In the News

Items pop up in the news with a socially responsible investing (SRI) angle. Sometimes I write about their immediate impact and sometimes I examine their historical context or wider impact.

Putin’s little escapade has fundamentally affected many political and economic conversations, including the need to push towards renewable energy. A significant portion of the oil and LNG used in Europe originates in Russia and threats to shut off that supply threatens to have a significant immediate impact on the European economy. By converting to renewable energy, Europe can avoid that trap.

During the summer of 2020, in the midst of COVID quarantines, economic shutdowns, and social and political unrest, one story jumped out to catch my attention. At the end of August Brookfield Asset Management announced that Mark Carney was joining their management team as a vice-chairman responsible for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategy.

Carney has been an advocate for active financial investment on environmental issues for a long time. This appears to be the perfect opportunity for him to continue that work.

In addition to his role at Brookfield, Carney is also the UN special envoy for climate change and finance.

Were you as shocked as I was when they announced that Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) had been sold to Kingsway Capital Management, an American investment firm, in the fall of 2020? I think it’s safe to say this shook many members deeply – how could that be?

Postal banking – say what?
Last year, I read about an effort to bring basic banking services back to US post offices. There have been efforts in Canada in the last few years to re-introduce postal banking here as well.

Postal banking is not a new idea. According to Wikipedia, the Brits introduced the first postal bank in 1861. That article listed postal banks in 31 countries around the world. While some of those services are not running anymore, many are still serving their communities.