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DeSantis Won’t Allow Florida Fund Managers to Use ‘Woke’ Banking’s ESG Standards

DeSantis Won’t Allow Florida Fund Managers to Use ‘Woke’ Banking’s ESG Standards

“So, the upshot of all this is, we want to stop these kind of ‘masters of the universe’ from trying to do through economic power what they cannot achieve at the ballot box. And it’s really an end-run around democracy, where they’re trying to impose these things.”

https://twitter.com/GovRonDeSantis/status/1552436171346771969

One of the more insidious ways the woke left has slithered its way into the operations of businesses and the lives of ordinary Americans over the last several years to try and force them into a certain mindset is by way of pressuring banks and large electronic commerce corporations to judge them based on what’s called Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria, also known as ESG, and discriminate against them financially if they don’t pass the test.

In February of this year, Forbes.com wrote about “ESG investing” and charitably described it as “a strategy you can use to put your money to work with companies that strive to make the world a better place.” Here’s how they summarized ESG criteria:

Environment. What kind of impact does a company have on the environment? This can include a company’s carbon footprint, toxic chemicals involved in its manufacturing processes and sustainability efforts that make up its supply chain.

Social. How does the company improve its social impact, both within the company and in the broader community? Social factors include everything from LGBTQ+ equality, racial diversity in both the executive suite and staff overall, and inclusion programs and hiring practices. It even looks at how a company advocates for social good in the wider world, beyond its limited sphere of business.

Governance. How does the company’s board and management drive positive change? Governance includes everything from issues surrounding executive pay to diversity in leadership as well as how well that leadership responds to and interacts with shareholders.

ESG criteria and pressure from woke online outrage mobs have been credited with getting donation websites like GoFundMe to either freeze or pull fundraising pages for campaigns that don’t meet the woke standards, like the Canadian Freedom Convoy.

It was also revealed in 2019 that PayPal was working with the discredited, far-left Southern Poverty Law Center to ban so-called “far-right” users, oddly enough, in the name of “diversity and inclusion.”

In the days after the Capitol riot, PayPal also blocked funding for the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it was used to raise money for some of the attendees of then-President Trump’s Jan. 6, 2020 speech.

In response to these tactics, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last week announced his plan to take administrative action and work with the state legislature to implement what he called “initiatives to protect Floridians from ESG financial fraud.”

During a press conference, DeSantis made clear that America should not be a place that is “governed by some of the most economically elite and powerful interests in society” and where everything is “politicized” to the nth degree:

Governor DeSantis said this criteria is used to target “disfavored” individuals and industries to advance a “woke” ideological agenda.

“Do we want our society to be governed by some of the most economically elite and powerful interests in society?” DeSantis asked. “And I think our economy is going to be much better off if everything is not politicized. It used to be it wasn’t a political issue. You didn’t have to take positions on every little thing.”

“Now almost everything that’s being done, there’s a political overtone to it. You can’t run an economy effectively if that’s the case.”

[…]

Florida will prohibit the State Board of Administration fund managers from using political factors to determine where to invest the state’s money. This board includes the fund managers that manage the state of Florida’s pension funds. DeSantis said the fund has close to $200 billion.

“We also are gonna prohibit Wall Street banks, credit card companies and money transmitters like PayPal from discriminating against customers for their religious, political or social beliefs,” DeSantis stated during the presser. “They’re using things like social credit scores to be able to marginalize people they don’t like.”

Watch:

DeSantis also discussed his plans during an appearance on Tucker Carlson’s program:

“So, we’re going to make sure that fiduciary duty is defined very clearly and that they stick to that.

We’re — also want to provide protections for people in the financial marketplace from being discriminated against based on ideology. I mean, we have seen Wall Street banks discriminate against contractors who are involved in helping us against illegal immigration or against firearm manufacturers, things they don’t like.

So, the upshot of all this, Tucker, is, we want to stop these kind of masters of the universe from trying to do through economic power what they cannot achieve at the ballot box. And it’s really an end-run around democracy, where they’re trying to impose these things. And, here in Florida, I want to be governed by the values of Destin, not the values of Davos.”

Watch:

DeSantis’ announcement, it would appear, is already bearing fruit according to one conservative activist who spoke at the presser:

To learn more about DeSantis’ anti-ESG initiatives, click here.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

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Comments


 
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 18
MarkJ | August 5, 2022 at 9:12 am

Ron DeSantis: Crushing his enemies, driving them before him, and hearing the lamentations of the wokesters.

The main difference between regular mutual funds and ESG mutual funds is that the fees for ESG are much, much higher. Sometimes twice or more.

To impose ESG on company boards is a major, probably unconstitutional, conflict of interest. Directors are personally bound as fiduciaries to act in the best interest of the shareholders. ESG claims on based on politically-based stake holder claims of higher duty to “society”, criteria like diversity, equity and inclusion. It just puts a big monkey wrench in the machine of the idea of efficiency and thus absolutely destroys capitalism.


     
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     5
    JohnC in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 5, 2022 at 10:00 am

    Which is the entire point!


     
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    daniel_ream in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 5, 2022 at 10:49 am

    Directors are personally bound as fiduciaries to act in the best interest of the shareholders

    I feel like this is the only way for the State to approach this without shooting itself in the foot. Forbidding companies from discriminating on ideological grounds is a massive, massive overstep in government power and is a very sharp double-edged sword.

    Politics is downstream from culture, and using the power of the State to enforce culture should be making any American very., very nervous. I’d be much happier to see the already extralegal subsidies and special favours yanked with prejudice. They’re unconstitutional anyway, and these corporate monsters wouldn’t be as powerful as they are without government support in the first place.

