Friday, November 10, 2017

Supporting a New Voice at CalPERS: Margaret Brown


Dear CalPERS members and others:

I am calling on you to cast your vote for Margaret Brown in the runoff election at CalPERS. I am hoping the many thousands of members who recently supported my candidacy will join with an even larger number of CalPERS members to elect a voice for political change.

There are at least four compelling reasons for you to vote for Margaret.

First is the diversity she will add to the CalPERS board. In these times, adding a woman to any board, but especially one involving the world of finance is vital. The exclusive gathering of males as the dominant voices at the table is as archaic as the internal combustion engine.

Second, Margaret Brown offers a willingness to listen to dissenting voices. The allegations of procedural wrong-doing at CalPERS have grown in recent years to include efforts to block meaningful public participation while muzzling dissent. Worse still, CalPERS executives have advanced measures to essentially privatize decision-making over public investments.

Third, Margaret Brown has demonstrated ability to act on behalf of CalPERS members. Too many board members, especially in the world of finance, are seduced into getting along with those occupying the executive suites. Margaret Brown possesses a willingness to take on those in power. In the context of a financial world run amuck, Margaret Brownʻs voice is a welcomed change.

Fourth - and perhaps most important to all Californians - Margaret Brown has expressed a willingness to step up and act on what may be the largest threat of the 21st century: a world of fossil-fueled crises. At a time when too many of CalPERS board members reside in a world of denial, a narrow notion of advancing financial returns alone will provide cold comfort to a public increasingly threatened by fires, drought, rising tides, and super storms. 

CalPERS executives, as captives of private sector interests, represent an especially formidable opponent to the rule of law and the publicʻs interest; which makes it all the more important for each of us to elect leaders willing to challenge the status quo. For more background on CalPERS see my earlier posts at Calpolitico or read my recent book on California politics: The War on California: Defeating Oil, Oligarchs and the New Tyranny (Amazon.com).

I hope you will join me in supporting Margaret Brown.


Bruce H. Jennings, Ph.D.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The CalPERS Runoff Election: Margaret Brown & Michael Bilbreyʻs Responses

Todayʻs post includes responses from the two candidates - Margaret Brown & Michael Bilbrey - competing in  CalPERS runoff election, which begins on November 11 and concludes in early December.
The purpose of this post is to provide fuller information from each of the candidates for the many thousands of CalPERS members who voted for me in the recent election and must now decide between the two remaining candidates in the runoff election. For more background on the questions I have posed to each of the candidates, please see my previously posted message: Who Will You Endorse ?

From Margaret Brown:
As a so-called “permanent investor” that owns virtually all publicly-traded stocks, CalPERS cannot ignore the foreseeable consequences of business decisions that companies within the portfolia make, even if those consequences will not occur for many years. This reality is at odds with the timeframe of the vast majority of investors, where the average holding time of U.S. stocks is measured in seconds, and even a mutual fund with relatively low turnover trades out of almost all of its positions within a couple of years. 
This prevailing short-term mindset among investors gives rise to a false impression that long-term economic issues are somehow inappropriate as a proper investment consideration, when logic dictates that they clearly are relevant.  This reasoning clearly applies to situations where CalPERS portfolio companies have under-recognized, long-term liabilities that threaten the well-being and even survival of the companies.  This situation has occurred numerous times during CalPERS’ history.
For example, companies involved in the manufacture or use of asbestos products virtually all went bankrupt when the negative health impact of asbestos exposure became well-understood.  Similarly, many other companies over the years have experienced bankruptcy due to other types of environmental liabilities. More recently, tobacco companies avoided bankruptcy only because the federal government stepped in to impose a master settlement that capped liabilities resulting from the health impact of smoking.
With hindsight, it is easy to see that it would have been not only contrary to the interests of justice but unwise from the perspective of a properly functioning economy, upon which the welfare of CalPERS depends, for CalPERS to have sought to shield asbestos companies, polluters, or tobacco companies from the financial consequences of the business decisions they made. This is true even though at the time, the companies’ business decisions may have been made in good faith (for example, asbestos was perceived as a life-saving fire retardant for decades before its pulmonary dangers were understood).
Further, it is clear that economic efficiency and the interests of justice are aligned in wanting to see companies’ under-recognized, long-term liabilities appropriately recognized. As such, CalPERS should continuously seek a constructive role across its portfolio in identifying and calling out publicly for the recognition of such liabilities. If CalPERS' activities contribute at the margin to the earlier bankruptcy of CalPERS portfolio companies, then so be it. Presumably, the truth would come out eventually in any event, and it is better from the perspective of efficiency and justice that the truth be recognized sooner than later.
The statement I am making is purposely general because I am trying to demonstrate that the principles that I would apply to fossil fuel companies are defensible, to a large degree, because they are general and not motivated by sentiment against companies involved in extracting or burning fossil fuels.  Moreover, these principles I am offering are fundamentally economic and are, at their core, simply a statement of the accounting identity that companies and investors must recognize reasonably foreseeable liabilities. As such, there is absolutely no conflict between fiduciary duty and working in ways that might, at the margin, hasten the bankruptcy of fossil fuel companies. CalPERS didn’t create the fossil fuel liabilities that stand to swamp the value of myriad hydrocarbon extraction companies—those liabilities already exist. 
Even though these principles are stated in a general way, I do want to acknowledge the special urgency of the climate change liabilities borne by various companies in the CalPERS portfolio. These liabilities are a threat to human civilization, which places them in a category that is distinct from any other financial liabilities ever experienced by investors. As such, CalPERS must not be silent and cannot afford to let an atmosphere of silence prevail.  CalPERS needs to support and participate in the relevant scientific, policy and investor forums searching for answers.  In particular it needs to strongly support those who are fighting to minimize sea level rises, since CalPERS owns billions of dollars of property along coastlines worldwide (and in California) that stands to be under water within a century.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions. 
Margaret




