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

Did HSBC Stuart Kirk Kill the Climate Investment Industry?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Did Stuart Kirk’s presentation strip away a legal defence of feigned ignorance from financial advisors who sell dubious green investments?

Imagine if hypothetically in the early days of the frenzy which led to the GFC / Subprime Mortgage Crash, a senior banker had very publicly announced everyone who invests in Subprime mortgages would eventually lose their money, had explained in detail what the problem was, and had concluded that based on their carefully reasoned argument the investments had no genuine value. Then in 2008, when all the spinning plates crashed, everyone who purchased subprime mortgage products could have sued to get their money back. Bankers who sold subprime would have been open to accusations from lawyered up clients that they committed fraud, that they knew some of their clients would lose money, before they sold those high risk subprime financial products.

Stuart Kirk’s broadside attack on the green investment industry may have done just this to the green investment industry. His attack may have stripped financial advisers who sell dubious green investments of their legal cover.

Why HSBC’s response to Kirk’s climate speech was damaging to responsible investment

In a bid to manage the PR fallout from the explosive presentation on climate change by head of responsible investment Stuart Kirk, HSBC’s blunt response may have done more damage to public discourse than his comments themselves.

By Daniel Flatt
May 26, 2022 updated 27 May 2022 9:56am

  • After Stuart Kirk, HSBC Global Asset Management’s head of responsible investment, argued that climate risk was overplayed, his comments were swiftly disavowed by HSBC’s top executives and he was suspended.
  • Many are sceptical about the assertions by HSBC group CEO Noel Quinn and others in the leadership team about the group’s view on climate risk and its commitment to achieving net zero.
  • Several institutional investor groupings preferred not to comment to Capital Monitor on the situation, but Kirk had raised several important points worthy of further debate.

What a difference a 16-minute presentation on climate change makes. The now-infamous speech by Stuart Kirk, head of responsible investment at HSBC Global Asset Management, last week on why investors have more things to worry about today than they do in 20 years’ time might well be remembered for a similarly long period.

What is less likely to stick in the memory is the financial group’s response. It should do, though, because it was an equally brazen act of self-defence that will have wider ramifications for how financial institutions tackle public discourse on climate change.

Without raking over the finer details – as has been done expansively already – we will underline one thing: Kirk made it abundantly clear he believes climate change is real, but it is not a financial risk worth worrying about.

The resultant public outcry was huge. Many investors and climate experts – and others besides – voiced their horror on social media at what they felt was an ill-conceived point of view. What’s more, existing and prospective clients of the firm are seen as likely to increase their due diligence of asset managers’ climate strategies as a result.

Read more: https://capitalmonitor.ai/opinion/hsbc-response-to-kirks-climate-speech/

If you haven’t watched Stuart Kirk’s presentation, I strongly urge you to do so – it might not be there forever.

If Stuart Kirk’s devastating accusations are correct, in my opinion his words could be interpreted as suggesting the inputs to financial models which predict a demand for the climate investment products currently being sold are being heavily manipulated to produce a preconceived outcome. Stuart appeared to claim he is being “pressured” to add unrealistic assumptions to climate financial models, to “move the needle” on predicted economic harm from climate change.

If there turns out to be no genuine need for green climate investments, and that fact was hidden because as Stuart seemed to suggest, bank financial models are being heavily manipulated to create a fake impression of need – Stuart has effectively let the cat out of the bag.

Stuart’s presentation means there is public domain evidence of problems. Financial advisors can no longer claim they were as surprised as everyone else, if the value of the green investment products they are selling collapses.

Anyone who loses money on green investments potentially has a strong case, if they try to sue their financial adviser to get their money back. All they need to do is point to Stuart’s presentation, and argue that anyone with expert knowledge of the climate investment industry should have been aware there were problems, at the time the investment products were sold. At the very least Stuart’s presentation is prompting “increased due diligence” – more detailed oversight of the assumptions which are being fed into the future value projections of climate investments.

