Wednesday December 2nd 2015

40 years of foresight, insight and integrity


Editor’s Choice on the Green Transition

Green Transition Scoreboard®


* Reports and Press Releases

* Endorsers

* EMM Provides Rigorous Foundation for GTS

* Watch the video

* GTS In the Press

* Overview: Inside The Green Transition by Hazel Henderson



Batteries and Storage Charging Green Transition with $17.4 Billion Influx

St. Augustine, FL, September 15, 2015 ~ The Green Transition Scoreboard® Fall Update, Batteries and Storage Charging the Green Transition, focuses on battery and storage investments, reporting a total of $17.4 billion in private investments in R&D for battery and storage technologies. Findings are compiled from 2007 to 2014 and include the top 30 technology producers. The Update focuses on investments in batteries and storage as enhancing and optimizing the use of renewable energy and efficiency. It also highlights best practices and the emerging breakthroughs which are directing batteries and storage to become an important sub-sector of green technologies.

Read full update


Green Transition Scoreboard® Celebrates 2015 Earth Day With $6.22 trillion Blowing Past Mid-Mark to 2020 Goal

Saint Augustine, FL, April 22, 2015 ~ Earth Day 2015 marks $6.22 trillion invested in the global green transition since 2007. This meets our Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) goal of $10 trillion privately invested in the green economy by 2020, easily on track to reach the 2020 goal to effectively scale innovations and reduce costs in green technologies as the world transitions to the Solar Age.

Appropriately for Earth Day, the 2015 GTS report, Breakdowns Driving Breakthroughs, focuses on Life Systems, a new category capturing system-wide interconnections among efficiency, information and digitization, energy, water, food, education and health, which equals 14% of the overall total.

The upward trend in investments Ethical Markets Media has reported since 2009 aligns with the strategy to invest at least 10% of institutional portfolios directly in companies driving the global Green Transition, appropriately updating strategic asset allocation models both as opportunity and as risk mitigation.




Green Bonds Add to $5.7 Trillion Privately Invested in the Green Economy

Saint Augustine, FL, September 1, 2014 ~ The first two quarters of 2014 show the Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) at $5.7 trillion in private investments and commitments since 2007. This confirms the green economy is on track to reach $10 trillion in investments by 2020 to effectively scale innovations and reduce costs in green technologies as the world transitions to the Solar Age.

The 2014 mid-year update “Green Bonds Growing Green Infrastructure” focuses on the bond markets’ addition of green, impact and ESG (environmental, social, governance) targeted bond issues. These new bonds provide long-term investment opportunities to pension funds and other institutional investors as global policy makers, corporations and asset managers see demand for investments in infrastructure, environmental, social and human capital being integrated into financial markets.

Read the full mid-year update.


March 2014 Green Transition Scoreboard® Tops $5.3 Trillion

Saint Augustine, FL, March 31, 2014 ~  Again for 2014, the Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) finds, with $5.3 trillion in private investments and commitments since 2007, the green economy is on track to reach $10 trillion in investments by 2020 to effectively scale innovations and reduce costs in green technologies as the world transitions to the Solar Age.

The 2014 GTS report Plenty of Water! focuses on the many water investment opportunities as global policy makers, businesses and civic society realize water is critical to environmental, social and human capital, and must be integrated into financial markets rather than overlooked as an externality. 

Full Report  



St. Augustine, FL, March 4, 2013 – The year 2013 promises long strides away from the fossil-fueled Industrial Era as illuminated by the Ethical Markets Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) which tracks private investments growing the green economy worldwide since 2007, finding $4.1 trillion invested or committed as of Q4 2012.

The year 2012 was an inflection point for the green transition worldwide. Technology and innovation such as in electricity generation and transport began forcing structural changes and rethinking of business models, urban design and development toward integrated systemic approaches.

Read the full report.



THE GREEN TRANSITION SCOREBOARD® (GTS) is a time-based global tracking of the private financial system for all sectors involved with green markets, producing a transparent line of sight toward the ethical progress of wealth building as defined by the triple bottom line of planet, people and profits.

The GTS logo represents a visual symbol for inevitable human progress whose barometer rises, away from the symbols of the out-dated Fossil Fuel Era, as green investments increase over the next ten years and we enter the next economy – the age of light.

The GTS was created and realized by Hazel Henderson and Ethical Markets Media. It is updated and maintained by Ethical Markets Media, LLC. Financial data and organizations included in the GTS are screened by the strictest of rigorous social, environment, and ethical auditing standards.

