Stuart Kirk, global head of responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management. Source Youtube, Fair Use, Low Resolution Image to Identify the Subject

Climate Skeptic HSBC Banker Suspended for Honesty?

Essay by Eric Worrall

A few days ago, WUWT applauded HSBC’s Stuart Kirk for revealing how head bankers like himself are being pressured to add unrealistic assumptions to climate models, like a $200 carbon tax, to produce results which conform to the desired political narrative. Now Stuart has been suspended pending investigation.

HSBC suspends head of responsible investing who called climate warnings ‘shrill’

Bank investigating Stuart Kirk’s conference speech deriding flooding risks and climate warnings from UN and Bank of England

Kalyeena Makortoff
Banking correspondent @kalyeena
Mon 23 May 2022 08.10 AEST

HSBC has suspended a senior banker after he referred to climate crisis warnings as “unsubstantiated” and “shrill” during a conference speech that has since been denounced by the lender’s chief executive.

Stuart Kirk, who has been HSBC’s head of responsible investing since last July, will remain suspended until the bank completes an internal investigation into the matter.

HSBC came under pressure to fire Kirk after he gave a presentation in London entitled “why investors need not worry about climate risk”, in which he made light of major flooding risks, and complained about having to spend time “looking at something that’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years”.

HSBC declined to comment on Kirk’s suspension, which was first reported by the Financial Times. Kirk did not respond to requests to comment sent via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Read more:

The following is Stuart Kirk’s presentation.

In my opinion this workplace suspension has a huge potential to hurt HSBC’s reputation.

When people entrust a bank with their money, what they prize above all else is honesty. We’ve all seen the caricatures of greedy bankers, and I’m not denying that there are cases where bankers have abused the trust of their clients, but the reality is a trust relationship with clients is fundamental to conducting business. You don’t give your money to someone unless you trust them, and believe they are honest.

But this suspension has demonstrated that in some circumstances, honesty at HSBC may be a punishable offence.

It doesn’t matter whether you believe Stuart Kirk was right. Stuart spoke his mind, he gave an honest opinion – and has now apparently been suspended, presumably because HSBC top management thinks his honesty was inconvenient or embarrassing.

How can investors trust HSBC bankers to tell the truth, if telling the truth could result in a workplace suspension? How can anyone trust a HSBC advisor to tell the truth about anything climate related, like the true value and risk profile of climate related investments, if everyone knows their HSBC financial advisor is looking over their shoulder?

Consider your actions carefully HSBC. A lot of eyes are watching your next move.

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Tom Halla
May 23, 2022 6:08 am

Refusing to endorse a politically correct lie? If he is in the position of having a fiduciary duty to his customers, he has no other choice.
But being politically correct overrules reality.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 23, 2022 6:17 am

As I said in preceding thread if Mr. Kirk is dismissed from HSBC he is unlikely to be employed by another large institution, in which case he might set up his own investment fund.
I will follow this case and if Kirk’s investment fund comes to being, I will put a bit of my own money in it, since I think this guy knows what he is talking about.
Hope many others would follow.

Reply to  Vuk
May 23, 2022 7:34 am

If you’re a good investor, you don’t need to work for someone else because your investments will give sufficient income.
If you’re not a good investor, but a good salesman, you sell investment services.
If you’re not a good investor and not a good salesman, you write or talk about investing.
If you’re not a good investor, not a good salesman, not a good writer or orator, you get a real job.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  AZeeman
May 23, 2022 7:37 am

…..and if you can’t do that, become a climate scientist

Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 23, 2022 7:47 am

Thanks for the chuckle

Reply to  Vuk
May 23, 2022 9:45 am

I just had a meeting with one of my advisors and asked him if there was a fund that specifically avoided firms following ESG guidelines. He hadn’t heard of one yet.

I think that there may be an opening for some investment institution. I’d toss some cash at it. Anyone else?

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Brad-DXT
May 23, 2022 11:37 am

Even before the current ESG push in investing, there was talk about investing in the “sin” stocks.

I believe the original impetus was the state of California divesting from tobacco stocks and then the activists quickly added gaming stocks (gambling) to the list.

I believe the brokerage firms eventually settled on the term “vice” stocks to invest in the opposite of the managers doing virtue signaling with other people’s investments.

Here is an old article from back in 2016, discussing the first(?) overt “vice” mutual fund.

Chris Nisbet
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 23, 2022 6:49 pm

Isn’t the problem with investing in ‘sin’ stocks that they’re at great risk from bloody governments queering the pitch?

