It was interesting to watch the debate about the legislation of disclosure of ESG on July 10th and to hear the arguments of those for and against it.
Albeit, only one of the four invited people, Mr. Atkins, a former SEC employee with a somewhat questionable past in banking protections unable to prevent their collapse, was against ESG disclosure. He reasoned that ESG constructs were “squishy,” and thus, reporting would lead to more questions than answers.
You can feel the slide coming, the meaning of interesting – I began with – quickly becoming the pejorative word for the opposite.
I respond by shaking my head about how our government supports the grandstanding of ESG, supposedly building a sustainable and competitive economy, as the title of the video published by The House indicates.
But for further review, let’s skip the evolutionary incompatibility of ESG and play along with the manufactured consent conjured up by finance, and evaluate how The House, as the lower part of our federal government, dissects the need to disclose ESG compliance.
The most crucial question came near the middle of a two-hour session from Congressman David Scott (Georgia), who, at a deceptively slow and unassuming pace, shook the very existence of ESG to its core and left the invitees stumbling for answers.
The question was: “Who decides what is good for humanity,” and then adding: “But empirical data is consequential.” The conclusion was reached after examples such as Nike using underage children to sow shoes together, disclosing how the public is deemed the final decision-maker and the arbiter of ESG enforcement.
Mindy Lubber, President of a non-profit sustainability advocacy organization, needs to declare the public votes on the validity of ESG with their pocketbook. My mouth fell open upon hearing such stupidity; we have often seen how leaving the detection of malpractice covered up by opaque financial systems by the public pans out; disastrous.
What struck me was how Mr. Scott appeared blissfully unaware of the gravitas of his question, as his compliments at the end of his allotted time did not meet the logic of the answer given. I figured the question might have been fed to him by one of his aids, reminding me, as I was once told on The Hill, DC, is run by twenty-year-olds spoonfeeding congressmen. Well-meaning, yet woefully uninformed.
So, here we have it.
- ESG is an evolutionary fallacy, as sustainability does not exist anywhere in the universe
- Described as squishy by a former SEC employee
- Dubious in intent, as evidenced by the SEC scarlet letter
- Using rating systems of self, by self, colluded upon by peers
- Disclosure defined by companies using elective material risk assessments
- Infractions only discovered in worst-case scenarios by the public
At what point will we stop letting finance direct the evolution of human ingenuity in all the wrong ways and directions and instead use the evolution experts to determine what the development of its arbitrage, the system, must look like?
Many members were concerned about the decreasing number of IPOs, with China responsible for one-third of worldwide IPOs, going as far as correlating that decline to the requirement of disclosures on ESG. The same self-serving rationale we saw around Sarbanes-Oxley proved to be false. Frankly, members who cannot separate cause from consequence in finance do not belong on the Finance Committee in any branch of government or need to come for a refresher on finance.
We must develop a better thesis determining what can be discovered (Einstein). A thesis not conjured up by financiers with no understanding of the evolutionary nature of the investible assets but with a thesis compatible with how nature and, thus, all its assets evolve.
A thesis of finance incompatible with nature will be responsible for an anthropogenic cascade twice the size and speed of the lost opportunity cost. In its current form, a vote in favor of ESG and disclosures is a vote – not for – but against the expanding fractal of human expansion in equilibrium with nature, quite the opposite of how the promoters of ESG characterize their influence.