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Green Bubble Burst: US ESG Fund Closures In 2023 Surpass Total Of Previous Three Years

Green Bubble Burst: US ESG Fund Closures In 2023 Surpass Total Of Previous Three Years

For years, green and socially responsible investments,…



Green Bubble Burst: US ESG Fund Closures In 2023 Surpass Total Of Previous Three Years

For years, green and socially responsible investments, aka ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), have dominated the investing world. However, according to Bloomberg, a seismic shift is underway as BlackRock and other money managers unwound an increasing number of 'green' products amid soaring backlash and investor scrutiny. 

Data from Morningstar shows State Street, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Janus Henderson Group, and Hartford Funds Management Group have unwound more than two dozen ESG funds this year. The latest unwind comes from BlackRock, who told regulators last Friday it plans to close two ESG emerging-market bond funds with total assets of $55 million. 

Source: Bloomberg

So far this year, the number of ESG funds closing is more than the last three years combined. This trend comes as investors pull money out of these funds as the ESG bubble has likely popped. 

We asked this question in early summer: Is The ESG Investing Boom Already Over?

In January, BlackRock's Larry Fink told Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos that ESG investing has been tarnished:

 "Let's be clear, the narrative is ugly, the narrative is creating this huge polarization. "

Fink continued:

"We are trying to address the misconceptions. It's hard because it's not business any more, they're doing it in a personal way. And for the first time in my professional career, attacks are now personal. They're trying to demonize the issues."

By June, Fink's BlackRock dropped the term "ESG" following billions of dollars pulled out of its funds by Republican governors, most notably, $2 billion by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The crux of the issue that Republican lawmakers have with radical ESG funds is that they were trying to impose 'green' initiatives on the corporate level to force change in society, and many of these initiatives would be widely unpopular at the ballot box during elections. 

Remember these comments from Fink?

Alyssa Stankiewicz, associate director for sustainability research at Morningstar, told Bloomberg, "We have definitely seen demand drop off in 2022 and 2023." 

Also, let's not forget about the 'greenwashing' across ESG industry. 

Matt Lawton, T. Rowe Price Group Inc.'s sector portfolio manager in the Fixed Income Division, recently concluded: "It's becoming increasingly difficult to find credible sustainability-linked bonds." 

The tide is reversing for Fink: "Backfire: World's Fourth Largest Iron Ore Producer Stops Purchasing Carbon Offsets."

Don't forget this: "McDonald's Scrubs Mentions Of "ESG" From Its Website."

Oops, Mr. Fink. 

Tyler Durden Fri, 09/22/2023 - 06:55

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Amazon’s bestselling space heater that doubles as a humidifier is a ‘lifesaver’ and selling fast while $44

This is the lowest price it’s been in a while.



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As the seasons change and temperatures start to drop, the air in your home will naturally become dryer and colder. The good news is, you don’t have to make two separate purchases to solve both issues, which not only saves you money, but storage space, too.

The Okoium Space Heater doubles as a humidifier and even has a 3D flame light and essential oil diffuser that gives any room a relaxing ambiance. This do-it-all machine is backed by over 2,000 five-star ratings and is the no.1 bestselling indoor electric space heater at Amazon. Right now, you can add it to your cart for just $44 while it’s on major sale with double discounts and at the lowest price it’s been in 30 days, according to Amazon. But hurry, it has been flying off the shelves ever since (over 10,000 have been purchased in the last month) and will likely continue to be a popular item throughout winter. 

Okoium Space Heater and Humidifier, $44 (was $60) at Amazon


Get it!

While all space heaters can be a dangerous fire hazard if not used properly and left unattended, this model has several features like timers, overheat protection, and two types of auto shut-off functions to help prevent accidents. The heater automatically turns off if it’s tipped over and there’s another optional setting that uses infrared body sensors to stop heating as soon as you walk away. This second function also helps save on your energy bill since the device only heats the room when you’re there.

The lightweight, portable heater has a user-friendly display that shows the room’s current temperature and it comes with a remote control that allows you to adjust settings without leaving your seat. It warms rooms up to 95-degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes or less, according to shoppers, and weighs under 2-lbs, so it’s easy to lift and move around. You can choose from a wide range of temperatures and oscillation modes and switch on the humidifier at the touch of a button to moisturize the air. Just make sure the water tank is full before turning on this function.

“It warms up my room in record time, which is a lifesaver on chilly winter mornings,” wrote one reviewer. “The oscillating feature allows the warm air to circulate evenly, the added humidification function is a game-changer, especially during dry winter months when the air can be harsh on my skin and sinuses. And the aroma diffuser? That's the cherry on top! I love adding a few drops of my favorite essential oils to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere.”

An electric space heater that’s also a humidifier, faux fireplace, and essential oil diffuser sounds like it would cost a fortune. Apply Amazon’s on-site coupon before adding the Okoium Space Heater to your cart and you can score one for just $44.

Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.

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Delta, United Airlines make accessibility improvements for passengers

An aviation expert says it’s about time.



Major U.S. airlines are continuously looking for ways to make air travel as easy as possible for passengers.

It's a competitive industry, so offering convenience and efficiency as incentives to entice repeat customers is an important component of doing business.

