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OpenMarket: Richard Morrison

  • CEI Event with Hester Peirce and Paul Atkins: ESG, Crypto, and other SEC Hot Topics

    September 23, 2020
    Yesterday, in the most recent installment of CEI’s “Repeal for Resilience” event series, CEI President Kent Lassman welcomed Securities and Exchange Commission member Hester Peirce and former SEC Commissioner Paul Atkins for a discussion on the future of finance regulation. Peirce led off with a description of some of the SEC’s helpful policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wealthy Millennials Not So Concerned with "Socially Responsible" Investing

    July 17, 2020
    In the last few years advocates of corporate social responsibility theory have been assuring everyone who would listen that a new day is dawning for financial management, and that younger investors would be increasingly demanding that public companies and investment management firms conduct business consistent with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. A new industry study, however, may be interrupting that narrative.

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