Note I’m not an investment advisor or a lawyer, so please don’t quote me on your lawsuit – but I think there is a real possibility that when people look back on the history of green investments, Stuart Kirk may quietly be recognised as the hero who saved us from the worst of the coming green GFC, the banker who put the pebble on the rails of train green before it reached its full potential as a global economy wrecking investment bubble.

Stuart, you’re my hero mate.

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Brad-DXT
May 29, 2022 10:14 pm

Did HSBC Stuart Kirk Just Kill the Climate Investment Industry?Let’s hope so.

Now let’s find someone to speak out against ESG and how it is against fiduciary standards for investment firms.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
Reply to  Brad-DXT
May 29, 2022 11:02 pm

I beleive that the Attorney General of Kentucky has stated that.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
May 29, 2022 11:24 pm

I meant someone in the financial investment world.
There’s got to be some level headed investment advisor that would mirror what the AG of Kentucky says. The quicker one pipes in, the sooner the charade fails.

another ian
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 2:07 am

IIRC Florida has an oar in this too

Scissor
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 5:46 am

Excellent essay. Your reference to the subprime mortgage debacle reminded me of the following.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 6:47 am

Thank you for this Eric,
As I recall, suspended HSBC banker Stuart Kirk even accepted the global warming false nonsense, but only said it was not that serious a crisis – not that costly and far in the future. Then he was publicly rebuked and suspended by his woke boss. Kabuki theatre!

Most of the money guys I know just “go-with-the-flow”, can see no more than 30 minutes into the future and are somewhat innumerate. Most are Commerce grads – few Physicists or Mathematicians. Those who failed out of Engineering went into Commerce.
Regards, Allan

I recently sent an abridged version of the following to the public LinkedIn page of Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive at HSBC.
[excerpt]
Mr. Noel Quinn,
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 endeavour.

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.
Calgary
https://energy-experts-international.com/

Gyan1
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 7:47 am

A PHD today is proof you have allowed yourself to be indoctrinated. Success in education is measured on how well you can repeat what you are told. Smart people who accept false narratives as being true tend to more deluded than the average person because they can find more examples in support of their beliefs. They have been told all their lives how smart they are so the closed loop of perception is more fixed.

Intelligence is the ability to see how cause and effect works to bring everything into being and being open to new information so understanding increases with complexity. People who self identify as being smart tend to think they know things rather than being open to whole system thinking.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 8:16 am

How many of these have beach front mansions that send a warning to us climate denier plebs?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 9:30 am

“…most of them kept their views to themselves – they were there to make money.”

Money Changes Everything

Even the professional honesty and integrity of certain scientists

John Garrett
Reply to  Brad-DXT
May 30, 2022 3:42 am

There are plenty. You needn’t worry about finding someone. While they may not exist at BlackRock or GMO (f/k/a Grantham Mayo Otterloo), there are literally thousands who are climate “realists.”

Dave Fair
May 29, 2022 10:15 pm

Thanks for the analysis, Eric. Lets hope this is just the first of many dominos.

Mr.
May 29, 2022 10:20 pm

In a similar vein, I asked a lifelong buddy, board member of a large cap corporation, if I should be worried about ESG impacting my stockholding.

He said they have to be seen to be woke-friendly, but if ESG ever looks like costing them any serious reduction in profitability or growth, ESG will be parked alongside last year’s Christmas tree.

Brian
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 29, 2022 11:22 pm

The “Owl” market, everyone wants to sell, but “ to who to who to who” as everyone rushes for the exit door LOL!

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 12:38 am

Where are the clients’ yachts?

