Commentary By Donna Westfall – March 2, 2023 – Cartoon Credit to Gary Varvel
Ever wonder if politics is boring?
Let’s tune in to ESG investments. That would be: Environmental, Social and Governance. ESG. Indeed. Hardly the way to invest money if you want a solid return. Why is that? The simple answer is because they perform poorly in financial terms.
The average large-cap stock ESG fund had lost nearly 20% in 2022 through Dec. 21, according to Morningstar.
Let’s mosey on over to California for a while. Did you know that CalPERS is in trouble financially and has been for some time? That stands for California’s Public Employees’ Retirement System.
What happened last year? Well, for the 2 million members depending upon CalPERS to provide their promised retirement benefits. Here’s just the highlights:
September 2022 – From Pensions and Investments: “CalPERS’ funded status has dropped to 71% from 82% as a result of the $439.8 billion pension plan’s -6.1% return for fiscal year 2022…”
November 2022 – From Orange County Register: “With the latest investment losses applied, Reason Foundation estimates CalPERS’ debt is now $164 billion. This public pension debt roughly translates to over $4,000 in debt for every Californian.”
So then why did the Biden White House push ESG investing?
Because last year plan sponsors of private pensions and other benefit plans covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), could now invest your trillions of retirement funds into ESG accounts citing how to “maximize your investments’ returns”. NOTE: TRUMP, who is still a billionaire somewhere in the vicinity of $2.5 – $3.2 billion depending upon if it’s Forbes or Wikipedia, was against it. Actually, he had a directive while in office that prevented firms from ESG investing. Biden reversed Trump’s directive. That should have been a clue right there that something was not right in Denmark as the saying goes.
ESG investing can ban investments in gun and fossil fuel companies – traditionally money makers. Instead they want to invest in WOKE political agendas. Plan managers have a duty to the 152 million workers to maximize financial investments through good solid returns, not “woke” social rules.
We’ve gone from a recovering economy under Pres. Trump to a recession and highest inflation in over 40 years under illegitimate Pres. Biden. Another clue right there. When will there be any teeth in the impeachment process so Biden is finally on his way out? Actually I’d personally rather see him brought up on treason charges for just the way he handled Afghanistan’s withdrawal leaving $80 billion of armaments and equipment behind, because you can’t bring him up on stupidity charges.
It was surprising to discover that not only the House of Reps voted ESG investing down, but the Senate as well. Hallelujah! Love to see the House and Senate working towards a common goal.
What’s to happen next?
Our worst President in our lifetime to date, Biden, vows to veto it. VETO it so pension plan managers can continue to invest (another word for losing public employee’s retirement money) in ESG’s.
What’s a country to do with such stupid leadership?
One answer: Suffer until he’s gone and HOPE and PRAY someone can resurrect our nation in 2024 if he’s not impeached or found he’s been a traitor to our country.
But wait! There’s something else on the horizon. This story is not over yet.
In January 2023, Biden’s Administration rule put ESG investing into place. However, last week 25 GOP- led-states asked a Federal Judge to block it! While this lawsuit has not been decided yet, so far several Republican states—including Iowa, Wyoming and North Dakota—have enacted their own laws prohibiting ESG investing.
Wouldn’t you think that retirees would be jumping up and down about stopping ESG investing? I know I would.