From Michael Bilbrey:


1. Many Americans have learned in legal filings submitted by cities and states that various petroleum corporations have engaged in an    organized campaign to deceive the public about the dangers associated with fossil fuels. As a prospective member of the CalPERS Board, what do you believe you can do to address the issue of climate change with respect to the negative consequences identified in authoritative scientific statements (e.g., The 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)?
As a CalPERS board member I have access to academic research on the topic of climate change and this is an area where I have keenly focused.   I have been able to bring this research and data to the creation of the 5 year strategic plan and specifically the Climate 100 project where we are focusing our engagement activities on the top 100 carbon emitters in our portfolio.  We have 1. Many Americans have learned in legal filings submitted by cities and states that various petroleum corporations have engaged in an organized campaign to deceive the public about the dangers associated with fossil fuels. As a prospective member of the CalPERS Board, what do you believe you can do to address the issue of climate change with respect to the negative consequences identified in authoritative scientific statements (e.g., The 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)?
As a CalPERS board member I have access to academic research on the topic of climate change and this is an area where I have keenly focused.   I have been able to bring this research and date to the creation of the 5 year strategic plan and specifically the Climate 100 project where we are focusing our engagement activities on the top 100 carbon emitters in our portfolio.  We have asked other institutional investors to join us in this engagement and released our findings at the recent PRI (Principles for Responsible Investing).  I have also worked to successfully place a climate scientist on the Exxon board through our successful engagement efforts and our ability to have a database of corporate directors, also known as 3-D. 



2. Some have argued that there is a conflict between meeting your fiduciary duty as a CalPERS Board member and your responsibility to protect CalPERS members and the broader public from the burning of fossil fuels. As a prospective member of the Board, what do you believe is the best course of action to reconcile such conflicts?
I have a fiduciary responsibility to provide benefits to the members of CalPERS.   In fulfilling this important responsibility, I consider a number of factors, including climate risk.  Our investment decisions consider the risks related to fossil fuels and
we have invested in a number of climate-friendly deals such as wind and solar farms to transition to clean energy.  These are deals that both meet our fiduciary responsibility to meet our return target and our ESG priorities.  I don't believe these priorities are mutually exclusive.  I can meet my fiduciary responsibilities as a trustee while also considering the risks of climate change. 
As you may be aware, there are a growing number of California cities filing law suits against major fossil fuel corporations seeking to address the damages already affecting numerous Californians as well as even greater future harms, including negative impacts affecting many, if not all CalPERS members. What course of action do you recommend CalPERS adopt in order to address the potentially massive liabilities facing fossil fuel corporations?