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 30, 2022 1:32 am

At the bottom of Torquay Harbour

The BBC is gloating while completely not saying whose yacht it was, whether it had Lithium batteries on board or what/who may have caused it
While self-inflicting Severe Knickeritis Twistidus over a few gallons of diesel

Childishness in extremis

My take
It’s quite obvious that ‘someone’ imagines they are ‘helping Ukraine’ in this act of pettiness

JeffC
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
May 30, 2022 2:21 am
Mike Lowe
May 29, 2022 10:25 pm

That’s an interesting viewpoint, which will be worth watching. Many of the readers here will agree that Green investments are risky, based as they are on much false “science”

Herbert
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 12:27 am

Eric,
Who was it who said,
” If the climate science is found to be flawed, the scientists will blame the politicians, the politicians will blame the scientists and everyone will blame the media.”

Sommer
Reply to  Herbert
May 31, 2022 5:10 am

What happens when the media is financially supported by the government and the government is ‘penetrated’ by the World Economic Forum, as it is in Canada right now, according to Klaus Schwab?

Cheshire Red
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 5:53 am

Straight out of The Big Short.

Sommer
Reply to  Eric Worrall
May 30, 2022 6:30 pm

Isn’t the interest rate projection the detail that Kirk exposes that would make this financial fraud, especially if the interest rate projection is dictated by politicians who are imbedded in the WEF.

Rick C
Reply to  Mike Lowe
May 30, 2022 9:34 am

Just came across this yesterday. Anti-awoke investment fund that’s challenging the ESG nonsense. Maybe they’ll hire Mr. Kirk.

“Strive Asset Management, backed by Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel and ex-biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy, seeks to take on “the three largest U.S. asset managers — BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street,” arguing the firms have caused “consumer harms” such as high gas prices and pushed unfavorable social agendas, according to a press release p pool announcing the company’s launch.”

J.R.
May 29, 2022 10:41 pm

“Did HSBC Stuart Kirk Just Kill the Climate Investment Industry?”
I sure hope so!

J.R.
Reply to  J.R.
May 29, 2022 10:47 pm

As I see it, the “climate investment industry” is a house of cards standing on a foundation of shifting sands.

j t
Reply to  J.R.
May 30, 2022 12:59 am

… and there aren’t even any real cards … they’re virtual cards, created by falsified data, held up by hurricane force hot air … even the shifting sands are CGI!!

Frank
Reply to  J.R.
May 31, 2022 4:50 am

If so, will he forever be remembered as Captain Kirk who killed the Borg Collective?

J.R.
Reply to  Frank
May 31, 2022 8:26 pm

An apt comparison.

Mark
May 29, 2022 10:48 pm

Another academic website devoted to wasting public resources by playing with models. Some people never left preschool.

Gary Pate
May 29, 2022 10:55 pm

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

Chris Nisbet
May 29, 2022 11:10 pm

I wonder if Stuart is looking to start his own investment business.

Oldseadog
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
May 30, 2022 2:02 am

If he does I’ll be looking at his prospectus.

Mr.
Reply to  Oldseadog
May 30, 2022 7:45 am

Oh please OSD – this is a family blog!

Mark
Reply to  Chris Nisbet
May 30, 2022 2:10 am

Matbe.

Steve Case
May 29, 2022 11:46 pm

 Kirk made it abundantly clear he believes climate change is real, but it is not a financial risk worth worrying about.
_____________________________________________

And I believe climate change is real for the simple reason that climate has always changed, so a definition of what is meant by “climate change” above would be enlightening.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steve Case
May 30, 2022 4:37 am

” so a definition of what is meant by “climate change” above would be enlightening.”

No, they don’t want to be nailed down to a specific defintion. They want “climate change” to mean whatever they want it to mean at the time. It’s a way of confusing the issues. Legitimate scientists would not be confusing the issues, they would be trying to clarify the issues.

Steve Case
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 30, 2022 4:47 am

Excellent point, thanks for the reply.

A quick Google search on “Climate Change Definition” finds:

cli·mate change
noun
a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.



william Johnston
Reply to  Steve Case
May 30, 2022 7:23 am

It is called *climate change* for the same reason they call CO2 carbon. Way too many people are ignorant of the difference and accept any *solution* to save them from some imaginary boogie man.