Related: American Airlines says it now has 'something no one else offers'

For example, airlines have implemented technology improvements such as self-service kiosks that allow passengers to check in and print boarding passes without the involvement of an agent.

Mobile apps developed by airlines are also used by passengers to book flights, check in and get updates on the status of their flights.

While travelers are in the air, some are offered more comfortable seating options, such as premium economy seats with extra legroom and seats that lie flat in business class.

Entertainment options have also improved over the years, as passengers are provided access to a wide selection of movies, television shows and music.

And airlines are also making larger commitments to passengers with disabilities.

Accessibility and inclusion for all travelers

At the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting in 2019, the organization adopted a resolution that affirmed member airlines' commitment to safe, reliable and dignified travel for people with disabilities.

During the summer of 2023, two airlines announced major steps along these lines.

Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Free Report announced in June that a subsidiary of the company was developing a seat that would allow passengers in power wheelchairs to stay in them during flights.

In July, United Airlines  (UAL) - Get Free Report said it would be the first airline to add braille to its aircraft interiors. This would include markings for rows, seat numbers and the inside and outside of lavatories.

"It is good, then, to know that Delta and United are adding one more layer of accessibility to their operations to make it that much easier for passengers to find and use their seats and for cabin crews to support them throughout their trip," wrote aviation expert John McDermott on Airline Geeks Aug. 21. 

The article was titled "Accessibility is coming to aviation. It's about time."

"It is not unwise to hope and expect that other airlines will follow their leads or continue to innovate for the betterment of the traveling public," he added.

McDermott also provided some further information on when these changes can be expected to be implemented.

"Neither of these changes will be immediate. It will take at least 18 months for Delta’s seat to enter service assuming it passes testing on time, while United won’t be able to retrofit all of its aircraft until 2026," he wrote. "Still, these moves represent a major step forward for disabled passengers in the United States."

United Airlines aircraft flying above clouds.


Legislation on aviation accessibility is introduced

The actions from Delta and United occurred soon after a key piece of legislation was announced.

"In spring 2023, Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) announced the Mobility Aids on Board Improve Lives and Empower All Act, otherwise known as the MOBILE Act, which would require the Department of Transportation to publicly report the type of damage that occurs to wheelchairs and mobility aids," McDermott wrote. "It would also require airlines to provide sufficient information to passengers to make sure mobility aids can fit on an aircraft before boarding."

Calls for more airline accountability and accessibility to be included in the next Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization act, currently being written, have also been made.

"For passengers who use wheelchairs, traveling can oftentimes be difficult and frustrating,” Sen. Thune said regarding the MOBILE Act, according to McDermott. "I'm proud to join Senator Duckworth in introducing this common-sense legislation that would improve safety and accessibility for individuals who use mobility aids to help ensure their travel experience is as smooth and hassle-free as possible."

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Reddit to wind down blockchain-based rewards service ‘Community Points’

Reddit will shutter its Community Points feature by Nov. 8, citing scalability issues.
Reddit has said it will soon shutter its long-running,…



Reddit will shutter its Community Points feature by Nov. 8, citing scalability issues.

Reddit has said it will soon shutter its long-running, blockchain-based rewards service “Community Points,” citing scalability concerns. 

In an official Oct. 17 announcement in the r/cryptocurrency subreddit, a Reddit team member said while the platform saw “some future opportunities for Community Points, there was no path to scale it broadly across the platform.”

The Community Points service, including the special memberships feature, will be wound down on Nov. 8. “At that point, you’ll also no longer see Points in your Reddit Vault nor earn any more Points in your communities,” the Reddit team member wrote.

Reddit’s Community Points will be shuttered on Nov. 8. Source: Reddit

First launched in May 2020, the community points feature rewarded users with points for positive engagement in certain subreddits and was designed to incentivize higher-quality content on the platform.

The points were Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens stored in the platform’s in-house crypto wallet service dubbed the “Reddit Vault.”

Initially launched on the Ethereum network, the points service later migrated to the layer-2 scaling solution Arbitrum to facilitate higher scalability.

Each subreddit had its own token, with the Moons (MOON) token being the native crypto asset of the r/cryptocurrency board, while Bricks (BRICK) was for the r/FortNiteBR subreddit. Users could spend these points on badges and exclusive items for their avatars.

In response to the original statement, the r/cryptocurrency moderator “CryptoMods” explained they had only just learned of the decision and were “disappointed” by the move.

Related: Reddit community tokens soar on Kraken listing

“First and foremost your Moons are still yours and are not going to be burned. Transfer functionality in the smart contract is not being shut off, and Reddit is removing their control over the contract,” they wrote.

The value of the Reddit tokens MOON and BRICK plunged following the news, and Reddit users and crypto enthusiasts expressed their disappointment and anger at the decision.

Pseudonymous trader Byzantine General told his 163,000 followers on X (Twitter) that Reddit had essentially “rugged” their community, adding a screenshot of MOON’s price, which had fallen around 90%.

“Reddit essentially fucked over every r/cc user in hours. I’ve canceled my special membership. I’ll never use this fucking platform again. I hope whoever runs this cesspool rots in hell. What a fucking joke,” Reddit user “Bunker Beans” wrote in response to the original post on r/cryptocurrency.

Magazine: Blockchain detectives — Mt. Gox collapse saw birth of Chainalysis

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