WASHINGTON, District of Columbia — Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that Environmental, Social, and Governance policies, otherwise referred to as “ESG,” are “just the latest acronym to describe” leftist activism.
Fitzpatrick told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that ESG policies and ESG investing is that “your tax money, or your retirement money — your money [in general] — is being used by the people who are managing it on your behalf to advance social and political causes that you would not agree with and that also by the way, are not in your financial interests that are costing you money.”
As Fitzpatrick explained, ESG policies are a form of leftist activism in financial investing that has become the latest vector to influence the way Wall Street financial firms and corporations continue to take social and political positions that do not relate to their business, such as stances associated with climate change, as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda. Wall Street firms, such as BlackRock and others, sell ESG as a way to invest according to specific criteria that the political left pushes on voters and consumers.
“So that is the thing that people need to understand is that ESG is just the latest acronym to describe what people want them to believe for good, well-intentioned advocacy, what is really just political advocacy for things that the Democrats cannot get past through the democratic process, and they’re using your money to do it,” the Missouri state treasurer added.
The interview occurred at the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) conference last month, where state treasurers from across the country launched their strategy against ESG policies. The group launched a website, along with a video explainer, hoping to educate Americans on the dangers of ESG policies.
Republican state treasurers from across the country launched their strategies against leftist Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies at the State Financial Officers Foundation conference last week. https://t.co/WOF92CEWc5
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 21, 2022
Fitzpatrick went on to say that in the end, “it’s either your retirement money, or it’s the money that you’re paying into your state government, that is then going into a pension plan that is then being invested by these people who are using the money to advance these causes that are bad.”
This is part of the reason state financial officers are making a joint effort to combat the left-wing policies masquerading in economics, as state treasurers explained to Breitbart News at the conference that ESG policies hurt each state differently but collectively hurt the money from American taxpayers.
“It’s all virtue signaling; they’re doing things that are costing the company’s money,” Fitzpatrick said. Giving examples, he acknowledged Scope 3 Emissions disclosures, which he says are a “very expensive undertaking … and at the end of the day, it really doesn’t change anything … it’s just an added cost to the company.” In addition, companies such as Apple are being forced to do to racial equity audits that Fitzpatrick said gives “no financial benefit to Apple for doing.”
When discussing an asset manager’s job, Fitzpatrick stated that asset managers for government money, taxpayer funds, or pensions are essentially picked on who could provide good exposure to the market at the lowest cost. But, at the same time, he explained, “There’s been really no consideration given to the stewardship activities of the asset manager, meaning how they’re going about overseeing the companies that are invested in [and] how they’re [proxy] voting on issues that go to a shareholder vote.”
“That’s really not been a consideration; they’ve largely … asset managers have been very unchecked on that,” the Missouri state treasurer continued. “And they’ve been able to do whatever they want. And so, what we’ve seen is that they’ve abused that power, they’ve done with that power of things that we think they shouldn’t have done.”
As a way to combat the asset manager’s abuse of power, he said, “Pension plans need to begin to remove that power from the asset managers, or ensure that it’s being exercised in a way that is solely focused on delivering maximum returns to their pension plan and not focused on advancing the non-pecuniary, or non-financial goals, that could potentially be harmful to the return on investment.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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