Harry Passfield
Reply to  william Johnston
May 30, 2022 1:44 pm

They call CO2 Carbon because it’s black: they need a bogey-man to frighten the kids.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Harry Passfield
May 31, 2022 4:45 am

A real scientist would distinguish between CO2 and Carbon.

Jeroen B.
May 29, 2022 11:53 pm

I’ve actually saved this video in case it does get memory holed – but damn he just kept on firing broadside after broadside at the doomsters. Go Stuart Kirk!!

Derg
Reply to  Jeroen B.
May 30, 2022 3:30 am

It was awesome.

Hans Henrik Hansen
Reply to  Jeroen B.
May 30, 2022 4:03 am

HOW did you save it??

Reply to  Hans Henrik Hansen
May 30, 2022 4:29 am

Search [How to save YouTube videos] using one of the more independent search engines

Jeroen B.
Reply to  Hans Henrik Hansen
May 30, 2022 5:08 am

I’ve got a firefox plugin that lets me do that.

Hans Henrik Hansen
Reply to  Jeroen B.
May 30, 2022 7:15 am

Works fine – many thanks! 🙂

DaveinCalgary
Reply to  Jeroen B.
May 30, 2022 8:05 am

An amazing presentation, you can hear much built up frustration in his voice.

The youtube disclaimer at the bottom of the video subtly suggesting the video is incorrect made my blood absolutely boil over. The Big Brother nitwit that put that there imagines they know more about the subject matter than I do deserves every bit of bad fortune that comes their way.

Stephen Skinner
May 30, 2022 12:12 am

Downloading Stuart Kirk’s YouTube will eliminate the ability for this video to be censored, if FT or YouTube decide to remove it. Over the course of the WHO’s Wuhan Flu cultural revolution it became almost a matter of course to download any well thought out rebuttal of the ‘narrative’ as YouTube/Facebook or whatever would remove the content. I even had comments removed almost as I was typing.

Doonman
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
May 30, 2022 7:38 pm

Google owns Youtube and will not allow messaging it deems inaccurate to remain posted. Their motto “Do no evil” is truly laughable. They remove content, comments and shadowban routinely as well as post snide disclaimers and demonitise creators .

If they were honest about it they would rename the platform OurTube.

TonyG
Reply to  Doonman
June 1, 2022 7:26 am

Doonman, they officially ditched “Do no evil” a few years ago. Makes you wonder why. (as if it’s not obvious)

DiggerUK
May 30, 2022 1:29 am

All sensible people accept that the climate constantly changes. It’s what it does.
Humans have always adapted to our world. It’s what we do to survive, and boy do we do it well.

His reference to Amsterdam being 2metres below sea level exposes the piffle about sea level rises. It is no danger, just adapt.

The technology to allow us to live with the consequences of rising sea levels has been developed over centuries in the Netherlands. For those who don’t know, a third of the Netherlands is below sea level…_

https://www.netherlands-tourism.com/netherlands-sea-level/

zee
May 30, 2022 1:30 am

Stuart Kirk’s broadside attack on the green investment industry may have done just this to the green investment industry. His attack may have stripped financial advisers who sell dubious green investments of their legal cover.

Scissor
Reply to  zee
May 30, 2022 6:01 am

Everyone is falling for it. I just took a flight on United and OMG their wokism over “the climate problem” is sickening.

Buyer beware may indeed be just the message to bring needed objective rationality to this issue.

Simonsays
May 30, 2022 1:42 am

I dont think he is messiah who going to lead us out of the climate change abyss. But he is a breath a fresh for calling out the BS of the doom day cult. But I get the feeling he is simply sick of doing pointless climate change risk assessment documents and just want to make a bucket load of money out of “the transition” as he calls it at the end of the video.

Derg
Reply to  Simonsays
May 30, 2022 3:31 am

Honesty is refreshing.