CalPERS has an important voice and one we use to engage with companies where we invest.  We believe that engagement is the most important strategy considering CalPERS size, 340 billion in AUM.  Not all institutional investors have the size and magnitude of the CalPERS fund so we are uniquely positioned to use our voice and influence to change corporate behavior.  We have had numerous successes and are committed to more as we implement our 5 year ESG plan.  You'll notice that I ask several questions during our board meetings on the progress our investment staff are making in implementing the plan and more importantly the changes in corporate behavior that are necessary to fully mitigate the risks associate with climate change.  I am personally motivated to create the right balance of maximizing our investment returns with a prudent level of risk.
In the event of opposition or delays from other CalPERS Board members and/or staff to act decisively to prevent the damaging consequences of fossil fuels, how might you support the urgent calls by scientists, public health experts and university faculty from around the world for expedited actions to dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions while expanding investments in alternative energy?
CalPERS is a leader in its investments in alternative energy, including wind and solar farms.  I am committed to ensuring we have a world where future generations can thrive and that starts with this generation.  I have pushed to have more focus on ESG strategies and for the staff to report out on a regular basis our progress in implementing those
strategies.  I'm proud of the work that has happened to date but will not settle as well as continue to push for more attention and focus. I am proud to have attended the PRI in the past to learn firsthand the work they are doing as well as our colleagues in many other funds globally.  I have also worked to successfully place a climate scientist on the Exxon board through our successful engagement efforts and our ability to have a database of corporate directors, also known as 3-D. 



2. Some have argued that there is a conflict between meeting your fiduciary duty as a CalPERS Board member and your responsibility to protect CalPERS members and the broader public from the burning of fossil fuels. As a prospective member of the Board, what do you believe is the best course of action to reconcile such conflicts?
I have a fiduciary responsibility to provide the promised benefits to the members of CalPERS.   In fulfilling this important responsibility, I consider a number of factors, including climate risk.  Our investment decisions consider the risks related to fossil fuels and we have invested in a number of climate-friendly deals such as wind and solar farms to transition to clean energy.  These are deals that both meet our fiduciary responsibility to meet our return target and our ESG priorities.  I don't believe these priorities are mutually exclusive.  I can meet my fiduciary responsibilities as a trustee while also considering the risks of climate change. 

3.  As you may be aware, there are a growing number of California cities filing law suits against major fossil fuel corporations seeking to address the damages already affecting numerous Californians as well as even greater future harms, including negative impacts affecting many, if not all CalPERS members. What course of action do you recommend CalPERS adopt in order to address the potentially massive liabilities facing fossil fuel corporations?


CalPERS has an important voice and one we use to engage with companies where we invest.  We believe that engagement is the most important strategy considering CalPERS size, 340 billion in AUM.  Not all institutional investors have the size and magnitude of the CalPERS fund so we are uniquely positioned to use our voice and influence to change corporate behavior.  We have had numerous successes and are committed to more as we implement our 5 year ESG plan.  You'll notice that I have asked several questions during our board meetings on the progress our investment staff are making in implementing the plan and more importantly the changes in corporate behavior that are necessary to fully mitigate the risks associate with climate change.  I am personally motivated to create the right balance of maximizing our investment returns with a prudent level of risk.
In the event of opposition or delays from other CalPERS Board members and/or staff to act decisively to prevent the damaging consequences of fossil fuels, how might you support the urgent calls by scientists, public health experts and university faculty from around the world for expedited actions to dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions while expanding investments in alternative energy?
CalPERS is a leader in its investments in alternative energy, including wind and solar farms.  I am committed to ensuring we have a world where future generations can thrive and that starts with this generation.  I have pushed to have more focus on ESG strategies and for the staff to report out on a regular basis our progress in implementing those
strategies.  I'm proud of the work that has happened to date but will not settle and continue to push for more attention and focus. I am happy to say that I have an excellent relationship with my fellow board members and know I can express my views, opinions and concerns and they listen. 

Michael Bilbrey



Monday, November 6, 2017

The CalPERS Board Election Continues - Who Will You Endorse ?

The first round of elections for one of the seats on the Board of Administration at CalPERS (Position B on the previous ballot) resulted in no candidate achieving a majority of votes. CalPERS members have another opportunity to decide who will represent them in one of the worldʻs largest public pension funds. The previous election was sufficiently close that the runoff election may be decided by a relatively small number of voters. It is not surprising that the finalists - Margaret Brown and Michael Bilbrey - each contacted me, requesting my endorsement.
 
