Everything Old Is New Again

As everyone knows, socialism is back big (except in nations that have had it already, like Cuba, Venezuela, California, Seattle, etc). So it is not surprising to see headlines like this:

For sustainable finance to work, we will need central planning

The holy grail of sustainable finance is figuring out how to distinguish sustainable from unsustainable investments. Get this right, and the public and private sectors have a guide to their decision-making. Get it wrong, and everything downstream becomes haphazard. . .

What’s required instead is investment-level classification: how can investments with good system-level impacts be separated from those with bad ones? . . .

Instead of waiting for the market to speak, a planning body — whose composition and accountability require careful consideration — should formulate plans for each of the five systems, which should then be translated into project-level criteria for sustainable investments.

Great: enlightened central planners, assembled only after “careful consideration” (and a swampland purchase in Florida).

So where does this appear? The Nation or The New Republic? Jacobin magazine perhaps, or The American Prospect? The answer is . . . (checks notes) . . . the Financial Times.  Once upon a time you could count on the FT to be economically literate.

Chaser—this news item yesterday:

Yellen to lead investigation into climate change risk to financial system

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Sunday that she will lead a regulatory review to assess the risks that climate change may have on the financial stability of the U.S.

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which is chaired by Treasury secretary and comprised of U.S. regulators from the Federal Reserve System, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and others, will do an analysis as part of an executive order that the president signed regarding the financial risks related to climate, “outlining a whole-of-government process to assess climate risk to the U.S. financial system and federal government,” Yellen said.

Gee, I wonder what she’ll find? The suspense is killing me.

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