Peta of Newark
May 30, 2022 1:42 am

Where is the Stuart Kirk of healthcare?

Big Green is a mere tiddler compared to the $6 Trillion grubbing & gouging that goes on annually inside US Big Pharma.
Because Big Pharma does nothing to actually cure people, vast amounts of its products just cover up symptoms, make the disorders worse and milk the patients for every penny they can for as long as they can.
In collusion with Government and The Federal Reserve in particular

That is what Big Green is trying to emulate = to get The Fed to print them as much money as it does everyone else
and they’re off to ‘quite a good start’ eh not?

fretslider
Reply to  Peta of Newark
May 30, 2022 4:11 am

“Where is the Stuart Kirk of healthcare?”

I think the answer to that is quite straightforward. Lockdowns were imposed and there were only zoom/teams gatherings. Any deviation from the lockdown line was censored and often labelled as anti vax etc to demonise alternative approaches. Scientists from distinguished universities – ie the Great Barrington declaration – were publicly mocked and derided as cranks.

Kirk, I would argue, sneaked this one through.

Last edited 3 months ago by fretslider
fretslider
May 30, 2022 2:28 am

“If Stuart Kirk’s devastating accusations are correct”

They are pretty much bang on the money (sic) and the penalty for heresy is excommunication.  

I remember how people used to pride themselves on being strong and resilient. But several decades of indoctrination in schools and universities have fostered a culture of vulnerability, climate anxiety and induced gender related software glitches.

“Once, only soldiers had PTSD. Now authors pull it out of the bag after a bad review. One she / they person of my acquaintance identified as LGBTQWERTY – then upon getting married to a man announced that ‘they’ were ‘neurodiverse’. It’s as though some people can’t stand to be ordinary. But why not become extraordinary through your achievements, by what you do rather than what you are? Such self-diagnoses are as sad as giving yourself a nickname.”

https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/05/30/the-rise-of-the-worried-well/

Kirk’s presentation is up against socially engineered insanity and induced neuroses. Top man for risking it all for some truth. 

Last edited 3 months ago by fretslider
TonyG
Reply to  fretslider
June 1, 2022 8:42 am

announced that ‘they’ were ‘neurodiverse’”

WTF does that mean?
(and I looked up “neurodiversity” – it’s not a condition that one can have)

ozspeaksup
May 30, 2022 2:29 am

the new age ENRON
and the insurers are making billions off it as well

John Garrett
May 30, 2022 3:46 am

As I have repeatedly written and said, the biggest risk comes from the proxy voting power of a handful of gargantuan investment managers and institutions such as BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity and the massive state, union and municipal pension funds like CalPERS and NYS retirement systems.

Duane
May 30, 2022 4:04 am

This is an interesting but predictable incident of an investment bank making a “gaffe”, which for politicians is when they accidentally tell the truth … or they intentionally tell the truth and their staffers try to dismiss it as a gaffe and their politician having “mis-spoke”.

It is also interesting that the Federal government and many state governments have for at least four decades promoted “woman owned businesses” and “minority owned businesses” and “black owned businesses” by setting aside quotas for such businesses in their contracting programs, knowing full well that many of the woman, minority, or black “owners” were just a front for others who really owned and controlled the businesses. That was fraud perpetrated by both the fake owners and by the government, of zero or more likely negative value to the taxpayers.

Yet, I don’t recall the financial industry going all in to promote investments in the so-called “disadvantaged business enterprises” … likely because the professionals recognized the DBEs as poor disreputable investment vehicles. Meanwhile today the major investment banks are pushing the green energy industry which are even more scammy than many DBEs. This is seemingly out of character.

Why so?

