ESG investing is a ‘complete fraud’


“Full fraud,” “joke,” “jargon,” “so preposterous,” had been among the the decision text Social Money founder and CEO Chamath Palihapitiya used to explain the escalating ESG motion.

“These are beneficial statements. It’s wonderful marketing. But again it is really a lot of sizzle, no steak,” he claimed Wednesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

The ever more common ESG investing model evaluates a firm’s environmental, social and governance aspects alongside common monetary metrics. It truly is turn into a buzzword on the Street as firms facial area growing stress from governing bodies and traders alike to supply much more transparency about their operations.

But as ESG’s popularity grows so, way too, do its critics, not the very least because scoring a business on these metrics is inherently subjective.

Chamath Palihapitiya

Cameron Costa | CNBC

Palihapitiya said that while particular things of the movement have been helpful, this kind of as corporations having a sharper glance at their governing tactics, it does not always stimulate ideal techniques, nor does it shift the ball forward on factors like the weather crisis.

The Social Funds main said that in some scenarios it can be employed as a advertising and marketing ploy and a way for firms to get cost-free dollars. “If you paint on your own as ESG in Europe, you can basically borrow funds from the ECB at damaging rates,” he stated.

On Tuesday, JPMorgan announced a selection of new climate-change linked guidelines, these types of as restricting funding for corporations drilling in the Arctic, signing up for other financial giants like Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, both of which have lately declared new initiatives.

“JPMorgan, by saying what they reported, will be ready to borrow billions of pounds from the ECB at damaging fees … it doesn’t have to do the job, they never need to have to do anything, they are now obtaining totally free revenue from Europe for in essence currently being ready to say this,” he said.

Palihapitiya mentioned that not only do ESG rankings not, in the end, inspire meaningful change, they can cloud a firm’s genuine environmental effects.

“If you seriously believe that in local climate transform you need to do a ton of perform now,” he argued. “It really is likely to be extremely vital for you to really be in a position to diligence the supply chain, all the way down to the provider and supplier’s supplier, and that is a quite challenging matter,” he said.

“I consider what we need to have to do is devote in precise businesses that can go and rely, and can legitimize the genuine affect that providers have, so that you can do the suitable total of carbon offsets. And then you have to have a legitimate trade where you can truly trade them.”

– CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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