Companies’ environmental, social and governance scores are based almost exclusively on subjective values masquerading as objective measures.
This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with a degree in economics. He spent four years in the infantry before transitioning to the Finance Corps.
This is the follow-up article to “Bitcoin Is ESG, ESG Is Not.”
Doing a cursory overview of the Top 100 environmental, social and governance (ESG) Companies for 2022, you start to get the feeling that things might not really add up.
“These are the 100 top-performing companies across all industries for 2022, evaluated across a wide range of metrics, including efforts to combat climate change; diversity, equity and inclusion; worker wellness and local job creation; and customer privacy.”
Coming in at No. 1 is Alphabet, the parent company of Google, infamous in Bitcoin circles for their politically biased censorship regime. Not to mention all of the privacy issues when it comes to data tracking and ad targeting. It seems to leave a lot to be desired for socially acceptable behavior, and yet, they’re ranked No. 1.
PepsiCo Inc. comes in at No. 12. While diabetes is the direct cause of death only 4% of the time, it is listed as a contributing factor in deaths as often as 11.5%, putting it in third place — behind heart disease and cancer in the list of America’s greatest killers. I guess pushing liquified sugar is considered a socially responsible business practice when compared with something like cigarettes?
In terms of banks, Bank of America Corp. comes in at No. 5, Citigroup Inc. at No. 15 and Wells Fargo & Co. at a hilarious No. 25 considering the Wells Fargo Fake Account Scandal that they got slapped for just a few years ago. The most ironic part is how any of these companies made the list at all. U.S.-based banks alone have racked up a stunning $200 billion worth of fines over the past 20 years. All can be forgiven if you say the right things, I guess.
At the crux of the matter is that scores are based almost exclusively on subjective values masquerading as objective measures. The Impact Investor seems to put a lot of emphasis on not investing in fossil fuel companies, thereby pushing up their cost of capital and ultimately increasing prices for those who can least afford them.
Policies have impact; there are consequences for decisions made. Europe is seeing a growing crisis due to energy inflation. Maybe it had to do with shutting down nuclear plants in the name of ESG? I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t feel very “equitable and inclusive.”
Bitcoin is a permissionless, peer-to-peer value transfer network with increasing functionality on its growing stack of application layers. It has a native asset, undilutable by nation-states and resistant to seizure and censorship.
It banks the unbanked and it banks the debanked, protecting them from the ravages of global hyperinflation — a phenomenon that those in the developing world know far too well.
Bitcoin has no agenda, no values to force upon its user base as a means to appease the capital allocation gods from the likes of BlackRock. Bitcoin just is. Bitcoin just does. Without judgment, without discrimination, without redlining, without opening fake accounts on your behalf, without paying billions of dollars in fines every year, without giving you diabetes or censoring your search results.
Bitcoin is rules without rulers — where everyone is treated equally, because there’s no way to do anything but. Bitcoin is socially responsible money.
This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.