Thursday, October 17, 2019

What Do You Get When You Add 173 and 1984?

Continuing to violate the one link per source per day rule because that's just the way we roll.
From Thomas Hale at FT Alphaville:

Tougher rules will help green finance take off
...The legislative and regulatory changes are adding up. They include many hints and suggestions from central bankers, who could transform the financial system by incorporating environmental targets to complement their monetary goals. (On a recent Alphaville post on this topic, a commenter helpfully provided a list of a few others).

They also include Article 173, a 2016 French law which demands disclosure from investors on their holdings of environmental, social and governmental risk. All of these can be flexibly interpreted; the latter two in particular.

It is unlikely that laws or regulation stop at disclosure. Instead, disclosure paves the way for the easy imposition of rules that mandate a certain level of green holdings, or prohibit exceeding a particular amount of non-green holdings. Similarly, formal disclosure from companies can provide a way of quantifying whether its debt or equity qualifies as green, which then shows up in investor disclosures....

The bolded bit is reminiscent of one of my favorite quotes from 1984, right up there with "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever":
"Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." 
With his "unlikely that laws or regulation stop at disclosure" Mr. Hale is channeling the master.
I just hope he doesn't get into the "How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?" part that follows the "Power is not a means" bit.

Earlier in our "caution to the winds" tour of Alphaville:
Woman who Bought a £1.50 Bus Fare with her iPhone Has Uneventful Ride, Writes Excellent Piece on Blockheads