Why should Biden's woke agenda put your retirement at risk, demands ANDY PUZDER trends now

Why should Biden's woke agenda put your retirement at risk, demands ANDY PUZDER trends now
Why should Biden's woke agenda put your retirement at risk, demands ANDY PUZDER trends now

Why should Biden's woke agenda put your retirement at risk, demands ANDY PUZDER trends now

Andy Puzder is a former CEO of CKE Restaurants, chairman of 2ndVote Value Investments, Inc., and a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation 

If you are among the tens of millions of Americans with a 401(k), you'd better pay attention.

The Biden administration is putting your retirement money at risk in pursuit of their woke leftist agenda.

The evening before Thanksgiving to avoid unwanted attention, Biden's Department of Labor released an Orwellian new rule misnamed 'Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights.'

Don't let the mind-numbingly bureaucratic gobbledygook distract you.

The rule interprets a law that requires fund managers make investment decisions for the sole benefit of the Americans who depend on those assets.

That's certainly both a good and reasonable policy. And at one time, it was bipartisan.

Congress passed ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) in 1974. The law makes it crystal clear that those managing such assets must do so 'solely' in the interest of and for the 'exclusive purpose' of 'providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries.'

This patently clear language provides no basis for investing assets to prioritize – say – saving the planet, achieving 'equity,' or in any way advancing wokeism.

Well, enter the Biden Administration and 'environmental, social and governance' – or ESG – investing.

The Biden administration is putting your retirement money at risk in pursuit of their woke leftist agenda.

The Biden administration is putting your retirement money at risk in pursuit of their woke leftist agenda.

ESG is a set of ill-defined, non-financial investment criteria used to screen potential investments based on how well a company is pursuing certain social or political goals.

Getting nervous?

ESG gained prominence in 2005 when a United Nations-sponsored group of international investors established six 'Principles for Responsible Investment' (PRI).

The Principles include a pledge to 'incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.'

While there is no generally accepted definition, ESG often includes things such as advancing the goal of net zero carbon emissions (a.k.a. destroying America's energy sector and driving up energy prices), hiring to create diversity (a.k.a. discrimination based on race or sex rather than qualifications, merit, or character) and acceding to employee demands (a.k.a. unionization).

According to PRI's website, over 5,000 financial institutions – including almost every major US asset manager – have signed on.

Since then, ESG hasn't built the best track record.

Earlier this year, ESG leader and advocate, the investment company Blackrock, set a record for 'the largest amount of money lost by a single firm over a six-month period' having 'lost $1.7 trillion of clients' money,' according to Bloomberg.

But these ESG losses were not restricted to Blackrock.

As Bloomberg noted in May, '[i]nvestors are yanking cash from the sector at the fastest pace in a year, while two of the biggest exchange-traded funds tracking the industry… have each tumbled at least 24% in 2021'.

Given the obvious financial risks of ESG ideology, in January of 2021 under President Trump's Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, the Labor Department passed a rule restricting ESG investing in ERISA regulated retirement plans.

That rule instructs plan managers to consider only financial performance and risks when making investment decisions.

Explaining the rule, Secretary Scalia wrote that '[a] fiduciary's

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