The relationship between private returns on investments and damaging public consequences has become a hot topic for public pension funds. Californiaʻs Controller Betty Yee and state Treasurer John Chiang, both board members at CalPERS and CalSTRS, have questioned pension holdings of coal companies or gun manufacturers. Still others have challenged investments in tobacco, pesticides, and so on.

For many of us who have served in Californiaʻs Legislature, the issue of fossil fuels reflects a long-standing conflict between private and public interests. While historically occupying an economic centerpiece, fossil fuels are increasingly viewed as an archaic and inherently hazardous industry actively engaged in delaying its replacement by a newer generation of cleaner and safer industries. Even more profoundly, thousands of scientists from around the world have documented fossil fuels as posing a threat to the survival of civilization beyond the 21st century. 

On October 18, 2017 I asked the two CalPERS candidates to respond to a series of questions relating to the mounting evidence of damaging consequences resulting from fossil fuels and their role as prospective board members at CalPERS, as follows:
 

Dear Margaret Brown and Michael Bilbrey:           

My congratulations to each of you as finalists for the CalPERS Board of Administration runoff election. I intended to write you earlier but my work has been interrupted by the fires surrounding my neighborhood in Santa Rosa.

Since receiving your request for my endorsement in the runoff election, I have developed a set of questions to help me make that decision as well as providing some guidance for the many thousands of voters who cast a vote for me during the CalPERS general election.

During my campaign I emphasized the importance of the CalPERS investment decisions as a means of affecting corporate behaviors more broadly. Following conversations with numerous CalPERS members, I have good reason to believe a clear statement of your position on one particular issue - the role of CalPERS investment decisions with respect to the damaging consequences of fossil fuels - may be pivotal for gaining the favor of many voters who supported my candidacy. Having served for many years as a senior environmental policy adviser to the California Legislature as well as writing a book on this topic (The War on California: Defeating Oil, Oligarchs and the New Tyranny), your position is clearly important to me as well.

Here are my questions for you:

1. Many Americans have learned in legal filings submitted by cities and states that various petroleum corporations have engaged in an organized campaign to deceive the public about the dangers associated with fossil fuels. As a prospective member of the CalPERS Board, what do you believe you can do to address the issue of climate change with respect to the negative consequences identified in authoritative scientific statements (e.g., The 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)?

2. Some have argued that there is a conflict between meeting your fiduciary duty as a CalPERS Board member and your responsibility to protect CalPERS members and the broader public from the burning of fossil fuels. As a prospective member of the Board, what do you believe is the best course of action to reconcile such conflicts?

3. As you may be aware, there are a growing number of California cities filing law suits against major fossil fuel corporations seeking to address the damages already affecting numerous Californians as well as even greater future harms, including negative impacts affecting many, if not all CalPERS members. What course of action do you recommend CalPERS adopt in order to address the potentially massive liabilities facing fossil fuel corporations?

4. In the event of opposition or delays from other CalPERS Board members and/or staff to act decisively to prevent the damaging consequences of fossil fuels, how might you support the urgent calls by scientists, public health experts and university faculty from around the world for expedited actions to dramatically reduce fossil fuel emissions while expanding investments in alternative energy?

For additional information, you are welcome to follow me on Facebook, visit my blog at Calpolitico (Calpolitico.blogspot.com), or read my book.

To provide transparency I am seeking a concise response that can be distributed publicly. I ask that you respond no later than November 3, 2017 so that voters have time to read and carefully consider your position on the issues. In the absence of any response, I will only be able to report that outcome to my many supporters.


Congratulations once again on your campaign thus far. I look forward to your thoughtful and timely response.


All my best,


Bruce H. Jennings, Ph.D.
 
 
 
Next up:  the responses.........

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Winds of Political Change

On the evening before the now infamous and furious fire broke out across my community in Santa Rosa,  I was drafting a letter of thanks to the many thousands of voters who supported my recent candidacy to help direct one of the worldʻs largest public pension funds. By 3 am my partner and I would take thirty minutes to select a few cherished items before fleeing the fires appearing on the ridge lines.