Follow #greenscore on Twitter.


Court rules that there are no checks and balances

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Financial Reform Newsletter

March 20, 2015

Court rules that there are no checks and balances when the Executive Branch settles cases, even those that caused the worst financial crash since 1929 and caused the worst economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, costing the US more than $12.8 trillion: Longtime readers know that Better Markets sued DOJ over its $13 billion settlement with JP Morgan Chase. Without transparency, oversight, accountability or any judicial review, that settlement was negotiated in secret and without any meaningful public discloser. For $13 billion, JP Morgan Chase got total civil immunity and got to keep secret the illegal conduct of its executives, officers, supervisors and staff in inflating the subprime housing bubble – all as detailed in the lawsuit. Regrettably, as Better Markets stated in the press following press release, a federal district court dismissed the case on entirely procedural grounds:

“The court never considered or ruled on the merits of our lawsuit that DOJ did not have the unilateral authority to settle years of JP Morgan Chase’s egregious illegal conduct without independent judicial review. The decision sadly stands for the proposition that there are no checks and balances when it comes to Executive Branch action to settle any case on any terms without any meaningful transparency, public accountability or oversight by anyone.

This procedural ruling makes clear that the lawsuit is not deficient, the law is: no one has standing to challenge DOJ’s actions even when senior political appointees secretly negotiate legal immunity in exchange for a $13 billion payment from the country’s largest, most politically connected too-big-to-fail wall street bank for inflating the subprime housing bubble, which lead to the worst financial crash since 1929. Such backroom deals should not be allowed in a democracy worthy of its name. We will be carefully evaluating the court’s opinion before determining our next steps.”

As The Financial Times editorialized in “The People Versus Wall Street Banks” when the lawsuit was filed,


“Whether or not its legal challenge succeeds, Better Markets has highlighted some troubling issues.” 


The FT was right. The legal deck was always stacked against the lawsuit because the law discriminates against those like Better Markets seeking to protect the public interest (while privileging private corporate interests). That means that the “troubling issues” raised by DOJ’s repeated secret backroom settlements with the powerful and politically connected elite too big to fail banks on wall street will have to be addressed by the people’s elected officials in Congress. Surprisingly, Congress has so far just sat silently on the sidelines while the Executive Branch has unilaterally seized breathtaking authority to take such unaccountable action on these historic matters.


Better Markets is in the middle of important hearings in Congress on numerous financial reform issues: Sometimes Better Markets is in the middle of Congressional hearings when, like next week, President and CEO Dennis Kelleher has been asked to testify next week at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council “FSOC”. Other times, like yesterday, our work can get injected into a hearing without notice.


At a Senate Banking Committee hearing yesterday on the “Regulatory Regime for Regional Banks,” several of the country’s most senior financial regulators testified: Fed Governor Dan Tarullo, FDIC Chairman Marty Gruenburg and OCC Comptroller Tom Curry. The Ranking Member on the Committee, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), used a chart from a Fact Sheet released by Better Markets on the subject of the hearing:  “Everything You Need to Know About the $50 Billion Threshold.” To our surprise, Fed Governor Tarullo questioned the accuracy or completeness of the chart from the Fact Sheet, but he was wrong, as we detailed in this press release.


However, that shouldn’t detract from the focus of the hearing: the enhanced prudential standards applied to banks as tailored for their size and risk profile. The law set a threshold of $50 billion to initiate a closer look at banks’ activities and provided for increasing standards for the largest, riskiest, and most complex banking organizations that pose the greatest threat to Americans’ savings, jobs and homes – the too-big-to-fail megabanks on Wall Street. As detailed in the Fact Sheet, while the financial reform law requires regulators to apply enhanced prudential standards, it also gives them very broad discretion in tailoring those standards to the risk profile and activities of different banks.


That has stopped too many from mis-describing the law and how it is applied, causing some to call for either the elimination of the $50 billion threshold altogether or raising it. However, before taking the consequential step of changing the law, policymakers should ask those seeking to change the $50 billion threshold to demonstrate that


1. a specific requirement of the statute is causing demonstrable, independently verifiable damage to the U.S. economy, and


2. he only means to fix such a requirement is through legislative changes, rather than, for example, the Fed appropriately exercising the discretion already provided for by the law.