Reply to  Pillage Idiot
May 23, 2022 9:43 pm

I’m just interested in investing with companies that make money without bending over for the mob.
I was thinking more along the line of energy and materials than vices but if there’s a fund that has good returns providing hookers and booze, I’m all for it. 😛

Reply to  Brad-DXT
May 23, 2022 4:29 pm

I have asked the same of my investment fund … no W + S energy stocks … they didn’t ‘know’.

alastair gray
Reply to  Vuk
May 23, 2022 9:48 am

If Mr Kirk does set up such a fund I will certainly give him some of my funds to manage assuming inflation , Green Net Zero, wealth tax and high income taxdont bankrupt me first. I was very impressed with Mr Kirk for daring to point out the emperor’s nakedness

Dave Fair
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 23, 2022 8:06 am

“But being politically correct overrules reality.” Only in the (relatively) short term. Mao, Hitler, Pot Pol & etc. come to mind. Much damage can be done during that time.

Anybody reading about this saga who doesn’t worry about HSBC’s future is delusional.

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Halla
May 23, 2022 9:12 am

… he is in the position of having a fiduciary duty to his customers …

First thing I thought of.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 24, 2022 6:26 am

He actually has a fiduciary duty to his customers to get it right!

I just sent an abridged version of the following to the public LinkedIn page of Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive at HSBC. My Background Information was not included. I tried to be respectful. Enough of that!

The World Economic Forum’s Davos Gong Show began on Monday – the theme is “the transition from fossil fuels” – the usual unscientific prattling of innumerate CEO’s led by Klause Schwab, doing his best imitation of Mike Myers’ “Dr Evil”:

Mr. Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, HSBC

You wrote: “Our ambition is to be the leading bank supporting the global economy in the transition to net zero.”
The entire Net-Zero narrative is based on false scientific and technical assumptions and any bank or country that follows this nonsense will fail in this endeavor. I suggest, immodestly, that I am more accomplished in creating real value for society than anyone at HSBC and my predictive track record on Climate-and-Energy is much more accurate than that of your organization. Some details follow.
Happy to explain, and to save your bank and the many countries you work in trillions of squandered dollars.
Regards, Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.
October 20, 2021. Update May 12, 2022
“The ability to correctly predict is the best objective measure of scientific and technical competence.”
Our scientific predictions on both Climate are infinitely more accurate than the mainstream narratives, which have been false and baselessly alarmist to date.

In 2002 we published the best (earliest and most accurate) observations/predictions on climate and energy:
1. There is no real global warming crisis.
2. Green energy is not green and produces little useful (dispatchable) energy.
3. Climate is INsensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 and the burning of fossil fuels.
4. Climate at the century-scale IS sensitive to small changes on solar activity.
5. Earth will start natural solar-driven cooling by 2020-2030.

In 2013 I slightly revised the timing of these predictions, which are now proved correct:
6. Earth will start natural solar-driven cooling by ~2020 or sooner.
7. Grid-connected green (wind and solar) energy will prove a huge failure circa 2020.

By the end of 2020, the climate doomsters (aka the IPCC and the radical greens) were proved wrong in their scary climate predictions 48 consecutive times. At 50:50 odds for each prediction, that is like flipping a coin 48 times and losing every time! The probability of that being mere random ignorance is 1 in 281 trillion! But no sensible person makes a 50:50 prediction – at 60:40 the odds against being this wrong are 1 in 13 quintillion; at 70:30 the odds are 1 in 13 septillion. It’s not just climate scientists being incompetent.

Since 2016 (or arguably 2020), Earth has been cooling, not warming, even as atmospheric CO2 increases. We predicted this natural cooling in 2002. Grid-connected green energy has been a costly, colossal failure in Britain, Germany and elsewhere. The alleged global warming/climate change crisis is a fifty-year-old fraud – wolves stampeding the sheep for political and financial gain. The strategies of most western countries and corporations is based on incorrect climate and energy assumptions.

Regards, Allan MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng.

Dr. David W. Devenny, P.Eng., P.Geol., Past President of APEGA, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, nominates Allan MacRae for… :

A) Initiatives that drove major economic growth of Syncrude Canada, the Alberta oil sands and the Canadian economy In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Allan initiated (or co-initiated) and successfully proposed three of the four major changes that drove the successful growth of the Alberta oil sands. Changes included new income tax terms, new Crown royalty terms and a low-cost 50% production increase that reduced Syncrude unit operating costs by 30%. Allan also recommended that Syncrude acquire new leases for growth, and technical innovations that improved performance and reduced costs.
Allan incorporated these initiatives into a comprehensive strategy for Syncrude, which was implemented and was instrumental in the successful evolution and growth of Syncrude and the Alberta oil sands industry. The oil sands industry became the mainstay of the Canadian economy for 15 years, with over $250 billion in new capital investments and approximately 500,000 new jobs created. Canada became the fifth-largest oil producer in the world and the most successful economy of the G8 countries.
My update: Canada is now the fourth largest oil producer in the world, and the largest foreign energy supplier to the USA. ~80% of that oil is from Alberta, and most of that is from the oil sands. The oil sands are still the mainstay of the Canadian economy.

