Daily Archives: February 22, 2020


Record Corporate Growth & Global System Collapse: Privatizing the Benefits and Externalizing the Costs of the World’s Carbon Addiction




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The world is simultaneously witnessing record corporate expansion and system-wide ecological collapse because corporations have systematically externalized the environmental costs of their products, production processes and addictive carbon consumption.

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Presentation as part of the forthcoming Firing Line Debate:









Investment ~ Divestment in a Finite Ecosystem: The Fatal Fallacy of Market Economics on a Small Planet




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Prudent divestment and new investments can change the impact institutions have in the economy and the larger ecosystem, but the goal of continuous growth on a finite planet is ultimately not sustainable and calls into question the viability of “ethical investment policy” in the endowments of many institutions.

Presentation as part of forthcoming Firing Line Debate:


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JP Morgan economists warn climate crisis is threat to human race | Environment | The Guardian

Leaked report for world’s major fossil fuel financier says Earth is on unsustainable trajectory

Patrick Greenfield and Jonathan Watts

The JP Morgan paper said ‘catastrophic outcomes’ could not be ruled out. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images

Fri 21 Feb 2020 11.27 EST.   The world’s largest financier of fossil fuels has warned clients that the climate crisis threatens the survival of humanity and that the planet is on an unsustainable trajectory, according to a leaked document.

The JP Morgan report on the economic risks of human-caused global heating said climate policy had to change or else the world faced irreversible consequences.

The study implicitly condemns the US bank’s own investment strategy and highlights growing concerns among major Wall Street institutions about the financial and reputational risks of continued funding of carbon-intensive industries, such as oil and gas.

JP Morgan has provided $75bn (£61bn) in financial services to the companies most aggressively expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration since the Paris agreement, according to analysis compiled for the Guardian last year.

Its report was obtained by Rupert Read, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson and philosophy academic at the University of East Anglia, and has been seen by the Guardian.

The research by JP Morgan economists David Mackie and Jessica Murray says the climate crisis will impact the world economy, human health, water stress, migration and the survival of other species on Earth.

“We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened,” notes the paper, which is dated 14 January.

Drawing on extensive academic literature and forecasts by the International Monetary Fund and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the paper notes that global heating is on course to hit 3.5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. It says most estimates of the likely economic and health costs are far too small because they fail to account for the loss of wealth, the discount rate and the possibility of increased natural disasters.

The authors say policymakers need to change direction because a business-as-usual climate policy “would likely push the earth to a place that we haven’t seen for many millions of years”, with outcomes that might be impossible to reverse.

“Although precise predictions are not possible, it is clear that the Earth is on an unsustainable trajectory. Something will have to change at some point if the human race is going to survive.”

The investment bank says climate change “reflects a global market failure in the sense that producers and consumers of CO2 emissions do not pay for the climate damage that results.” To reverse this, it highlights the need for a global carbon tax but cautions that it is “not going to happen anytime soon” because of concerns about jobs and competitiveness.

The authors say it is “likely the [climate] situation will continue to deteriorate, possibly more so than in any of the IPCC’s scenarios”.

Without naming any organisation, the authors say changes are occurring at the micro level, involving shifts in behaviour by individuals, companies and investors, but this is unlikely to be enough without the involvement of the fiscal and financial authorities.

Last year, analysis compiled for the Guardian by Rainforest Action Network, a US-based environmental organisation, found JP Morgan was one of 33 powerful financial institutions to have provided an estimated total of $1.9tn (£1.47tn) to the fossil fuel sector between 2016 and 2018.

A JP Morgan spokesperson told the BBC the research team was “wholly independent from the company as a whole, and not a commentary on it”, but declined to comment further. The metadata on the pdf of the report obtained by Read said the document was created on 13 January and that the author of the file was Gabriel de Kock, executive director of JP Morgan. The Guardian has approached the investment bank for comment.

Pressure from student strikers, activist shareholders and divestment campaigners has prompted several major institutions to claim they will make the climate more of a priority. The business model of fossil fuel companies is also weakening as wind and solar become more competitive. Earlier this month, the influential merchant bank Goldman Sachs downgraded ExxonMobil from a “neutral” to a “sell” position. In January, BlackRock – the world’s biggest asset manager – said it would lower its exposure to fossil fuels ahead of a “significant reallocation of capital”.

Environmental groups remain wary because huge sums are invested in petrochemical firms, but some veteran financial analysts say the tide is changing. The CNBC money pundit Jim Cramer shocked many in his field when he declared: “I’m done with fossil fuels. They’re done. They’re just done.” Describing how a new generation of pension fund managers was withdrawing support, he claimed oil and gas firms were in the death knell phase. “The world has turned on them. It’s actually happening kind of quickly. You’re seeing divestiture by a lot of different funds. It’s going to be a parade that says, ‘Look, these are tobacco. And we’re not going to own them,’” he said. “We’re in a new world.”

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Interview with Robert Solow about Equitable Growth (Short Version)


Nov 20, 2013

Nobel Prize winner and MIT Professor Emeritus Robert M. Solow discusses inequality and equitable growth at the launch of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

Dec 9, 2013
Nobel Prize winner and MIT Professor Emeritus Robert M. Solow discusses inequality and equitable growth at the launch of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.


Who We Are – Equitable Growth


The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a non-profit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth.

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a non-profit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. Our fundamental questions have been whether and how economic inequality—in all its forms—affects economic growth and stability, and what policymakers can do about it.

We work to build a strong bridge between academics and policymakers to ensure that research on equitable growth and inequality is relevant, accessible, and informative to the policymaking process. And we have the support and counsel of a steering committee that comprises leading scholars and former government officials. Members have included Melody Barnes, Alan Blinder, Raj Chetty, Janet Currie, Jason Furman, John Podesta, Emmanuel Saez, and Robert Solow.


Since our founding in 2013, we have funded the work of more than 150 scholars and built a broader network through our working papers series, events, and convenings. By supporting research and bringing these scholars together to exchange ideas, we have learned a great deal and advanced a broad range of evidence-based policy approaches to addressing economic inequality and delivering broad-based economic growth to communities and families.

Our 2018 Annual Report, “Evidence for a Stronger Economy,” chronicles a banner year for Equitable Growth. The report provides concise snapshots of innovative and successful initiatives spanning our key issue areas of measuring growth, family economic security, inequality and mobility, taxes and macroeconomics, market structure and competition, and raising wages. A special thanks to all of our donors, partners, and grantees for making 2018 a transformational fifth year for the organization. Download a pdf of the report here.

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What we have learned

Strong economic growth was broadly shared in the United States through much of the mid-20th century, though significant disparities across demographic groups remained. But in recent decades, income and wealth inequality have been rising and mobility declining. Indeed, the gap between the wealthy and the rest of society is wider than it has been in nearly a century. And significant disparities across demographic groups persist.

We also have learned more about the ways that growing inequality affects our economy and our society—reducing stable demand for goods and services and creating macroeconomic instability, obstructing access to education, stunting individual development, limiting entrepreneurialism, and undermining the inclusiveness and responsiveness of political and economic institutions. In addition, we’ve learned that there is a wide range of potential solutions that can help reduce economic inequality and support economic growth, in areas ranging from labor standards, social insurance, and taxation to business competition, wages, and innovation.

Equitable Growth is committed to identifying additional avenues for exploration through our annual grantmaking request for research proposals and to continuing to build a bridge between academics and policymakers to help address inequality and achieve broad-based economic growth.