ESG: How will 'Racial Justice' be measured?

This initiative has the potential to become a never-ending saga. How many angels can dance on the tip of a needle? Will rating agencies become the arbiters? (and charge you a hefty fee for this?)
(7-Aug-2020)

Racial Injustice Will Have Greater Weight in ESG Scores, S&P Global Says

The real problem with Buy-Backs

Most debates about pros and cons misses the point: buy-backs are an ineffective way to 'return' capital to shareholders. Managements have as much insight about future share prices as the average investor, be it Joe Blogs or a 'Professional'. If shares are bought at too high a level it is obvious value destruction. One might as well have given shareholders cash and let them make a decision about whether to buy more of the company's shares at a certain level or deploy the returned capital elsewhere. The same applies to situations where management considers the shares to be undervalued ((and this does not even mention the aspect of executives playing a somewhat conflicted game of boosting the value of their share or option packages).
So basically all the buy-back activity is nothing but guesswork and punting on the share price that should not be the task of management. It should just do the job of running the business.
Of course, there is an element of price manipulation - and that seems to be the major factor behind all the buy-back activity. But the sad example of General Electric demonstrates that management should not be able to roll the dice in the stock market casino.
Returning money to shareholders should not mean that some sellers get a (manipulated) exit price while those shareholders that don't sell get no cash - and may or may not benefit from a short-term boost to the stock price. For when buy-backs stop the share price may rapidly drop to the undisturbed neutral price it would trade were there not buy-back activity
(31-July-2020)

China: all the ESG Talk is just that, Talk!

When the Corporate Governance - in particular the ESG fanatics - are called to perform there is just silence, golden silence!
(27-July-2020)
Wall Street turns a blind eye to atrocities committed in China

ESG creates quagmire for Fund Managers

And business in general. The demands from lobbies and interest groups will expand and no action by managers and businesses will be enough to satisfy them. Once pandora's box is opened issues that really should be settled in the realm of politics will lead to never-ending complications for what should really be the priority for business and investment - obtaining profits or a satisfactory performance for savers.
(27-July-2020)
Boohoo supply chain allegations reveal challenges facing ESG investors

C.E.O.s Are Qualified to Make Profits, Not Lead Society

The self-appointed Governance activists in business and finance should take note. They stray from the original purpose of good Corporate Governance (how companies should be governed in the insterests of the shareholders). Other stakeholder interests can be guarded by proper laws after they have been determined in a democractic process.
(26-July-2020)

Interesting Contribution from Gregory Mankiv

Blackrock's commitment to sustainability - on whose orders?

Pious intentions may be to investor's tastes but has Blackrock - or its self-mportant group of Sustainability experts - received any specific mandate from the investors whose money is at risk?
(24-July-2020)
Blackrock: our commitment to sustainability

Private Equity basically a Conglomerate in Drag

That the Head of this 'Private' Equity firm openly states how he controls the CEOs of the companies he controls gives away the fact that PE firms basically are Conglomerates in drag and should never have been allowed to slip under the regulatory mantel designed to protect retail investors from fraudulent investment firms. As a consequence PE promoters enjoy unfair advantages with respect to tax, corporate governance (esp corporate compensation), transparency, treatment of staff and clients. No wonder the universe of listed companies is shrinking fast - and will accelerate if regulations are not changed - FAST!
(6-Dec-2019)
Marketwatch

So what value has Kalanick created?

Without the employees this company is worth Nada, Zilch, Zippo, Nil - so there is a big fault in the 'Market' System and Capitalism if he can re 'rewarded' to generously (or better: excessively). Would be interesting what Bill Gates or Jamie Dimon with all their wisdom have to say to that!
(14-Nov-2019)
Uber founder cashes in big time

Why your Fund Manager/Financial Adviser ignores You

No surprise, there is no proper structure - or even willingness - to incorporate the views of the real end investor/saver into the corporate policies of Fund Managers, Private Banks or other Financial Institutions. All talk about corporate governance is basically only so much (empty?) talk.
(26-August-2019)
Why isnt your mutual fund sticking up for you?

Selling your company to China?

The dispute in Hong Kong is far from being settled. But it does not look good for the (semi)independence of the former British Colony. So why the rush to sell to a company from Hong Kong? And if shareholders should no longer be the primary focus of corporations and rank only next to workers, suppliers, customers and the wider community (however defined) - how much longer and under what rules can these sell-outs be allowed to continue? And what good is served if all this transaction does is making Hong Kong's richest man richer still? And how much tax does he pay and where? No good for anyone if he just piles his riches higher and higher - in Hong Kong (where taxes are low to non-existent) or in another tax "friendly" geography.
(20-August-2019)
Hong Kong's richest man snaps up British Brewer