Reply to  Allan MacRae
May 24, 2022 9:48 pm


Painful for you and your families – not for the elites.

And the average person, with no energy expertise, has no idea how painful that “transition” from fossil-fuels to green-energy will be. The transition will fail, and there is good chance you won’t survive.

I published a decade ago:
“If you live in the developed world and you suddenly lose access to cheap reliable energy, you and your family will probably not survive. When idiot politicians fool around with energy policy and try to pick winners and losers, they are playing a very dangerous game. When they base their energy policy decisions on fraudulent global warming “settled science”, they are playing a fool’s game. Either way, you lose.”
– Allan MacRae, 19March2012

jeffery p
May 23, 2022 6:09 am

Suspended for being honest. I’ve been there. While you never want to work in a position where you can’t speak truth to power, the forum for voicing concerns and frustrations should not be a phone call involving clients.

Reply to  jeffery p
May 23, 2022 6:31 am

In my previous employment I witnessed gross abuse of regulations, so I went straight to the top and wrote detailed letter to the CEO. I was summoned to a meeting and given one hour to consider
a – destroy the letter which was handed back to me or
b – being dismissed on the sport
I had family to feed and letter was shredded seconds later.
However, some 18 months later the CEO had quietly to resign without compensation after being accessed for financing building of a mansion style house from the company’s bank account. Case never was proven or went to court, but I and few colleges had celebratary drinks.

Reply to  Vuk
May 23, 2022 7:59 am

The last memo I wrote was objecting to the elimination of one of my departments while working for a large national corporation. This was due to safety and health considerations that this elimination would cause. I was immediately fired for my opinion after 13 years with the company. I was a national level VP at the time. I guess it still happens.

Dave Fair
Reply to  JimG1
May 23, 2022 8:14 am

And this is a daily occurrence at every level of government. Anybody believing government pronouncements is a fool. I’ve been there at a relatively high Federal position and quit over that crap.

Reply to  Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 12:15 pm

It is a sad thing to know that I am only one of a great multitude with such tales to tell.

May 23, 2022 6:15 am

Maybe he shorted Vanguard’s ESGV on April Fool’s day this year, and doesn’t need his salary or bonuses any more.

Paul Johnson
May 23, 2022 6:23 am

Please correct the title of this article, should read:
“Climate Skeptic HSBC Banker Suspended for Heresy”

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Paul Johnson
May 23, 2022 10:15 am

Suspended for Orwellian thought-crime.

Reply to  Paul Johnson
May 23, 2022 6:18 pm

But at the end he affirms the climate emergency mantra.

What he is really saying is that stocks and other investments already take into account any perceived risk from environmental factors (though no accounting for how suicidal governments can be in the future with additional carbon taxes and regulations).

No need to do redundant paper pushing.

May 23, 2022 6:41 am

Breaking News:

Stuart Kirk, HSBC’s head of responsible investing issues retraction.

Promoted to head of irresponsible investing.

May 23, 2022 6:42 am

After his speech, I considered buying HSBC stock. Then decided that his impact is likely diffuse.

If I can figure out which investments are most directly under his influence, I probably will buy those.

If you want some context, look up “HSBC illegal ” – the bank has a long history of happily helping all sorts of illegal activities.

Reply to  vboring
May 23, 2022 9:16 am

In the United States, the only industry that has paid more in fines and legal settlements than drug companies are banking companies. I am sure it is the same all over the world.

Reply to  Wade
May 23, 2022 6:13 pm

Wow, and tobacco was way down the list.

Brian Bishop
May 23, 2022 7:04 am

There is a certain tension here in the very question of whether corporate executives and boards should be playing the long game. I am not inimical to a corporate world in which tomorrow’s stock price is not the sole guiding principle of corporate policy.

Ironically, though, I think you are right Eric that he was suspended for that very immediate thought, present day reputation and tomorrow’s stock price vs. the question of what are accurate bases for long term corporate strategy.

So in this case Stuart is thinking long term and the company is thinking short term!