As the LA Times Editorial Board would write about the fires that began that evening, "It may well be the stateʻs worst catastrophe in recorded history by any measure...The superstorms that scientists warned would result from climate change? They are here. The day of reckoning isnʻt in the future. It is now." ("The Climate Change Fire Alarm from Northern California," LA Times, 10/12/17).

The connection between my writing on the politics of climate change is one that I have made for many years in the California Legislature as well as in public life: the various disasters we are witnessing often share a common linkage to the rise of fossil-fueled crises around the globe. For those who think of our changing climates as a remote threat, the events in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and California are a wake-up call. 

The cause of harrowing fossil-fueled disasters will continue to be debated as well they should. One cannot immediately conclude that the specific fire still enveloping my community can be easily assigned to the burning of fossil fuels. As we recognize, the construction of scientific proofs donʻt move as swiftly as the fires continuing to threaten my neighbors. What climate scientists and others have made clear is that we will increasingly be subjected to these kinds of destructive events by ignoring the over-sized role of specific sources, including the burning of fossil fuels. Yet, this parsing of causal factors overlooks the larger destructive role of fossil fuels in the national economy.

A central theme in my candidacy to become a board member with the California Public Employeesʻ Retirement System was designed to call attention to the linkage between how this pension fund manages public investments, especially those investments supporting the fossil fuel industries. As a participant in many political struggles, I have argued for many years that treating a variety of large-scale threats as isolated events - from pesticide poisonings of farmworkers and consumers to the pollution of rivers, lakes and oceans to the contamination of entire air basins to the proliferation of a multitude of toxic products - disguises the common trait for so many of these damaging events to an economy based on fossil fuels.

Despite the efforts of powerful industries seeking to reinforce a climate of denial and delayed actions, millions of Californians comprehend that the converging evidence gathered by scientists across the globe means that we must expeditiously exit fossil fuels. Not according to a time table designed to convenience corporations, but to foster a robust economy built on achieving a healthy economy for workers, communities, and those who too often are subjected to the damaging effects of a poisoned economy. It is at this juncture that public investments must engage in more decisive actions.

To date, the efforts to draw on public investments as a vehicle for supporting a healthy economy have been feeble. Efforts to divest, impose strict controls on damaging corporate decisions, redirect investments toward alternative energy, jobs and communities have been dismal. Worse still, CalPERS decision-making has been characterized by secrecy, curtailing public participation, and quieting the voices of those calling for actions to place California on a stronger path to an economy where the benefits are shared by all, not simply the stratospheric interests of the most wealthy.

The purpose of public investment decisions must surely include an assessment of whether certain industries now pose too great a risk to society at large. The evidence of risk associated with fossil fueled industries is becoming increasingly evident; whatever the short-term dividends that might accrue to CalPERS beneficiaries, the damaging effects are already far too expensive for the larger society.  The disasters of 2017 undermine the arguments of so-called financial benefits to pension funds which pale in comparison to the astronomical costs required to address the negative consequences of rising seas, worsening fires, and super storms.

Indeed, the arguments advanced by environmentalists decades ago are now being supplemented by the energy and financial analysts arguing that fossil fuels have outlived their usefulness. The alternatives to coal, the internal combustion engine, toxic products and associated industries are largely at hand. When joined with the consensus statements by scientists calling for an immediate economic transition as essential to avoid worsening disasters, the table has been set for everyone to join in the herculean effort to transform our economy.

While CalPERS represents a tiny cog in this effort, like other elements for one of the worldʻs largest economies, its potential influence is considerable. In order to hasten our economic transition, the members of CalPERS Board of Administration need to devise a much more aggressive agenda....

(stay tuned for more on this story)


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Los Angeles Presentation on September 21st !





COME JOIN BRUCE JENNINGS AT OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE




For those readers in the Los Angeles area, I am hoping you will join me at noon on Thursday,

September 21st at Occidental College where I will make a presentation on my book -

The War on California: Defeating Oil, Oligarchs and the New Tyranny.  I will join several of

Los Angelesʻ most notable public interest advocates in a not-to-be-missed discussion.


I hope you can join us at this free event !

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Lessons of Harvey

Todayʻs post is relatively short in an effort to respond to a question posed to me by a group of CalPERS members; in fact, they are quite angry.

