Over 50 years ago, Milton Friedman took the op-ed section of the New York Times to weigh in on the debate about the alleged social responsibilities of business.
Then, as now, it was in vogue for corporations to tout their dedication to certain social causes. Whether it was being done sincerely, or merely to boost their reputation among consumers, it was clear to Friedman that such framing was undermining the ultimate purpose of business: to maximize profits for its shareholders, within the boundaries of the law.
The term “social responsibility” has morphed over the years – going under names like “impact investing,” stakeholder capitalism, and most recently, “ESG investing.”
Short for “Environment, Social, and Governance investment,” ESG gained prominence in 2005 as the United Nations outlined its six principles of responsible investing.
Today, many states are confronting the question of whether the firms tasked with managing their pension funds are fulfilling their obligations to the public sector retirees that depend on them.
Paul Atkins, a former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, recently participated in a Reason Foundation webinar on the impact of ESG investing on public pensions.
We discuss why states like Florida are withdrawing billions of dollars in pension funds out from investment firms like BlackRock. Governor DeSantis says that ESG investment puts politics ahead of profitability. Meanwhile, proponents of ESG say that DeSantis is the one playing politics.
Who’s correct? Find out on the show of ideas, not attitude.
A Friedman doctrine‐- The Social Responsibility Of Business Is to Increase Its Profits (Published 1970)
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Webinar: ESG trends and impacts on public pensions - Reason Foundation
Photo 208479455 © Ksenia Kolesnikova | Dreamstime.com Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Paul Atkins, former CKE Restaurants Chief Executive Officer Andy Puzder, and Reason Foundation Vice President Leonard Gilroy discuss how environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies and trends are impacting public pension systems and taxpayers.
Florida pulls $2 bln from BlackRock in largest anti-ESG divestment
Florida's Chief Financial Officer said on Thursday his department would pull $2 billion worth of its assets managed by BlackRock Inc , the biggest such divestment by a state opposed to the asset manager's environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) policies.