May 23, 2022 7:06 am

I know the Chinese loaned the Maldives (about to disappear below the waves) many hundreds of millions of $, if not a few billion, to build a new runway and five new 6 star holiday complexes. Were the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank (HSBC) involved as well?
It appears the Chinese did not do their due diligence as, surely, the islands will not exist in a few years time!! /s

Reply to  JoHo
May 23, 2022 2:21 pm

Always follow the money. You’ll never go wrong.

May 23, 2022 7:47 am

Honesty in banking and insurance is like an object accelerating. The more dishonest those in the business become the less likely they are to be honest in any aspect of the business.

In other words if one part is dishonest the entire business is corrupt where money is concerned. Kirk has pointed out dishonesty in the handling of people’s money and that cannot be tolerated so instead of investigating themselves they investigate Kirk to silence him. And evidently no government oversight.

Jay Willis
Reply to  Olen
May 23, 2022 8:01 am

Yes,Olen, I think you are right. But the relationship of spreading dishonesty happens on a societal scale as well as a business. Once you are happy with any dishonesty – all dishonesty becomes OK. But, I think the good news is that opportunity for some real honesty springs up more and more – to listen to this fellow’s presentation is like a glass of cool water on an otherwise overheated day. Honesty has power and value.

May 23, 2022 8:11 am

Not surprised Kirk became a victim of the cancel culture. Today opinions are allowed only if they support the Marxist narrative. This is a world wide phenomena being shoved down our throats by a compliant media bought and controlled by a cabal intent on One World Government. Call it a conspiracy theory as you watch it unfold and gain steam before you. There are indications that people have had enough and it remains to be seen who wins …. freedom or serfdom.

Reply to  markl
May 23, 2022 8:21 am

This is a world wide phenomena being shoved down our throats by a compliant media bought and controlled by a cabal intent on One World Government.

Do you get Fox News where you are?

Dave Fair
Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 23, 2022 9:01 am

So, TFN, the UN IPCC and those governments supporting its proposals for worldwide governance don’t exist? You know, all that social justice stuff? Screw off, Troll.

Steve Case
Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 23, 2022 9:32 am

When I get into it with my favorite Liberal, I hear about Fox News, The Proud Boys and “These Corporations”

To which I respond, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scientific American, National Geographic, Time Magazine, Academia, Black Lives Matter, The Extinction Rebellion, Occupy Wall Street and exactly what did Donald Trump do that you didn’t like?

Reply to  Steve Case
May 23, 2022 2:07 pm

Don’t forget to add the BBC, CBC, ABC (Australia), TVNZ and on and on…

Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 23, 2022 9:55 am

If, by chance, you are getting all of your global warming news from the PBS NewsHour, that news is brought to you by a compliant media seemingly bought and controlled by a cabal intent on making sure you see only the information they want you to see.

NewsHour Global Warming Bias Tally, Updated 5/23/22: 97 to 0” (updated today, due to the Mann’s 4th appearance there last night)

Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 23, 2022 12:02 pm

And CNN…Govt sponsored news just like government sponsored climate “scientists”


Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 24, 2022 12:34 am

There’s the odd holdout but the usual suspects are working hard on the Ministry of Truth to stamp them out as you know. Just don’t forget the safe mantra-
‘Hasn’t the emperor got splendid net zero clothes on today everybody!’

Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 24, 2022 9:34 pm

You spelled Faux wrong.

Reply to  markl
May 23, 2022 12:09 pm

freedom or serfdom…
Or third option, the smoking remains of Mariupol, touted as a “great victory”!

Reply to  markl
May 23, 2022 4:42 pm

I totally agree with you on the move of the “most rich“ attempting to take over the world governments…reminds me of the movie…Rollerball where world governments were corporations

May 23, 2022 8:14 am

For heresy of the most grievous kind only excommunication and burning at the stake on social media will do.

He must have known what would follow

May 23, 2022 8:18 am

On a technical point, Amsterdam is currently around 2m below sea level, not 6m. Maybe he meant 6 ft?

Reply to  TheFinalNail
May 23, 2022 10:48 am

But he did get the bit right about some nut job telling him every day that the world is going to end in 10 years.

There are shortages of lots of things in the world today, but climate catastrophe nut jobs are abundant – Klimate Kool-Aiders.

May 23, 2022 8:20 am

And I was soooo hoping this was finally an honest “the worm is turning” moment in finance. It still may be. Fingers crossed that Stuart Kirk survives and more like him emerge. Those like Moore, Schellenberger, Koonin, are hugely important, but can’t make a serious impact on the financial world as Kirk possibly can. One of them has to say the Emperor has no clothes. Hope he makes it, but he still did mention “the transition” as an attractive investment area. As in this:

“For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.” –Warren Buffet cited by U.S. News/Nancy Pfotenhauer

Dave Fair
Reply to  BobM
May 23, 2022 9:03 am

That, in one paragraph, sums up ESG.