Last edited 3 months ago by Duane
Vuk
May 30, 2022 4:15 am

Hi Eric
I’m pleased that you are highlighting the Stuart Kirk’s possible effect on the ESG investments, wishing him good luck.
His future comments on the subject might have great difficulty in reaching wider audience, depriving smaller investors of a realistic prospects.
This website has thousands and thousands readers all over English speaking world, therefore as an editor I would suggest that you might consider inviting Stuart to do occasional essay for the WUWT readers, if need be anonymously since there is no censorship of views and opinions here.
https://uk.linkedin.com/in/stuart-kirk-267551b6

Russell
Reply to  Vuk
May 30, 2022 4:42 pm

What Stuart really needs is some good HR advice as he progresses through the “demotion/dismissal” process. If he takes HSBC to court (for wrongful HR treatment), a number of experts will be called to give evidence about the “facts” of the matter. Now, if he calls the “right” experts, he could do a fair bit more legal damage to the climate catastrophe cause.
His defense should focus on the financial catastrophe of fossil fuels and the peril of green investments. And for the sake of the world he should not agree to a payout settlement.

Gerry, England
May 30, 2022 4:20 am
DaveS
Reply to  Gerry, England
May 30, 2022 4:57 am

Good spot. The BoE is already lacking in credibility. Carney was a green zealot, his successor has thus far been a nonentity.

IanE
Reply to  DaveS
May 30, 2022 5:40 am

Yep: but at ~£500K a year, I suspect he doesn’t care!

Matthew Sykes
May 30, 2022 4:47 am

The resultant public outcry was huge. Many investors and climate experts – and others besides – voiced their horror on social media at what they felt was an ill-conceived point of view. ”

What, really? Actual climate experts believe the RCP 8.5 hype? Come on, they know 2 to 3 is most likely.

fretslider
Reply to  Matthew Sykes
May 30, 2022 5:05 am

Actual climate experts believe the RCP 8.5 hype? Come on, they know 2 to 3 is most likely.”

These climate experts, as they like to be called, are no different to the blind men and the elephant. Just that much more full of it.

MJB
May 30, 2022 4:52 am

I don’t know who Sharon is, but she must be fuming. Great talk, and interesting premise in this post.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 30, 2022 5:22 am

#HSBCKnew

BobM
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
May 30, 2022 7:50 am

and –

#NASAKnew

Cheshire Red
May 30, 2022 5:50 am

As a risk assessment manager surely he’s doing both his bank and his customers the ultimately service of accurately assessing any alleged climate change risk?

The fact he dismissed the risk as irrelevant, due to human ingenuity and innovation, is neither here nor there.

yirgach
May 30, 2022 5:52 am

So now many more investment managers will be able to say “RCP 8.5” with real feeling!

Bruce Cobb
May 30, 2022 6:08 am

He’s wrong about what he calls “the science”, as well as our “need to adapt to climate change”, by which he means “manmade climate”, which doesn’t exist. But at least he pooh-poohs the idea of a “climate emergency”.

RevJay4
May 30, 2022 6:51 am

Supposedly really smart folks making mega bucks off of a “science” which has no basis in reality, as being the fault of humans and controllable by just the right application of technologies not yet invented nor proven.
Quite simple, really. Stuart Kirk just exposed another element of the scam, and it will likely kill it for the entire field of grifters.
Hopefully, he has good security cuz they will come after him. One way or another. Kirk has destroyed their cash cow and they must make an example of him.
Just sayin’.

Mr.
Reply to  roaddog
May 30, 2022 7:58 am

BLM must have used this scam as their template.

May 30, 2022 7:04 am

“.. are being heavily manipulated to produce a preconceived outcome.”

This tactic has worked incredibly well with regard to making junk science seem legitimate, so its application to junk investments is not surprising.

R Taylor
May 30, 2022 7:08 am

For the sake of general prosperity, I wish Start Kirk’s presentation was significant, but I don’t think it was. ESG investors are there to get their share of political redistribution of wealth, and “moral money”, etc. is just window dressing. The only thing I would do as an investment manager is add some sort of disclaimer about “scientific uncertainty” and, as always, keep my eye on the nearest chair for when the music stops.