      Musk brought up holding Twitter board directors personally liable for failing to honor their fiduciary duties. It may still happen. I am a bit disappointed that DeSantis didn’t even mention this point. It isn’t just the CEOs, it’s the crooked, compromised boards of directors.


       
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      henrybowman in reply to daniel_ream. | August 5, 2022 at 4:15 pm

      He’s not “forbidding companies from discriminating on ideological grounds.” He’s forbidding his own government from discriminating on ideological grounds.

      Companies can invent any new foo-foo ideological metrics that please themselves, but the state won’t use any of them when determining where to invest state money.


         
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        Gosport in reply to henrybowman. | August 5, 2022 at 10:56 pm

        “Prohibit big banks, credit card companies and money transmitters from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs.”

        That’s not the government. That’s big companies who screw Floridians. He’s threatening their ability to do business in his state if they play those games.


 
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CommoChief | August 5, 2022 at 9:39 am

The States have a great deal of authority to act that they have previously refrained from. They have direct influence over selection of which firms they choose to invest their pension and other State funds with. They have State Securities, Banking and Insurance Commissions they can utilize to ensure a non ideological playing field in their State.

The States could similarly require large tech platforms who wish to enjoy the State govt and all its agencies and political subdivisions reach as hosts to conform to more user friendly, non ideological practices. Pull all those govt info conduits and put them with a smaller rival platform and these platforms gain a critical mass of users. DeSantis is leading the way and providing the example for other States.


     
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    Another Voice in reply to CommoChief. | August 5, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    “They have direct influence over selection of which firms they choose to invest their pension and other State funds with. ”

    With many of ‘those firms’ being the same ones who have, are and will continue to be those re-locating in Florida and where as De Santis has made clear, everyone plays by the rules. Companies relocating out of New York and Calif. into Florida and Texas are doing so for tax purposes and the amenities these states offer. With the current move of several of the largest financial firms it appears to be the beginning of creating a ‘Wall Street South’. The reciprocal thing to do by these companies is to honor the voters who created this environment. And here is where De Santis rises to the occasion; He fights with to holds barred to attain and keep it this way.

Unfortunately, Newsome (or possibly Hochul) will respond to this by requiring ESG considerations.


     
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     3
    Dimsdale in reply to irv. | August 5, 2022 at 1:07 pm

    Driving their states further into economic holes.

    Keep sending the illegals to them. Bus after bus.


     
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    henrybowman in reply to irv. | August 5, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    Good. If you couldn’t arbitrage raw stupidity, it would have no value at all.


       
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      henrybowman in reply to henrybowman. | August 6, 2022 at 12:32 am

      More precisely, the ability for the intelligent to arbitrage others’ stupidity is the natural corrective force (and punishment) for that stupidity.
      Want to pay me $1,000 for a garden variety tulip, $300 for jeans with knee-holes, or $4,500 to remove a formerly beloved Harry Potter tattoo to show your friends that you’re not a TERF? Certainly, sign here.

Environment responsibility including shared/shifted responsibility.

Social awareness including practical and actual slavery.

Transgender spectrum inclusion and exclusion when a drag (pun not intended).

Diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry), Inequity, and Exclusion (DIE).


 
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gonzotx | August 5, 2022 at 10:29 am

Governor Abbott
Calling Governor Abbott

Abbott

Abbott

Abbott

Missing in action

Imsure Texas would have declared an invasion under DeSantis

Abbott and Paxton, get this , say it’s not an invasion because they are not in uniform

Can’t make this crap up


     
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    SDN in reply to gonzotx. | August 5, 2022 at 11:53 am

    gonzo needs to put the bong down and read the TX constitution. It was set up for a “weak executive” so neither Abbott or Paxton can legally do what DeSantis did.


 
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 3
JackinSilverSpring | August 5, 2022 at 10:47 am

Got to love DeSantis. He’s a guy who won’t stand for any bovine excrement.


     
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     1
    Dimsdale in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | August 5, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    Wouldn’t the be equine (as in donkey) excrement?


       
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       3
      henrybowman in reply to Dimsdale. | August 6, 2022 at 12:37 am

      The more I learn about donkeys, the less I feel they are an appropriate mascot for the Ds.

      Our donkeys choose two or three (usually well camouflaged) spots on our property to leave their deposits, then use them religiously. We marveled when we saw our first actually backing into the narrow slot between an oleander hedge and the fence, and discovered he had been using it regularly as a discreet outhouse.

      Compare this to the streets of San Francisco. Who is more civilized?

This essential pushback and blueprint for other states to follow has been brought to you by abandoning slogans from the 2000s and adopting actual will to govern and conservatism instead of corporatism/libertarianism.


 
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randian | August 5, 2022 at 3:34 pm

Can DeSantis fire everyone in the State Board of Administration? He’s eventually going to have the same problem Trump did: the permanent bureaucracy will defy him and do what they want, not what their boss orders.

    If Floridians want to commit suicide, no one can prevent it.


     
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    Gosport in reply to randian. | August 6, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    There is a huge difference between the fed govt and state govts. State civil servants can be (and are) fired much more easily and often. The ‘permanent bureaucracy’ in Florida is nowhere near as prevalent or powerful as in the federal govt as they don’t have roots decades old.

    As with vegetables, the best way to prevent rot is rotation of stock.

Perhaps Florida should create a private cause of action for state residents who are screwed by these powerful financial entities. The threat of individual and class-action lawsuits would probably put a damper on the more obvious and egregious cases like Moms for Liberty.

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