May 23, 2022 8:23 am

HSBC will spin this to get customers and protect institutional investors on both sides of the CC narrative. Might have even been pre-planned. They didn’t just get off the potato boat.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DMacKenzie
May 23, 2022 8:46 am

Knee-jerk reactions are endemic to the human condition. It is likely that HSBC didn’t think their suspension of Mr. Kirk through all of its possible ramifications. Power exacerbates that tendency. It is probable, however, there will be no short term consequences to HSBC’s action.

Reply to  Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 12:12 pm

The law of unintended consequences.
The ultimate answer to the law of Murphy.

Dave Fair
Reply to  pigs_in_space
May 23, 2022 1:43 pm

Haven’t you heard? Murphy didn’t write Murphy’s Law. It was someone else with the same name.

Rick C
May 23, 2022 8:24 am

After I watched Kirk’s presentation a few days ago I started to think about transferring my accounts to HSBC. My current bank is going “woke”. Oh well, looks like no one can be honest and survive the progressive’s cancel culture.

Reply to  Rick C
May 23, 2022 9:30 am

I have been considring that as well but am now going to wait to see what happens next.
I might end up giving Mr. Kirk my stuff, or some of it at least, to look after.

Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 8:36 am

Fascinating. Like all good witch hunts HSBC’s “investigation” of Mr. Kirk can only reach one conclusion: Guilty. Of what offense remains to be debated. Remember Stalin’s man Lavrently Beria’s dictum: “Show me the man, and I’ll show the crime.” Modern cancel culture is simply a democratization of that age old truth.

HSBC is wealthy enough to do whatever it wants with Mr. Kirk without obvious repercussion. It is, however, one more piece of straw on that Leftist camel’s back.

Alan Welch
May 23, 2022 8:40 am

Some years ago I replied to an article in a Magazine that asked “how do we stop the sea rising”. The article referred to an “accelerating sea level rise” and the high rate it was increasing at. In my reply I pointed out that sea level rates of rise after the last ice age were about 5 times more than now and that sea levels rose over 400 feet over 8000 years Man or no Man.
I received a barrage of abuse. I was liken to a Holocaust Denier and told I was no better than Trump or Nigel Farage. (The later is UK’s equivalent to Trump but with a sense of humour!)
Most people I talk to think it is a solid fact that Climate Change is Man made. But most people can’t think long term and only consider what has happened in their life time or more frightening what the BBC or the Guardian tell them.

Reply to  Alan Welch
May 23, 2022 8:58 pm

re: “But most people can’t think long term and only consider what has happened in their life time”

How comically ironic. This describes pretty much perfectly your own comments, Alan … pretending that sea level rise rates so far in our lifetime, having been only one fifth of the rise rates at the end of the last ice age, is all there is to it.

Never mind that we are barely into the 2nd inning of man made climate change repercussions, and it is expected that rise rates in the coming decades will eventually meet or exceed those previous historic rise rates, and will likely continue for centuries.

Just pretend it all away.

Alan Welch
Reply to  MGC
May 24, 2022 6:15 am


Thank you for your reply. So I can understand more clearly what you are implying could you agree that my take on your comments is as follows.

You seem to say in the next few decades sea level rates will exceed those during the end of the last Ice Age.

Seeing that for 8000 years they averaged 15mm per year and during the Melt Water 1A they will more like 50 mm per year things have go to change very quickly.

Could you give me references to back up your claims or provide detailed analysis of how this comes about.

Reply to  Alan Welch
May 24, 2022 8:56 am

Alan, my comment was based on your previously stated 5x value, so yes, 15 mm per yr.

See: Jevrejeva et al 2012 “Sea Level Projections to AD2500”
In particular, see figure 4b, which projects rise rates for a high emissions “business as usual” scenario RCP8.5 as reaching 15 mm/yr by the late 21st century.

Of course, there might be disagreement with the particular rise rate values presented in that paper, but even so, the primary point of my comment remains:

“most people can’t think long term and only consider what has happened in their life time” seems quite applicable to the approach you’ve taken on this issue.

May 23, 2022 8:47 am

He should sue them and force them to PROVE that his statements are false. He should also file criminal charges against the bank for fiduciary malfeasance and incompetence and intentionally destroying share value by making financial decisions based on unproven philosophy and not on sound banking rules.

Dave Fair
Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
May 23, 2022 9:12 am

Pilot, why don’t you sue or file criminal charges?

Reply to  Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 1:41 pm

No standing in court.
Stuart Kirk has been harmed by their actions and therefore has legal standing to sue.

