Seal of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

New York Fed: Weather Disasters do NOT Threaten Bank Profits

Michael Shellenberger highlighting a New York Fed report which trashes the idea that climate change is a threat to the US financial system.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Real Threat To Banks Isn’t From Climate Change: It’s From Bankers – OpEd 

  Michael Shellenberger

By Michael Shellenberger

And upon taking office, President Joe Biden warned government agencies that climate change disasters threatened retirement funds, home prices, and the very stability of the financial system.

But a major new staff report from the New York Federal Reserve Bank throws cold water on the over-heated rhetoric coming from activist investors, bankers, and politicians. “How Bad Are Weather Disasters for Banks?” asks the title of the report by three economists. “Not very,” they answer in the first sentence of the abstract.

The reason is because “weather disasters over the last quarter century had insignificant or small effects on U.S. banks’ performance.” The study looked at FEMA-level disasters between 1995 and 2018, at county-level property damage estimates, and the impact on banking revenue.

In other words, disasters are actually good for banks, since they increase demand for loans. The larger a bank’s exposure to natural disasters, the larger its profits.

Read more:

The Fed report is even more straightforward. The main report is well worth reading, it explicitly spells out they are dismissing the threat of climate change damaging the US banking system.

How Bad Are Weather Disasters for Banks? Number 990 
November 2021

JEL classification: G21, H84

Authors: Kristian S. Blickle, Sarah N. Hamerling, and Donald P. Morgan

Not very. We find that weather disasters over the last quarter century had insignificant or small effects on U.S. banks’ performance. This stability seems endogenous rather than a mere reflection of federal aid. Disasters increase loan demand, which offsets losses and actually boosts profits at larger banks. Local banks tend to avoid mortgage lending where floods are more common than official flood maps would predict, suggesting that local knowledge may also mitigate disaster impacts.Available only in PDF 


Obviously the authors of the report should be cancelled immediately, for going off script by telling the truth.

And a small FYI. We are on GETTR now @wattsupwiththat. We have not enabled automatic posting yet so it’s not as up to date as our twitter feed, but we are working with GETTR to get that resolved, with luck, in a couple of weeks.

When that is resolved, we will do a full post announcement.

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M Courtney
December 4, 2021 2:20 pm

Fintech is part of the infrastructure that advanced societies use to adapt to climate change.
Fintech is part of the infrastructure that advanced societies use to adapt to the weather.

This report tells us is that adaptation is very cheap as we have to do it anyway. It’s already planned in.
Mitigation is another story.

Steve case
December 4, 2021 2:29 pm

I can’t wait to tune in tonight’s TV news to see this story get top billing!
Ha ha ha ha ha

December 4, 2021 2:33 pm

And upon taking office, President Joe Biden warned government agencies that climate change disasters threatened retirement funds, home prices, and the very stability of the financial system.

Is “climate change disaster” defined, or is it yet another marketing term that is basically sounds without any real correlation to similar sounds that are understood in a structured language?

More to the point; “climate change disaster” could also refer to Green Policies that also also use trigger words that conjure up feelings of pristine fields and meadows being stomped upon by Capitalist Godzilla.

In which case “climate change disasters” are socio-economic disasters that come as a grim consequence to neo-Marxist policies specifically designed to harm human flourishing. When understood in this sense, of course these “climate change disasters” not only threaten but inevitably destabilize the financial system – by intent and design.

Reply to  AWG
December 4, 2021 3:30 pm

Joe Biden is ruining the country on purpose and in a coordinated way (It is no coincidence that Gavin Newscum introduce the universal basic income when the inflation starts kicking i,so that in a few years will be > 300 dollas inflation adjusted )
So Biden does now some preventiv PR to blame his deliberate sabotage on Climate and Covid (Never let a crisis end,even when it does not exist )
and hitting 2 birds with one stone as the blame on Covid and Climate will be used to justify further destruction and tyranny.

Doug D
December 4, 2021 2:35 pm

But climate change Does create a great increase in ingrown toe nails . Will the fun never end ?

Tom Halla
December 4, 2021 2:38 pm

From what I have read, insurance companies are not at financial risk with purported climate change disasters, either. Most of the policies are short term enough they can adjust rates if anything does in fact happen.
De facto, insurance companies are in finance.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 4, 2021 3:26 pm

Insurance companies will benefit hugely from Climate Change alarmism. They are already ramping up rates because Climate Change. Costs don’t go up because there are no more disasters or damage than there used to be, but sheeple believe the alarmist narrative, so they believe the insurance companies.

