This is an opinion editorial by Mickey Koss, a West Point graduate with an economics degree. He spent four years in the infantry before transferring to the Finance Corps.
This is the follow-up article to “Bitcoin is ESG, ESG is not”.
Taking a cursory overview of the top 100 environmental, social and governance (ESG) companies for 2022, you start to get the feeling that things might not really add up.
“These are the 100 best-performing companies across all industries for 2022, assessed across a wide range of metrics, including efforts to combat climate change; diversity, equity and inclusion; employee well-being and job creation. ‘local employment; and customer privacy’.
At No. 1 is Alphabet, the parent company of Google, infamous in Bitcoin circles for its politically biased censorship regime. Not to mention all the privacy issues involved data tracking and ad targeting. It seems to leave a lot to be desired for socially acceptable behavior and yet they rank first.
PepsiCo Inc. ranks number 12. Although diabetes is the direct cause of death only 4% of the time, it appears as a contributing factor in up to 11.5% of deaths, placing it in third place behind heart disease and cancer on the list of America’s biggest killers. I guess pushing liquid sugar is considered a socially responsible business practice compared to something like cigarettes?
As for banks, Bank of America Corp. comes in at number 5, Citigroup Inc. at No. 15 and Wells Fargo & Co. at a funny number 25, considering the Wells Fargo fake account scandal they were slapped with just one a few years ago. The most ironic part is how any of these companies made the list. US-based banks alone have racked up $200 billion in fines over the past 20 years. All can be forgiven if you say the right things, I guess.
The crux of the matter is that ratings are based almost exclusively on subjective values disguised as objective measures. The impact investor seems to place a lot of emphasis on not investing in fossil fuel companies, thereby increasing their cost of capital and ultimately raising prices for those who can least afford them.
Policies have an impact; there are consequences for the decisions made. Europe is experiencing a growing crisis due to energy inflation. Maybe it had to do with shutting down nuclear power plants in the name of ESG? I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound very “fair and inclusive” to me.
Bitcoin is a permissionless peer-to-peer value transfer network with growing functionality in its growing stack of application layers. It has an indigenous asset, undiluted by nation-states and resistant to confiscation and censorship.
It pours in the unbanked and underbanked, protecting them from the ravages of global hyperinflation, a phenomenon that those in the developing world know all too well.
Bitcoin has no agenda, no values to compel its user base as a means of appeasing the gods of capital allocation like BlackRock. Bitcoin just is. Bitcoin does just that. No judgement, no discrimination, no red lines of any kind, no opening fake accounts in your name, no paying billions of dollars in fines every year, no giving you diabetes or censoring your search results.
Bitcoin is rules without rulers, where everyone is treated equally, because there is no way to do anything else. Bitcoin is socially responsible money.
This is a guest post by Mickey Koss. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.