Dave Fair
Reply to  ATheoK
May 23, 2022 1:45 pm

Employment at will?

May 23, 2022 8:47 am

The big mistake he made was the reference to Miami. A real shame because this gave those who want to cancel views such as his the excuse to do so.

Also, he shouldn’t have said that he “agrees with the science”. By doing this he just came over as not caring what happens.

Had he kept any references to Miami out — or anywhere else come to that — and said ‘the science’ is way over the top with its doomsday scenarios, then he could have made people sit up and listen.

Instead, he’s just given those who disagree with him the perfect excuses to get him out, which I suspect will be the case. Very naive not to see this coming, I’m afraid.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW2
May 23, 2022 9:10 am

Mark, it is surely a shame that none of us are as smart as you.

jeffery p
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 10:01 am

I think we’re all pretty smart when it comes to seeing someone else’s mistakes after the fact. AKA Monday Morning Quarterbacking.

Reply to  Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 10:16 am

Hardly needs a genius to work these things out.

It’s pretty obvious that if you say you don’t care if somewhere’s going to be 6 metres under water — at any conference — then you’re asking for trouble. As for saying it at a conference about climate change, seriously?!

Likewise, if you say you “believe the science” but don’t care about it, again, you’re just inviting trouble, especially at a climate change conference.

I might agree with everything he said, which I do, but the words he used were naive and stupid. A very good opportunity to make a point completely wasted.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW2
May 23, 2022 11:25 am

Yet Mr. Kirk is the one getting all the publicity. “I don’t care what you print, just spell my name correctly.”

Fred Hubler
May 23, 2022 8:49 am

Off topic, but the graph of US Climate Reference Network temperature displayed on the right is updated monthly and the one displayed has been out of date for a couple weeks.

Rod Evans
May 23, 2022 8:59 am

How predictable was that corporate reaction to someone giving a well consider presentation that was too honest.
His criticisms of previous doom laden presenters, who were in sync with corporate group think was only ever going to result in him being fired.
The power and predictable actions of climate alarmism is worryingly on display all the time.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 23, 2022 1:49 pm

But such self-serving displays will affect truth-seekers, Rod.

May 23, 2022 9:01 am

How can anyone trust a HSBC advisor to tell the truth about anything climate related

How can they be trusted in anything.
They have revealed that they are willing to lie. What else are they willing to lie about?

Reply to  MarkW
May 23, 2022 12:15 pm

Banks always lie, it’s why they always were “fair weather friends”.

May 23, 2022 9:11 am

His presentation is interesting, and the reaction to it by HSBC even more so, because he is not skeptical about climate change.

What he seems to do is argue that even if the IPCC scenarios are correct, and even if global warming happens at the rate forecast, with the GDP effects forecast, the effects are neither sufficiently large nor sufficiently near at hand to have any material effect on investments made today. And that in evaluating investments there are other much more important considerations to take account of.

So he rebuts the ‘stranded assets’ meme that you read about in the Guardian, and he notes that the supposed climate crisis and Net Zero push has not impaired share prices of oil, gas and coal companies.

Something which is very obvious if you pull up a chart of Peabody.

And this is what he is being suspended for pointing out! He is you see really dangerous. Because he is pointing out that the argument from climate doesn’t work, doesn’t justify the investment conclusions that are orthodoxy.

Its interesting because we are seeing a pattern of argument lately all of a similar form. Eg the argument that it doesn’t matter what the climate outlook is, you can’t run grids off wind and solar. The argument that it doesn’t matter what the climate outlook is, local reductions in emissions will have no effect on global emissions, when China India etc are bent on increasing as fast as possible. Even the argument that taking the grid to renewable will not materially affect emissions even if the whole of the West does it. Now this, which says, even if the alarmist views are correct, they are irrelevant to investment decisions.

The whole narrative – Climate Disaster, Reduce Emissions, Go to Renewables, Stranded Assets – is coming to bits in front of us, in public.

Lets hope it continues.

Dave Fair
Reply to  michel
May 23, 2022 9:22 am

In other words, as always, official dogma trumps rationality. That is until everything falls apart. Its a shame that nobody learns from history. That is understandable because current profit benefits from fads.

Reply to  Dave Fair
May 23, 2022 10:52 am

The western world is in the grip of another Tulip Mania, this time called Climate Change.

Reply to  Dave Fair
May 24, 2022 12:55 am

Yes. And it shows you the collateral damage. What HSBC appears to be saying to him is that even if you fully accept CAGW (which he repeatedly says he does), that is not enough. You also have to fully accept that investing in righteous and renewable follows from it.

You may not question in public whether the investment strategy really does follow from the science of CAGW. And you also may not question whether its a sensible one in itself.