Remember, the financial reform law was enacted just a few years ago to prevent another crash like 2008 and the economic wreckage it caused and continues to cause to American families, workers, communities and our federal budget. Financial reform should be allowed to be fully implemented and then changed only if in fact changes are needed, rather than in response to fact-free claims of harm or, worse, due to the disguised claims of Wall Street’s most dangerous too-big-to-fail banks that collect big bonuses while getting ready for their next bailout.


Fighting to protect your retirement security and the integrity of the markets: Secretary of Labor Tom Perez also testified before the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday and the House Education and Workforce Committee on Wednesday outlining the Department’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget request. During the Tuesday hearing Secretary Perez was asked about DOL’s new rule to protect Americans’ retirement savings. Better Markets has been meeting with leaders in Washington and working with allies in support of this proposed rule that is expected to require brokers to act in the best interests of their clients rather than putting their own economic interests above their clients. This indefensible conflict of interest is the result of a 40-year old legal loophole that must be closed to help ensure that tens of millions of Americans finally get the unbiased advice they deserve so they can build a comfortable and dignified retirement.


Like the DOJ, the SEC is excellent at spin and PR about how tough they are and how great their work is, but the facts show otherwise: Also on Thursday, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney testified before the House Financial Services Committee. As we have pointed out and criticized for years, the SEC has been following a dangerous pattern of severely punishing low-level actors while letting Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail banks and, particularly, their executives off the hook when it comes to enforcing the law. That approach only incentives more crime where there is little fear of being caught and less worry about being meaningfully punished. It’s imperative that the SEC begins to go after Wall Street megabank leaders, require them to fully disclose the extent of their wrongdoing, and have banks and individuals pay real penalties that actually fit the crime. The SEC must get out of the PR and spin business and back to being a real cop on the Wall Street beat.


Better Markets in the News


U.S. judge dismisses lawsuit over $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement: Reuters by Lindsay Dunsmuir 3/19/2015


Better Markets Rips SEC’s Double Standard: Corporate Crime Reporter by Editor 3/19/2015


HSBC’s Flint Odds-On to Be Next U.K. Bank Chief to Exit in 2015: Bloomberg by Stephen Moris 3/18/2015


Japanese bank seeks justice in subprime mortgage trial: NY Post by Kevin Dugan 3/16/2015


Articles of Interest


BNY Mellon Close to Settling Foreign Exchange Lawsuits: Bloomberg by Christie Smythe, Charles Stein, and Bob Van Voris 3/19/2015


Putting a Breakup of Bank of America to a Shareholder Vote: NYT by Antony Currie 3/19/2015


HSBC to Shuffle Board Roles of Several Directors: NYT by Chad Bray 3/20/2015


U.S. Prepared to Charge Banks for Violating Old Settlement Deals: Bloomberg 3/16/2015


You eat what you kill’: Wall Street bonuses keep soaring as profits decline: The Guardian by Suzanne McGee 3/15/2015


How Does Wall Street Work? Only One-Quarter Of Investment Bank Revenue Comes From Activities In The Real Economy: International Business Times by Owen Davis 3/13/2015


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The Green Transition: A Personal Note from Hazel Henderson

The global economy is now at a tipping point – emerging from the 300-year fossil-fueled Industrial Era to the cleaner, greener information-rich renewable energy societies which I predicted in my The Politics of the Solar Age in 1981.  Although prominently reviewed in the New York Times and based on six years of service on the Technology Assessment Advisory Council of the US Office of Technology Assessment, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Engineering – my book went unheeded until recently.  The health and environmental damage of reliance on fossil fuels led me to found Citizens for Clean Air in New York City in 1964 and persuade local media to carry an Air Pollution Index on weather reports.  Technology assessment research deepened my understanding of the scientific realities now entering public awareness: our planet Earth is awash in energy – that free daily photon shower from the sun.  We now need to accelerate our methods for efficient capture and use of this gift of Nature which green plants innovated in photosynthesis – providing food for humanity.

While waiting for the politics to reflect the coming Solar Age, I became a patient, well-informed, long-term investor, delving deeper into why economics and finance were missing this transition – obscured by fallacies of “efficient markets” and “rational actors.”  I avoided this herd behavior by becoming an early investor in Jeffrey Leonard’s Global Environment Fund, whose world view matched mine: find companies in efficient, renewable technologies, minimizing throughput of energy and materials used in producing national output.  This confirmed my view that GDP gives a Grossly Distorted Picture of a country’s progress.  My understanding expanded after founder Wayne Silby’s invitation in 1982 to join the Advisory Council of the Calvert Group of socially responsible mutual funds.  By 2000, I and Calvert launched our Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators as an unbundled dashboard of 12 systemic trends in national progress (www.calvert-henderson.com).

