Covers: The Economist Magazine – July 23, 2022

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ESG is often well-meaning but it is deeply flawed. The industry is a mess and needs to be ruthlessly streamlined.

If you are the type of person who is loth to invest in firms that pollute the planet, mistreat workers and stuff their boards with cronies, you will no doubt be aware of one of the hottest trends in finance: environmental, social and governance (esg) investing. It is an attempt to make capitalism work better and deal with the grave threat posed by climate change. It has ballooned in recent years; the titans of investment management claim that more than a third of their assets, or $35trn in total, are monitored through one esg lens or another. It is on the lips of bosses and officials everywhere.

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