Its a very common form of fallacious thinking among the climate-woke. To argue that we should do X because climate, when X is idiotic in itself, and anyway does nothing about climate.

In Finance this is like the dotcom bubble. Its the view that company X is tech, the internet will rule, therefore buy it. And so we ended up with

However, back then people did not get suspended for debating whether this was a bubble. At the moment this has become a matter of righteousness, marks of Grace. You can be sure that the result of the furore will be no-one at HSBC questioning ESG as investment strategy, and being very wary indeed in conversations with clients.

This is how bubbles are made – the tyranny of groupthink. Wonder what conversations about Tesla will be like now? Just writing a list of annual production numbers of the world’s auto makers is probably enough to get one fired.

May 23, 2022 9:18 am

How many of THESE investments have the “Green” HSBC executives approved?

It is thought that up to seven hybrid buses had gone up in flames and “you could hear several loud bangs which they said were tyres” he said.”

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May 23, 2022 9:39 am

Take a knee, beg, good boy… Throw another baby on the barbie for social, redistributive, clinical, and fair weather causes. Welcome to flat world… to paraphrase Floyd: to the consensus.

May 23, 2022 9:39 am

We are reliving the church reprisals for heresy.

May 23, 2022 10:13 am

The first rule of the Liberal Mob is that you NEVER disagree with the Liberal Mob.

Gunga Din
May 23, 2022 10:22 am

As I recall, a past economic housing crisis in the US was caused after banks were forbidden to take into account one’s ability to repay a loan. Somehow considering such things was considered “racist”.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gunga Din
May 23, 2022 1:57 pm

In addition to a Chinese guy’s securitized mortgage valuation algorithm that assumed housing prices would never fall. Its funny what can happen once government and bankers turn mortgages into securities.

Dr. Jimmy Vigo
May 23, 2022 10:38 am

Amazing how deep is the penetrating sting of the communist agendas of suppression of the opposition, imposition of ideologies, persecution of honesty.

Gary Pearse
May 23, 2022 10:43 am

Kirk’s basic point is that the present ‘value’ of a risk 30-40 years into the future is small. Looking at it another way, causing our fuel, electric power, food and other living costs today to rise 20-30% and growing would cover a nuclear bomb blast future!

May 23, 2022 11:02 am

Since he is obviously an intelligent and savvy banker and he has ample grey in his beard, I expect that he knew exactly what would surely happen following his speech. This was his opportunity to ease his conscience and openly speak the truth just prior to his own planned departure.

I am in a position where speaking bluntly on such topics could be viewed as reputational risks to the institution and possible grounds for discipline or termination. I could retire any time I like, so dismissal wouldn’t be financially harmful, but I would rather keep working and quietly battling the green monster from the inside, where I am still having some success.

To date, post-retirement engagement in climate and other issues is safe once there is no longer need of a paycheck; however, viewing what Canada has just done to protestors and what the gutter left is doing with U.S. Department of Homeland Security, even secured retirement assets could be jeopardized at some near future date.

May 23, 2022 11:32 am

well, you can’t just spread disinformation without consequences

unless you’re on the left of course

May 23, 2022 12:40 pm

HSBC suspends banker who joked ‘who cares if Miami is underwater’ and about ‘nutjobs warning of the end of the world ‘ in climate change speech that had been AGREED with bosses two months earlier
Stuart Kirk is head of responsible investing at HSBC, one of the biggest banks
Senior figures came out to condemn his comments after they sparked a scandal
Theme and content of the talk had been agreed to internally, sources told FT

May 23, 2022 12:48 pm

I called and logged a complaint with HSBC Bank about the suspension of Stuart Kirk. They did not take my contact information, but I did receive a complaint number. 1-800-975-4722 in the U.S. and Canada, 716-841-7212 outside the U.S. and Canada.

Bruce Cobb
May 23, 2022 1:09 pm

See, there’s Truth, and then there’s “Climate Truth”.
Never the twain shall meet.

Nigel in California
May 23, 2022 1:21 pm

“looking at something that’s going to might happen in 20 or 30 years”.

Rich Davis
May 23, 2022 1:51 pm

Isn’t it most likely that this was intended as his retirement speech? Maybe there’s also a golden parachute clause that he forced his bosses to trigger.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Rich Davis
May 24, 2022 4:39 am

So tell me, whoever downvoted this, do you really believe that this guy has the intellect to rise to the rarified heights of global finance, is railing against the irrational demands of ESG in a public speech, but is so naive that he is unaware of the consequences of his actions?

