ESG, Larry Fink, and Other Peoples’ Money

This op-ed by NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty appears today on Real Clear Markets:

Last week, Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies, lost a critical board fight with Engine No.1, a “woke” small investor group. The win was predictably spun by the mainstream media as a David vs. Goliath story as well as a milestone moment for a new type of altruistic Environmental, Social and Governance investor.

The truth, however, is more cynical than heroic. Among other things, this is a story of how a billionaire like Larry Fink, a true Wolf of Wall Street, uses other people’s money to simultaneously camouflage his checkered past and help promote himself as an elder statesman of the markets, a beneficent oligarch with a penchant for saving the planet. 

The popular media narrative is that this latest Exxon shareholder campaign was conducted by a small group … Read More ➡

Nasdaq Rule for Corporate Boards Doesn’t Address Real ‘Diversity’

Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman

NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty has an op-ed on Real Clear Markets critical of Nasdaq’s proposed “diversity” rule for boards of companies listed on the exchange. From the piece:

If there is merit in diversifying the composition of America’s corporate boards, it’s highly doubtful that Nasdaq’s imperious, paint-by-numbers approach is the best way to achieve it. That’s because, for all of their frantic virtue-signaling on the subject, when Nasdaq speaks of “diversity” what they obviously envision is a group of people with essentially cosmetic differences in race, gender and sexual orientation who will, nonetheless, all think and act in the same way.

Click here to read the entire piece on Real Clear Markets.

Earlier, NLPC Counsel Paul Kamenar argued in a public comment filed in January with the SEC that the diversity rule will impose arbitrary racial and gender quotas without showing a compelling governmental interest, and … Read More ➡