What will we have learned; how long will we remember, and how far back from neo-Marxist extremism will the political pendulum swing before we lose the current American generations so fortunately inherited? Conditions must sometimes get very bad before we wake up to...
The Fatal Attraction of ESG and Banks for a Socialist Utopia
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is a social credit system designed to coerce businesses, individuals, and in fact, all of society — to succumb to a socialist body politic controlled knowingly or, in some cases, unwittingly by Communists. For those who think I am exaggerating when I imply that our financial establishment is socialist/communist, you are tricked by the lack of appropriate labels. Let me explain.
Here are the words of Alexander Trachtenberg speaking at the National Convention of Communist Parties in Madison Square Garden in 1944:
“When we get ready to take the United States, we will not take you under the label of Communism. We will not take you under the label of Socialism…We will take the United States under labels we have made very lovable; we will take it under Liberalism, under Progressivism, and under Democracy. But take it, we will.”
The day has dawned where the financial establishment that controls much of our nation uses measurements of how businesses toe the line on matters of the environment (read climate change), social issues (read diversity ), and governance. ( read censored speech) to control how businesses function, regardless of what the customers or shareholders of those businesses want. In most cases today, corporate executives are all too willing to go along to attract capital from the left.
The adoption of ESG metrics is meant to radically alter how businesses are evaluated, expanding considerations beyond traditional economic metrics like profit, revenue, debt, customer satisfaction, and product development.
Instead of looking at economic and financial considerations, ESG social credit metrics measure things like “Percentage of the active workforce covered under collective bargaining agreements” (union labor) and “Percentage of employees per employee category, by age group, gender, and other indicators of diversity (e.g., ethnicity).”
Corporations self-report ESG to win favor with the “left,” while most small businesses do not. Instead, large financial services companies and banks have produced them with astounding left-leaning bias damaging smaller businesses’ ability to attract investment.
When individuals and small businesses have raised concerns about the use of ESG and how it could be used against them, liberals claim that concerns over ESG are nothing but “conspiracy theories.”
However, the evidence shows that there are very good reasons to believe that financial institutions and banks plan to dramatically expand the use of ESG soon for individuals, families, and small businesses. China is already doing exactly this for all its citizens, using facial recognition cameras on every street corner. Among many obvious reasons, we should all be concerned about this.
There are many examples of individuals and businesses being denied access to financial services or capital based on subjective criteria, but there are no databases or reporting agencies tasked with compiling denials based on non-financial reasons. However, news outlets have reported many examples, and some industry reports openly admit that discrimination is common.
For example, Deutsche Bank AG and Signature Bank announced in early 2021 that they would no longer provide services to former President Donald Trump or his business, the Trump Organization, purely for ideological reasons.
In November 2021, WePay, a J.P. Morgan Chase-owned payment processor, informed the Missouri-based Defense of Liberty political action committee that it would stop offering its services to the organization after it planned an event featuring Donald Trump Jr. (Chase later reversed the decision but only after “Missouri treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick threatened to have the state stop doing business with the bank.”)
According to former North Dakota lawmaker Bette Grande, “During the 2021 legislative session in North Dakota, representatives of the lignite industry testified that coal operations are seeing increasing insurance premiums and a drop in the number of insurance companies willing to write insurance for any price. This is the ESG movement in action, and it will not stop with oil and coal. Exclusion criteria often include issues like weapon manufacturing, tobacco sales, or production of fossil fuels.
Credit agencies have started to alter businesses’ credit ratings based on ESG scores. In a 2021 report by Fitch Ratings — one of the “big three credit rating agencies” (along with Moody’s and S&P) — corporate credit rating agents admitted to taking ESG scores into account. If the largest agencies are willing to use ESG to alter corporate credit scores, credit agencies and banks are likely to do the same for individuals and small businesses.
Analysts predict individual credit scores could soon have an ESG component. Perhaps the most widely used service to check individuals’ and small business creditworthiness is FICO. When banks and credit unions examine applications for loans, FICO is often the first place they turn. An article published in December 2021 on FICO’s website indicated that ESG scores would likely soon be used. It is horrifically possible that ESG will also include climate risk evaluations.
Large investment management firms and banks are using ESG to coerce corporations to change in order to produce more extensive societal impacts (read Progressive, Liberal, Socialist). This point is not in dispute.
In a letter to other CEOs, Larry Fink, head of the world’s largest asset management company Blackrock, promised to use ESG scores as a way to alter society. Who would have thought a huge capitalist company could have become a socialist. But he did not become one; he and dozens in corporate America have been infiltrating companies for decades. They also control the vast majority of non-profit do-good organizations.
One would think when one rises to CEO of a huge financial company, one would have half a brain regarding running the world on wind and solar, but he doesn’t. He writes that a “net-zero” world is in our future.
If investors and banks are willing to utilize ESG to control corporations, why wouldn’t they use ESG to manipulate individual and small business behavior as well?
Banks have promised to use ESG to fight climate change throughout all of their portfolios and business activities. The most influential financial institutions around the world have openly said that they will use their wealth to force the global economy to move to net-zero by 2050. This is, of course, physically impossible, but installing communism around the world is not.
Note: Portions of this essay have been excerpted from a February 27, 2022, article by Justin Haskins published by The Heartland Institute.
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