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ALEC in Bloomberg News: America’s Political Right Has a New Enemy No. 1: ESG Investors

State lawmakers and treasurers have for years been concerned that politically motivated investing strategies reduce long-term profits, said Jonathan Williams, chief economist at the American Legislative Exchange Council. The conservative group, which writes model legislation, is looking to  prevent public pensions from making investments using ESG. 

(Bloomberg) — Heading into the hotly contested midterm elections, the American political right has a new rallying cry: Down with ESG.

Conservatives have identified the popular investing strategy, which accounts for environmental, social and governance risks, as part of a broader narrative about left-wing overreach and ” wokeness” run amok. Utah Treasurer Marlo Oaks calls it “corporate cancel culture.” Behind the rhetoric lie policies designed to sap the momentum of one of Wall Street’s most successful initiatives in recent years, now worth $35 trillion globally. If it works, it will firmly ensconce ESG in the culture wars, galvanize voters and weaken the resolve of big asset managers to act on climate change and other big, societal issues.

Those states are increasingly considering legislative action. State lawmakers and treasurers have for years been concerned that politically motivated investing strategies reduce long-term profits, said Jonathan Williams, chief economist at the American Legislative Exchange Council. The conservative group, which writes model legislation, is looking to  prevent public pensions from making investments using ESG.

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