure investors and financial advisors to only acquire investments based on the company’s environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) politics or beliefs.

What started small, is now quite large – large enough the U.S. Senate passed a disapproval resolution, with the U.S. House later passing it as well. The resolution stated the ESG rule “shall have no force or effect,” and investment managers are expected to consider financial returns instead of other issues when making decisions on investments. 

President Biden has said he will veto the bill if sent to the White House, so we will have to see where it goes.

A number of large wealth management corporations whose clients are large retirement funds are using ESG to guide their investments. Some call the movement “woke capitalism,” which undermines these retirement accounts by investing in accordance to politics or environmental causes instead of financial gain.

A recent opinion by Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis said it best, “It astounds me anyone would make an investment based on political priorities instead of sound financial information and return on investment, but this is where we are today, unfortunately. I, however, am not interested in letting the financial well-being of the people in Wyoming be hijacked by woke politics.”

Lummis went on to say, “Ultimately, these efforts by the Biden administration and woke fund managers are an attempt to quietly subvert the industries they find to be reprehensible to our domestic energy industry and the firearms industry, which are at the top of their list.”

These large wealth management companies are really driven to promote ESG.

One firm said, “ESG has become a major issue of interest in the modern corporate world usually associated with things like climate change, pollution and resource scarcity. In reality, ESG covers a much wider spectrum of socioeconomic issues like employability practices, diversity, social and cultural ethics, data security and sustainability.”

A lot of the factors these companies don’t approve of are associated with Wyoming and the region such as oil and gas, coal and some types of agriculture. We are not a diverse population, it is just the way it is. 

We accept people as they are, but we don’t want a wealth management company investing our retirement dollars in places we don’t approve of.

As with some of the COVID-19 restrictions, we now know were wrong, this ESG is just a way to manage our lives, and it is very intrusive.

Lummis said, “The government should not be picking winners and losers, and it certainly should not be encouraging or pressuring fund managers to pursue a woke agenda instead of positive returns for their customers. It will cause chaos for retirees when they are left with a diminished account due to poor returns on investments.”

I invest my money to make money, as long as it is legal and not harmful. I’m alright with an oil company selling oil or a cow belching, but I don’t need someone from New York City or San Francisco telling me how to invest my money to save our planet. They need to clean up their neighborhood first.

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