This is why they actively fund alarmist ‘research’. It’s all good for profits!

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
December 4, 2021 2:52 pm

Okay, but the climate sand people will be back and in greater numbers.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  ResourceGuy
December 4, 2021 3:29 pm

I don’t want any sand people, let alone climate ones! Are these like the terracotta army?

Last edited 1 month ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2021 3:51 pm

It’s gonna be a great deal harder to memory-hole CAGW than it was for the Ice Age Cometh alarmism

Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2021 4:38 pm

Almost everyone forgot it except the ones who are still pushing it.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2021 4:47 pm

There was a world war that helped to distract people for a couple of years.

Last edited 1 month ago by MarkW
H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 4, 2021 6:17 pm

The latest freshman biology textbook I have (2002) has nothing on Eugenics that I can find, but has half a page on “Genetic discrimination.” It has almost 1300 pages so doubt very many students ever seem much of it. A 1985 text doesn’t seem to have it, but has a reasonable 20 page section on human genetics. Eugenics was logically taught for quite a while after WWII, but would be interesting to see how long. It is still around by another name, check out the healthcare “Complete Lives System.”

The 2002 text does have 5 pages on global warming, usual consensus, and this gem of an incompetent statement. “The first scientific evidence that a species has shifted its geographical range in response to climate change was in 1996.” Butterflies, climate never changed for them before.

I also have an 1985 Environmental Science text without Eugenics, but states– “It [Solar energy] is also an environmentally benign form of energy: it does not pollute, produce solid waste, or make noise.” There was a successful rash of these texts in the 1980’s.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
December 4, 2021 7:05 pm

it does not pollute, produce solid waste, or make noise

So all those expired solar panels with very poisonous chemicals are not solid? Hmmmm….

M Courtney
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 5, 2021 1:01 am

Remember Acid Rain?
Ask a 20 year old if they’ve heard of it.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  M Courtney
December 5, 2021 9:56 am

OK, but acid rain was never the all consuming topic for the MSM, academia, and governmental diatribes that AGW has become. Deprograming Millions of deluded Sheeple won’t be an overnight matter.

Leo Smith
December 4, 2021 6:33 pm

Well that all right then!

Howard Dewhirst
December 4, 2021 8:21 pm

How can we get the banks that are refusing to fund fossil fuels to read this report?

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Howard Dewhirst
December 5, 2021 9:59 am

Any data points that this is actually happening? Saw a report yesterday on the Corporations that promised contributions to BLM. They have talked it up for PR reasons, but it turns out very few of them have actually done anything of the sort.

Joseph Zorzin
December 5, 2021 2:41 am

“The rise of Michael Shellenberger and the energy humanist movement”

this is Alex Epstein’s YouTube channel

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 5, 2021 12:52 pm

another very, very good video with Shellenberger- a debate where he smashes a rep from NRDC

“NRDC’s Matthew McKinzie vs Michael Shellenberger: Nuclear Power debate”

December 5, 2021 5:50 am

How bad are weather disasters for banks? Not bad at all. Anything that will bump up premium rates makes them happy, and that includes coverages held by people living in idiotic places like the shores of Florida, which (if you remember Hurricane Andrew) is a pre-determined ultra disaster zone. In case you’re wondering, the cost of Hurricane Andrew was $26.5 billion, and believe me, the financial institutions that support insurance companies were more than happy when HO/Umbrella liability/Mortgage E&O rates went up. That cost was to the home/property owners, NOT the financial sector.

You wanna live there (and/or in that general area)? Fine, because your homeowner’s coverage is likely going to be 350% higher than it is if you lived in Chicago or its environs, or maybe Lincoln, NE, or maybe Bismarck, ND. It’s a good idea to also carry umbrella liability, just in case a meteor plops down in your yard and every meteor hunter turns up to squabble over it.

No, I’m not kidding. Nor will I ever understand homeowners who do the stoopid and buy a home built within 50 feet of a river that, according to the sales pitch, has not flooded in over 100 years (hogwash!) and probably won’t in the foreseeable future (balderdash!)

I worked as an underwriter for financial institutions for about 10 years and grew to realize that the whole thing was a colossal (and legal) form of highway robbery. Banks don’t care a crap about you, the homeowner, whose mortgage they financed. They only care about how much they can get out of you. 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by Sara
Walter Sobchak
December 5, 2021 8:55 am

Also noted and discussed by Economist John Cochrane

December 5, 2021 8:43 pm

So the rest of us are doomed, but the banks are safe?

Thank Heavens for that!

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