Pflashgordon
Reply to  R Taylor
May 31, 2022 4:40 am

ESG – Emissaries of Satan’s Gloom

Gyan1
May 30, 2022 7:28 am

Due diligence is malignant cancer to the false narratives fraudsters are pushing. Cancelling sane voices like Stuart outs them as swindlers.

The brainwashed need to be taught that censorship only serves to retard human development. Those who engage in it are supporting authoritarian control to the detriment of freedom and well being.

DaveinCalgary
May 30, 2022 7:42 am

“Imagine if hypothetically in the early days of the frenzy which led to the GFC / Subprime Mortgage Crash, a senior banker had very publicly…explained in detail what the problem was, and had concluded that … the investments had no genuine value.”

We don’t have to imagine as Peter Schiff’s now infamous speech to the Mortgage Bankers of America conference in 2006 clearly spelled it all out. Worth watching if only to see how nobody learned much from that collapse!

Watch his brilliant forecast here. Amazing economics lesson.

Last edited 3 months ago by DaveinCalgary
BobM
Reply to  DaveinCalgary
May 30, 2022 9:46 am

Correct, and many Wall St. firms WERE SUED successfully, because they had different departments in the same company pushing the CDO’s (Collateralized Debt Obligations) to one group of clients as good investments while another department was warning other clients that they were bad investments. That was fraud.

Standard & Poors and other ratings firms were sued over their valuations that were way too rosey, especially for the less valuable and much more risky tranches, but got away with it as they were merely “opinions” for investors to consider.

Lehman Brothers (bankruptcy) and Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch (fire sales) went bust basically overnight from being multi-billion asset companies, with huge amounts of sub-prime MBS/CDO asset holdings being a large reason.

The sub-prime marketplace had feasted on selling homes that new homeowners could often not afford. No or below-market interest rates via 3 and 5 year ARMS, even reverse-collateral loans were made, with the hope that future rates or higher home prices (higher collateral value, lower loan-to-value percent) would make it all work out. When it didn’t, the crash came almost overnight.

September of 2008 was the month with the largest total of ARMS (3 and 5 yr) renewing at higher/normal rates, and the On-Time Payment rate plummeted. US housing mortgage payment rates were historically around 98% each month, and September came in at 96%. Some tried to spin it as only a 2% reduction, but it was in fact a 100% increase in non-payment, and the crash was on. Eventually on-time-payment dropped to as low as 94%. MBS-backed securities such as CDO’s often dropped by 30-50% in market value, destroying billions and billions of assets and company valuations as a brutal result of daily mark-to-market accounting rules for financial firms.

There were lots of people that saw this coming, just not enough to do anything about it.

RickWill
Reply to  BobM
May 30, 2022 4:25 pm

AIG was paid a total of USD182bn to avoid going bust.

The lesson there is to be too big to fail.

It is happening now in the UK with electricity retailer Bulb Energy but small change (so far) compared with AIG.

It is likely that Australian electricity and gas retailers, without generators, will suffer liquidity issues. The wholesale prices of electricity and gas have quadrupled this year and there is a limit to how fast these increases can be passed on to consumers – looming liquidity crunch.

William A Powell
May 30, 2022 8:01 am

It seems ridiculous to me that politicians would have us spend trillions of today’s (tomorrow’s) dollars using today’s technology to fix a problem expected to occur decades away according to prognosticators who’ve been wrong on virtually every single forecast. We went from horse and buggy to landing on the moon in about seventy-five years. There is NO reason to think we won’t have the technology then to fix whatever problem eventually arises if indeed it ever actually does.

carey waiand
Reply to  William A Powell
May 30, 2022 2:07 pm

wrong thinking. there is also no reason to think we will always find future break throughs in technology. I agree with the rest of your take.