Whatʻs the source of their anger? They are convinced I am covertly engaged in what several of them refer to as "social engineering" - a reference that is a bit vague, but seems to imply that they simply want the CalPERS Board to grow their investments. They appear agitated that considerations beyond making money are nonsense and have no place in the management of their retirement monies.

To be fair, their argument has traditionally received the support among many conventional financial managers in previous times. But as I noted in a recent post, such thinking is becoming very quickly challenged by not just critics of ʻold schoolʻ financial management, but large numbers of informed citizens.  The shortcomings of the older simply "growing our money" is perhaps best illustrated by the most recent natural disaster - Hurricane Harvey.

I question the notion that Harvey is natural because of the mountain of scientific evidence offered by climate and other scientists around the world. For most of the scientists, Harveyʻs severity and damage is linked to a variety of human activities, but especially specific industries including the fossil fuel industries; it is why many of us have taken to calling such events fossil-fueled storms.

It is precisely the link between the burning of fossil fuels and the threats to civilization that causes an increasing number of people to raise questions about the consequences of their investments. Indeed, investment managers across the globe now wonder whether investments in fossil fuels are not simply too risky. The economic destruction in Houston, now estimated close to $200 billion is ironically linked to the complex of petrochemical plants that have fostered these fossil-fueled storms. For many residents in the region, monthly pension checks do not begin to compensate them for the destruction of their homes, neighborhoods, and livelihood.

The question for CalPERS members should not be limited to simply how fast their investments can grow, but whether the negative consequences of certain kinds of investments will overwhelm whatever financial benefit they believe they are going to receive in the future. For those who think that even asking the question is non-sense, I suggest you take the time to consider what just happened to Houston. Or what appears about to happen to Florida. Or what may be on the horizon for many communities across California.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Broader Social Consequences of Investment Decisions

In an essay appearing last month in Institutional Investor ("Avenue of Giants,"July 1, 2017), Ashby Monk argued for a broader definition of fiduciary duty. In polling more than 40 large "pensions and sovereigns," Mr. Monk noted that more than half of those surveyed rejected the notion that their decisions would be guided by the consequences for the community they inhabit. The rationale, it appears, is such considerations are quite simply beyond their fiduciary duties.

Mr. Monk went on to note that narrowly defined notions of fiduciary duty, however rational for individual investors or pension managers fosters damaging consequences for the larger investment community. Monks went on to raise a series of questions:

  • Where will the breakout innovations in our industry come from if investors are bound by a prudent-person rule?
  • If some investors hide fees paid to external managers, doesnʻt such secrecy prevent boards from understanding the true cost of producing these returns?
  • If the price of ʻaccessʻ to a given fund is conditioned by outrageous terms or side letters, doesnʻt this further empower private managers to extract higher fees over time? 
Each of these questions illustrated practices by institutional investors posing a larger problem for pension fund managers. A too narrowly defined notion of fiduciary duty overlooks the negative  consequences for not just beneficiaries, but also the larger society. As mentioned in my earlier postings, these are problems requiring, among other remedies, a radical transparency.

Yet even a much greater transparency is not enough to address what is perhaps the most damaging disconnect between a narrowly defined notion of fiduciary duty and the most threatening of consequences in our time. As Monks notes, many institutional investorsʻ strict definition of fiduciary duty discourages them from considering climate change as a legitimate issue.

It is clearly evident that among the pivotal issues confronting all Californians, is the urgent need to more fully comprehend the true costs of a fossil-fueled economy. Whatever the short-term calculus of satisfying a narrowly defined fiduciary duty at CalPERS, perpetuating fossil fuels and associated industries poses an existential threat to the survival of human civilization beyond the 21st century. As Governor Jerry Brown has noted, for those doubting the magnitude of climate threats, one only has to peruse the consensus statements by climate scientists (e.g. IPCC) to understand the especially damaging role of fossil fuels.

For these reasons, it is important for all voters to understand that the election of public-at-large board members of CalPERS in September is not merely a narrow choice regarding some abstract discussions about fiduciary duties and investment returns; elections of all sorts - from city councils to state treasurers to board members for one of the worldʻs largest pension funds will play an increasingly crucial role in making the urgently needed changes for transitioning to a new economy.

I look forward to posting more on this topic in future posts....and thanks for your readership and commentary.