1st Quarter 2019 Wrap Up – Will ESG Turn the Red Button Green?

“Wealth has often been regarded by poets and philosophers as a source of evil and yet the fault lies, not with money, but with those who use it. Indeed, money should be regarded as a gift of God for the benefits that it brings in ordering the affairs of civilization and the opportunities it offers for doing good.” ~ John Wesley, from his famous sermon “The Use of Money”

By Catherine Austin Fitts

This coming week I will present the theme for the 1st Quarter 2019 Wrap Up: Will ESG Turn the Red Button Green? For those of you who do not know my famous Red Button story and the reference to “turning the red button green,” here it is.

ESG stands for “environmental, social, and governance”—three factors used in measuring the system-wide impact of an investment in a company or business. Incorporating these factors is part of what is often referred to as responsible investment, ethical investment, or sustainable investment.

You can find an excellent introduction to this topic in the Solari Report’s 3rd Quarter 2016 Wrap Up: Investment Screening: Can We Filter for Productive Companies?

According to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance’s 2018 Review, investment subject to these various forms of “responsibility” screens has now risen to $30 trillion.

Nevertheless, global resource allocation and management is moving in a less responsible direction. We are experiencing continued growth in global military expenditures, a new arms race in space, a move to FASAB 56—a no-accounting policy for the U.S. government and related defense contractors and banks—not to mention global spraying, wave after wave of invasive surveillance, and mind control setting the stage for worldwide technocracy, continued assaults on health freedoms, and centralization and corruption of the food supply. I am sure you can think of more examples.

These developments are often implemented by corporations and banks that are well represented in the top holdings of ESG ETFs, mutual funds, and money managers.

By taking the U.S. securities market dark, does the adoption of FASAB 56 negate the relevance of ESG investing? Is responsible investing just a new form of window dressing (at best) or mind control (at worst)? Will it be used as a tool to overcome young people’s legitimate concerns about financial bailouts, rigged markets, and corporate corruption—and persuade them to invest in the equity markets? Or, with greater transparency and less secrecy about how the real economy works, could ESG managers apply ESG criteria in a more intelligent and successful manner? If we can ensure that global governments obey their financial management laws, could ESG investing help us finally overcome warfare and transnational organized crime in a profitable and wealth-building manner?

I will be discussing these questions and more for our 1st Quarter 2019 Wrap Up: Will ESG Turn the Red Button Green?

In Let’s Go to the Movies, check out Owned, a Tale of Two Americas, a new documentary that describes historical discrimination in the U.S. housing market.

This is the last week of the month, so no Money & Markets. E-mail or post questions for Ask Catherine for the following week here.

Talk to you Thursday!