Changing the scorecards of success both at the company and national accounts levels became my passion.  Calvert deepened my understanding of the role of finance in technological innovation.  Both public and private finance can play leadership roles: public investments created satellite communications, the internet, the inter-state highway system and many civilian spinoffs of military budgets, while the private sector innovated in chemistry, biotech, the worldwide web-based economy and a whole range of efficient, renewable energy and materials technologies.  These latter innovations were largely ignored by Wall Street due to those fallacies in economic textbooks and their EMH underlying most financial models: CAPMs, Value at Risk, Black-Scholes-Merton Options Pricing as well as security analysts’ asset allocation “buckets” which still lack a sustainability sector.  Solar, wind, geothermal, whose annual potential exceeds total reserves of fossil fuels, are lost in their Energy sector ( still dominated by oil).

Energy efficiency was lost to investors’ view until Bloomberg and FTSE began noticing their rapid paybacks of 12-24 months, obscured by textbook economics ignoring the “externalities.”  The FTSE’s EO Energy Efficiency Index highlights these investment opportunities – now increasing as subsidies to fossil fuels are cut in many countries and making such cuts is on the agenda of the G-20.

Calvert, Pax World, Domini and other SRI funds pioneered, along with Alice Tepper Marlin’s Council on Economic Priorities, the new metrics of ESG company valuation.  At the UN, Dr. Elizabeth Dowdswell, head of UNEP, pioneered UNEP-FI, bringing global financial groups into awareness of how economies are dependent on nature’s ecosystems.  Thoughtful financiers pondering their persistent crises are learning from ecologists how to correct financial models, while recognizing that finance is a part of our global commons (www.transformingfinance.net).

Out of UNEP-FI, many initiatives have now joined the global Green Transition: UN-PRI with 800 firms with assets under management of $25 trillion; the UN Global Compact with 5300 signatory companies to its 10 Principles of Global Corporate Citizenship, the Green Economy Initiative with UNDP, ILO and the new TEEB analyses of the value of ecosystems and biodiversity as material to asset valuation.  In the private sector, SwissRE, CERES, the GRI, REN 21 and WWF joined in pioneering new metrics, while new stock indices and market letters covered the emerging green sectors, companies and investors.  Among individuals, our research with Globescan shows the growing awareness of the value of environmental considerations to overall wellbeing.

By 2003, I had decided that it was time to launch Ethical Markets Media to help reform markets and grow the green economy globally.  My green investments were flourishing.  Pioneers Matthew Kiernan, founder of Innovest, Nicholas Parker, founder of Cleantech, Jeffrey Leonard and all the daily news of the Green Transition needed a special media voice.  As I posted all the daily news on Ethical Markets, I saw the need to track all the private investment in green sectors to give a clearer overview of this global sustainability sector.  So, I created the Green Transition Scoreboard® and selected only those technologies and companies I knew would meet the long-term criteria of sustainability.  Thus we deliberately omit many investments we believe are mistaken (see page 3).

It’s time to end fossil fuel subsidies which would cut deficits and return billions annually to taxpayers and allow the green sectors to compete on a level playing field ( HYPERLINK “http://www.globalsubsidies.org/” www.globalsubsidies.org).  Today, 70% of all US federal subsidies go to oil, natural gas and coal and another 15% to ethanol – not to mention the hidden subsidies to nuclear.  As James Fletcher, former NASA Administrator told our Technology Assessment Advisory Council in 1976, if all of these subsidies over past decades had instead gone toward solar, wind, all renewables and efficient energy, the US economy would have been 100% powered by these renewable sources by the mid-1970s.  Our Green Transition Scoreboard® now tracks this technology evolution through these investments, shifting from the past to the future.  The World Social Forum has been saying since 2000, “Another world is possible.”  The Green Transition Scoreboard® details this new 21st century economy and how we are moving toward this cleaner, greener sustainable future.

Hazel Henderson
Creator, Green Transition Scoreboard®
President, Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil)
Author, Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy (2006)
Solar Irradiation versus established global energy
resources Solar Generation 6, EPIA 2011

Beyond GDP: International Public Opinion on Measuring National Progress 2010, Globescan and Ethical Markets Media, January 2011

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