I’m not saying that it’s a good thing that he can’t say what he said and keep his job. I am saying that it’s the current reality that he can’t say what he said and keep his job—and that I’m sure beyond any reasonable doubt that he acted with the full knowledge of that fact and its consequences.

My only speculation is whether he calculates that his bosses will cut their losses and pay him to go away quietly rather than litigating a case of wrongful termination.

Joe Gordon
May 23, 2022 4:47 pm

In related news, HSBC just announced Greta Thunberg and Pope Francis have been appointed to its board of directors.

michael hart
May 23, 2022 5:58 pm

Just as I commented on the original article, “Boy is he in trouble now.”

Chris Nisbet
May 23, 2022 6:54 pm

I wonder if the people who applauded at the end of the speech are suddenly a bit nervous about their job security right now.

Walter Sobchak
May 23, 2022 7:32 pm

Lots of comment on this video today:

Roger Pielke Jr. says:

In one sense, Kirk is just the latest person to get crossways with the climate lobby and to suffer career repercussions as a result. In another sense, far more significantly, this episode is indicative of the deep pathologies of a community that often seems to value political fealty over intellectual substance.

Economist John Cochrane of the Hoover Institution says:

Just how quickly this evidently clear out of the box thinker, willing to buck the trend and go with fundamentals, finds another job will be a good test of whether there is any competition left in the big bank financial arena.

May 23, 2022 9:12 pm

re: “Kirk … complained about having to spend time ‘looking at something that’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years’ ”

Seriously? Banks make all kinds of loans and investments that cover 20 to 30 year time horizons, all the time. Heck, even the overwhelming majority of simple home mortgages are on that time frame.

Looking at what’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years is standard banking practice. Any banker who childishly whines, for any reason, climate change or otherwise, about “having to spend time looking at something that’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years”, fully deserves to be shown the door.

And shame on WUWT for “supporting” such obviously foolish banking practice incompetence.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  MGC
May 24, 2022 1:36 pm

Your comment only makes any sense if you believe that a climate emergency is going to engulf the World in the next 30 years. That’s what he was railing against. So shame on you…

Rod Evans
May 23, 2022 11:03 pm

Well, as predicted when this first aired a couple of days back here is another Kirk determined to “boldly go”
We must applaud his open honesty. He would have known what was going to happen the moment he put the final power point slide into his presentation.
The conformity with establishment rules, the banking fraternity have adopted, makes any maverick or off script activity unacceptable to them.
You can only imagine how frustrating it must have been, for someone like Kirk with rational reasoning ability having to bow to the altar of Greta every time before an investment decision could be taken.
Good luck to him. The world needs as many brave honest people prepared to speak truth to power, as we can muster.

Greg Shark
May 23, 2022 11:46 pm

in South Africa HSBC were caught up in the great ‘state capture’ and money laundering scheme of the guptas ….. honesty?

May 24, 2022 2:51 am

He’s not as much removed for speaking the truth as for squandering a HSBC slice of the pie Mark Carney $7 trillion opportunity.


May 25, 2022 5:07 pm

lol he didn’t even make the vanilla mainstream Judith/Roy/Nic skeptic case

or even the “lukewarmist” case

just the “not catastrophic in the next 20 years” case

but you can’t even hint that the Emperor might be a little underdressed

May 28, 2022 10:59 pm

From The Guardian article:

“Sadly, he’s probably not the only bad apple within HSBC given its record of funding climate destruction.”

HSBC Asset Management’s chief executive, Nicolas Moreau, said in a statement that Kirk’s remarks “do not reflect the views of HSBC Asset Management nor HSBC Group in any way”, and reiterated the bank’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“HSBC regards climate change as one of the most serious emergencies facing the planet, and is committed to supporting its customers in their transition to net zero and a sustainable future.”

This is what fanatical fascism looks like…Cultural Revolution-worthy, get out the dunce caps.

Plus, I think they fired him…why not, he’s a Denier…the worst of the worst…get in line and do as you’re told peasants.

May 29, 2022 10:28 am

This may be the Gift we have been waiting for!!!! In this video Stuart KIrk challenges the previous 2 analysts to put up or shut up. HSBC allowed the other 2 analysis to promote indefensible positions and suspended the guy that actually provided evidence to back his position. In a court of law, HSBC will have to defend what the other 2 analysts said, and refute Stuart Kirk. That won’t happen. My bet is they will settle, and Kirk will be the winner.

This also puts all of ESG at risk. No one will promote a known fraud in the financial world. Their fiduciary risks make it highly unprofitable to promote a known lie.

Reply to  CO2isLife
May 29, 2022 11:34 am

This is the other analyst that he challenged. It should be like shooting fish in a barell.

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