Title

Why millennials will win Trump's war on socially responsible investing

Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-27-2020

ISSN

1521-1568

Publisher

Nexstar Media Inc.

Language

en-US

Abstract

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) spent the summer declaring war on socially responsible investing. Under current Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, DOL took two huge steps to crush so-called “ESG” — environmental, social, and governance investing. The first, smaller, mostly procedural step took place in June with a move that would sharply increase the paperwork and regulatory burdens on ESG investors. The second, more brazen step took place just before Labor Day, when DOL proposed a rule change designed to get pension investors to stop voting in annual corporate elections. Though these attempts pose a significant threat to ESG, particularly if the Trump administration wins a second term and has a chance to enforce them for the next four years, we think this effort will ultimately fail. The reason is that the law is often weak in the face of powerful social and economic forces. And the overwhelming force driving ESG is the economic rise of the millennials.

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