Displaying items by tag: SEC
Biden has hit a brick wall with his climate legislation, and now is going out of his way pleading that oil companies double down on drilling efforts to curb gas prices in response to Russia-Ukraine invasion. However, the SEC is expected to propose new regulation that will force companies to disclose data around their climate risks. This legislation will only come into effect as early as 2023, but it will put a major spotlight on the biggest polluters and carbon contributors. Many believe these changes will force companies to pay higher costs for their carbon use and maybe make it harder for companies to invest in green bonds and funds around these companies.
Finsum: This isn’t enough to end greenwashing; foriegn governments are well ahead of the US in terms of ESG regulation.
Legal experts are predicting there could be an expansion coming to the DOL fiduciary. Partners at Faegre Drinker are expecting a proposal in the next quarter or two which would label one-time advisors involved in retirement rollover or IRA assets to be labeled fiduciaries. One time advice-givers particularly those trying to establish a relationship would now be labeled as fiduciary advice. Reporters reached out to the Department of Labor but they did not respond to a request for a comment about the change. However, legal federations are expected to challenge the further expansion of the DOL fiduciary classification.
Finsum: This would be a major change to the DOL Fiduciary rule and could really impact advisors trying to gain clients.
While ESG has run white-hot the last three years the main gripe was greenwashing, that was until now as anti-trust is on the horizon. An attorney from Arizona Mark Brnovich is opening an investigation into ESG investing with regards to anti-trust. The idea is pretty simple, while a top-down approach comes from legal agreements like the Paris accord, companies are suddenly allowed to coordinate and self-regulate among each other as to what constitutes good practices. Additionally, they may use ESG as a mechanism to compel or influence the removal of financing for companies from different industries. This coordination takes place through groups like the Climate Action 100+ rather than through the hush tones of a golf course but the effect is a coordinated one targeting companies or industries.
Finsum: There is a compelling case that without legal parameters ESG will turn into anti-energy coordination and tech-centric greenwashing campaign.
The Biden administration’s SEC has lept from one sub-financial industry to the next whether it's crypto or ESG, but now they are gonna take a closer look at private equity and other ‘alternatives’ like hedge funds. The process is mainly would limit what retirees and savers have opportunities in private equity and hedge funds through their plans and limit them to accredited investors. Alternatives have taken off in the last few years and the SEC is looking to increase transparency and possibly limit access. They are cautioning other companies from putting PE in retirement portfolios.
Finsum: This limited access could take the many savers and retirees out of the huge gains in PE over traditional equity markets, and might only hurt the general public.
2021 was, without a doubt, the year of ESG Investing, but 2022 could shape up much differently as the SEC is turning its attention to ESG. There has been a wide amount of attention being given ‘greenwashing’ where companies get favorable ESG ratings despite subpar ESG performance. This is an area the SEC is warning investors about; conflicts of interest could incentivize better scores than are necessarily deserving. These issues were core to the 2008 financial crisis and are at play once again. Also, the SEC is concerned that the following ESG factors may cause a divergence from traditional methods which coil weaken the overall financial system.
FINSUM: A crackdown by the SEC might be enough to spoil the ESG party and could reveal it as the next financial bubble.