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OpenMarket: Center for Advancing Capitalism

  • Climate Cronyism: Big Businesses Tailor Policy to Benefit Themselves

    September 23, 2020
    The Business Roundtable released a new policy document recently, “Addressing Climate Change.” The statement seems crafted to cover BRT members over a wide range of scenarios while exposing them to the least possible financial risk. That’s fine for them, but not exactly some kind of major change in corporate attitudes. It is also unlikely to garner them the environmental halo they clearly covet.
  • Do We Want Corporations to Be Society’s Moral Referees?

    September 11, 2020
    The New York Times is observing the 50th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s famous article “The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits” by inviting 22 experts to react via an online symposium. The diversity of criticism reinforces Friedman’s points that everyone wants corporations to do the “right” thing, but we no more agree on what is right in corporate life than we do in political life.
  • Socialism, Nationalism, and Political Control: Iain Murray on The Remnant

    September 10, 2020
    My colleague Iain Murray had a fascinating conversation this week with The Remnant’s Jonah Goldberg about his excellent new book, The Socialist Temptation. One of the most interesting points they cover, which we generally take for granted in daily conversations about politics, is how socialism is really defined.
  • Good Vibes for Sale: The Business of Cultural Innovation

    September 9, 2020
    The current issue of Harvard Business Review has a fascinating article by former business school professor and brand consultant Douglas Holt. He advises companies looking to innovate successfully to worry not just about objective product features (the “better mousetrap” paradigm), but also on how a product makes consumers feel (the “cultural innovation” paradigm).
  • ESG Mission Creep Could Lead to Serious Legal, Market Risks for Companies

    September 9, 2020
    An increasing number of U.S. corporations are signaling their commitment to corporate social responsibility by integrating environmental, social, and governance issues into their operations and investments. But as the tolerance for taking public positions on controversial social issues increases, companies would be well advised to consider how far their activist mission is allowed to creep.
  • Don't Let Feds Become Investing's Sheriff of Nottingham

    September 3, 2020
    Investing company Robinhood and its signature smartphone app have taken off in popularity in the last several months. According to Bloomberg, Robinhood has “catapulted ahead of its online brokerage rivals” and attracted more than 3 million clients in the first four months of 2020 alone. With this increasing profile, of course, comes increasing scrutiny.
  • Retro Review: William H. McNeill - Plagues and Peoples (1976)

    September 2, 2020
    William McNeill was one of the 20th century’s leading big-picture world historians. Interconnectedness is a major theme of his work. Plagues and Peoples applies McNeill’s interconnectedness emphasis to disease as an engine of world history. What can we learn from how other societies have dealt with plagues? What were mistakes we can avoid? What things worked that we can adapt to our own time?
  • Retro Reviews: Azar Gat with Alexander Yakobson - Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism (2013)

    September 1, 2020
    Nations: The Long History and Deep Roots of Political Ethnicity and Nationalism is the rare book that makes the reader see the world differently, permanently. It provides a magnifying lens that, when properly held, can bring into focus important details on world history; modern history; why countries exist in the first place; and on today’s in-progress political realignment.
  • Demise of ESG Investing Overstated

    August 24, 2020
    The Department of Labor’s recent notice of proposed rulemaking on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in pension fund investments has received a lot of responses. One that seems to be common is that the department’s rule would represent some kind of major attack on—or even “death knell” for—ESG investing itself. Those criticisms are overstated.
  • Cheers to Department of Labor for Protecting Retiree Investments

    July 29, 2020
    At the end of last month the Department of Labor published a new notice of proposed rulemaking on the investment choices that private pension fund managers are allowed to make on behalf of their beneficiaries. The most proposed rule would clarify when it is possible to use environmental, social, and governance considerations when investing on behalf of pension fund beneficiaries.

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