BobM
Reply to  carey waiand
May 30, 2022 4:59 pm

I don’t think “break throughs” in technology are necessary, nor were they mentioned. In time, human ingenuity and the free market creates new technologies, adapts, engineers, and replaces the obsolete and un-economic and along and along fixes serious problems as a matter of course, not task force.

RickWill
Reply to  William A Powell
May 30, 2022 4:09 pm

There is NO reason to think we won’t have the technology then to fix whatever problem eventually arises if indeed it ever actually does.

I have some concern that significant resources are being misdirected.

The energy squeeze is happening again now. The western world is not investing in fossil fuels at the rate needed to satisfy immediate needs. There is massive wasted investment in technology that uses more energy than it generates.

Andy Pattullo
May 30, 2022 9:13 am

Every once in a while, someone burdened with integrity and a reluctance to misinform, can’t resist the opportunity to tell an unpopular truth. Fortunately the truth always finds a way to the surface of human thought.

RickWill
May 30, 2022 3:53 pm

If Stuart Kirk’s devastating accusations are correct, 

Why the “if”. The whole GHE stuff is pure nonsense. It follows that any investment based on this rubbish is also nonsense.

Earth has remained habitable to a myriad of lifeforms for billions of years due to the process of deep convection. Open ocean surfaces cannot exceed 32C with the present atmospheric mass and will not exceed 30C for more than a few weeks. Deep convection is the reason water remains as liquid over a large portion of the globe.

China has realised that wasting resources on weather dependent energy is a dumb idea. They have refocused on coal and onward to nuclear.

John Kelly
May 30, 2022 4:01 pm

That was a spectacular presentation, but did people notice the very muted applause at the conclusion. No wonder this poor bloke has been suspended. I’m sure he tossed up with to tell the truth or to lie and follow the HSBC company line in putting his presentation together. Well done to this very brave man. And his last slide was an absolute corker. It just doesn’t matter, stocks will keep going up at 6%pa regardless of the climate emergency rubbish.

Gary Pearse
May 30, 2022 8:01 pm

So who are you going to believe? The outrage of global governance and climateering data mangler twitterati or a guy who heads “Responsible Investment” for one of the world’s global investment banking giants?

He deserves a huge thank you from the investing public. He didn’t have to stick his neck out on this for his own account. He just happens to be a scrupulously honest fellow who can’t bear to remain a silent promoter of sanctioned fraud.

The beauty and power of his indictment of phoney climate risks is the simplicity of his analysis using everyday, fundamental financial arithmetic. Using a very conservative GDP growth rate to the year 2100 means the economy will increase from 4x to 10x today’s and using economists’ environmental damage costs of 3.6% to 5% of 2100’s GDP won’t even be noticed!

There is nothing for a critic to get a grip on! All they can do is shout and scream and cry and bang their shoe on the table on twitter. Now that’s the kind of parry, thrust and wit we can count on from those who want to govern our lives.

CO2Greens
May 30, 2022 9:38 pm

Let’s hope this will help stop wasteful misdirected capital for religious reasons.

John B
May 31, 2022 4:08 am

‘ suggesting the inputs to financial models which predict a demand for the climate investment products currently being sold are being heavily manipulated to produce a preconceived outcome.’

No… no… don’t say… a hockey stick appearance?

Ian Smith
May 31, 2022 5:13 am

The financials are determined by the government policy and regulatory framework rather than by a free market and sensible planning of energy infrastructure.

The government can stay dishonest and irrational far longer than you can stay solvent.

Whether long term global warming exists, is caused by anthropogenic co2, or would be harmful to any meaningful degree is largely meaningless.

toorightmate
May 31, 2022 5:25 am

An excellent presentation.
The truth hurts too much for most left leaning folk.
Will someone tell me a bit more about this catastrophic climate change and planet heating we are experiencing.
Will someone tell me why the 1990 temperature predictions from models were just so wrong.
Will someone tell me why we have to accept that changing raw temperature data from decades/centuries past is good scientific practice.
The CO2 horseshit has to stop.

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