ESG stands for Environment, Social, Governance.
And it’s an increasingly big thing in the asset management world.
The basic premise is that if you can get the biggest investment managers to collectively commit to ESG-focused principles in their strategies — whether that be through active engagement as shareholders or divestment strategies — capital will eventually be pulled from the type of corporations that routinely undermine or undercut the standards society judges to be important — from pollution and environment, to labour rights and fraud — forcing them to adapt their behaviour.
The idea is to send bad corporates to capital-unavailable Coventry. Read more
We know central banks have the power to support asset classes and to move markets, and do so frequently in the name of financial stability.
But are there other social threats that could be stabilised or mitigated by central banks in a similar way?
For example, should central bank monetary policy be charged with a green agenda? Should central banks take it upon themselves to encourage and support the formation of liquid environmentally-focused markets? Read more
The 12th National People’s Congress convenes tomorrow in Beijing and, by the time it ends, Xi Jinping will be named head of state and Li Keqiang will be appointed premier.
There’s naturally much speculation around the signals for policy direction that might emerge. Although the events are more akin to formalities than actual decision-making fora, they are being watched closely for clues about the new leadership’s appetite for reforms — which may be revealed through bureaucratic reshuffles, as the FT’s Jamil Anderlini explains. Read more
With government finances still dealing with the aftershocks that are rippling out of the epicentre of the financial credit crunch, the world economy could do with a period of calm in which to heal.
Unfortunately, it is not going to get it. Read more
A slap on the wrist for BP on Friday, from index compiler FTSE:
(Reuters) – BP is to be evicted from the FTSE4Good ethical investment index due to its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, index compiler FTSE said on Friday, as BP said it would delay its third-quarter results due to the challenges of accounting for spill costs. Read more
International scientists have presented fresh evidence into the debate over global warming, saying that climate change is “undeniable”, in the first major piece of research since the “Climategate” controversy, the FT says. The research, headed by the US National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration, is based on new data not available for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of 2007, which has been attacked by critics.
The Obama administration yesterday stepped up its response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, designating it an event “of national significance” as rescue workers struggled to stop the oil from washing ashore on the Louisiana coast today, the FT reports.
Even so, the incident has already cast a shadow over the President’s plans to increase offshore drilling, Bloomberg says. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration will reserve judgement on moving the strategy forward for now. Read more
BP was on Monday fighting to shut off oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico from broken pipes following the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster, which is believed to have killed 11 men, reports the FT . The UK company said it could take several months to stop the oil leaking into US waters, but stressed this was a worst-case scenario. However, CEO Tony Hayward said on Monday night that improved weather and the fact that the spilt oil was light and thin “is increasing our confidence that we can tackle this spill offshore”.
In addition to superglueing their hands to the trading floor of the bank’s London HQ, environmental protesters are making fun of the company’s M&A history. Read more
The headline on a recent Bloomberg stock market report out of Japan said it all: “Japan Stocks Rise on Green Technology Optimism”.
We’re seeing a growing number of headlines in that vein. Indeed, the rising wave of investor optimism on everything and anything related to so-called “green technology” has seen some lucrative deals and surging stock prices in sectors ranging from alternative energy sources to hybrid cars, anti-air pollution systems and environmental technology of every description. Read more