Kerrigan in DC Journal: ESG Mandates Mean Fewer Choices, More Uncertainty

By at 3 March, 2023, 4:54 pm

In a DC Journal Op-ed, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan reviews the uncertain state of the economy and how small businesses and average Americans have been pummeled by uncertainty over the past three years. She writes:

“Unfortunately, policy ideas that aren’t well thought out only intensify the uncertainty and make it harder to plan….Lawmakers and regulators should be striving to do the opposite.”

Kerrigan notes that entrepreneurs and small-business owners have withstood and continue to face inflation, higher interest rates, supply chain surprises and the rest, yet they are still planning for their financial futures and need as many options as possible. That is certainly the case when it comes to their investments and planning for retirement. Mandates – and more specifically Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) mandates – hurt individual investors and eliminate choices. She writes:

“The problem with ESG investing isn’t that it exists. The problem is that some asset managers make it the only option. Americans should have as many tools as possible to plan for their futures, whether saving for retirement or getting ready to take on a new entrepreneurial challenge. If investors don’t like the options presented to them, they should be able to take their business elsewhere.”

In terms of a solution, Kerrigan emphasizes simplicity – no bans, or mandates – to encourage a wide-open investment landscape allowing everyone to make the best decision.:

“The only sensible ESG policy solution for lawmakers and regulators is to step out of the way and let firms do what they do best — help consumers, entrepreneurs and small-business owners invest in themselves, their employees and build sound financial futures.”

Read the full Op-ed here.


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