Revising the Equator Principles: Why Banks should not become the New Sustainability Regulators of Emerging Markets

On 13 August 2012 a draft of the updated Equator Principles (EP) was released for stakeholder consultation and public comment. This latest revision of the EP is a marked attempt to dramatically alter the role of financial institutions in emerging markets, from financiers to sustainability regulators. Continue reading

Un-Fair Trade: Turning the tide on misguided altruism

Fairtrade (FT) represents itself as a consumer-driven long-term development strategy. It claims to support poor producers in the global south and aims to alleviate them from poverty by certifying their production processes and selling their products to consumers in the global north at a price premium. The FT movement has succeeded in convincing conscientious consumers that its labelled products are the most effective in aiding the poor. However, the extent to which the FT model brings net benefits to the poor is largely unfounded. Continue reading

Corporate Social Responsibility – How Global Business is Getting it Wrong in Emerging Markets

May 2011 – A World Growth Study

Every major corporation in the developed world is expected to have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. These are company goals to improve sustainability, social engagement, and labor and human rights which demonstrate the business is a ‘good corporate citizen.’ This report reveals that leading global companies are advancing CSR strategies that are likely to antagonize governments in emerging economies, advance causes of little interest to their local people and jeopardize business activity in the high growth economies of the Emerging Markets. This report reviews Continue reading

Greenmail

May 2010 – Green Papers: Issue III

In a carefully co-ordinated campaign, environmental groups in Europe and North America are ‘greenmailing’ major companies in Europe and the US to suspend purchase of paper products and palm oil from Indonesian and Chinese producers. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in Europe, and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) in the US, have threatened to blacken the standing of luxury goods companies, major retail chains and major producers of grocery products unless they submit to Greenpeace demands. The assertions that these companies endorse serious damage to the environment Continue reading

Conflicts of Interest, Low-Quality Ratings, and Meaningful Reform of Credit and Corporate Governance Ratings

October 2009 – A report by Professors Charles W. Calomiris and Joseph R. Mason
Policymakers and academic critics have identified “conflicts of interest” in the rating industry that have led to poor ratings quality, harming investors who purchase over- or mis-rated investments. In this report the authors address the question of whether conflicts of interest can arise in the ratings industry without the monopoly benefit conferred by regulatory licenses like those given credit rating agencies that operate as Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations (NRSRO). The authors show that Continue reading