DeSantis is trying to control how money flows in Florida by forcefully diverting state funds from any liberal-leaning investment.
He has also been loud about investment strategies that would penalize fossil fuels and participate in culture wars.DeSantis has banned state-run fund managers in Florida from considering environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG) when investing.
Gov. DeSantis and the State Board of Administration adopted the measures this week, guaranteeing that all investment choices made by the state will be based "solely on maximizing the highest rate of return." In short, he'd focus the state funds on short-term goals that align with his governance.
The governor also urges other legislators to build on his efforts to oppose ESG. This investment trend has been met with vehement hostility from Republicans, who proposed legislation to codify his efforts.
The cultural war against the future
Florida has attacked ESG in the past, so this is not a new development. Anything that goes away from fossil fuels could potentially harm the bottom line of generous donors who got DeSantis elected.
Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis declared last year that it would divest $2 billion from BlackRock, the state's most significant divestment from the money manager's ESG position.
Republicans view the drive for ESG goals as an attempt to manipulate the free market and even the culture of the United States through money and influence, in contrast to proponents who see it as a vehicle for finance and business to bring about social change.
Conservative dislike of anything that has to do with long-term investment has ignited. Due to the "boycott" of fossil fuel corporations, the West Virginia Treasurer last year deemed five financial institutions ineligible for state banking contracts.
These financial institutions are some of the biggest financial firms in the world – BlackRock, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley. All five businesses are no longer eligible for state contracts after the blacklist went into force and canceled any existing contracts.
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