Vivek Ramaswamy: Funding ESG Helped Bring Down SVB; Most Clients Don’t Even Know Their Asset Managers Are Investing in It

Craig Bannister | March 13, 2023 | 6:08pm EDT
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Vivek Ramaswamy

Funding ideological environmental, social and governance (ESG) causes, instead of the most profitable ventures, helped cause last week’s failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) – and most clients don’t even know their retirement account managers are investing in ESG, Republican 2024 presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says.

"Silicon Valley Bank just last year made a $5 billion commitment to sustainable finance to ensure a better and more sustainable planet," Ramaswamy told CNN on Sunday.

"If they had actually sought for a more sustainable balance sheet, they would have better done their job," he noted.

“SVB’s ESG report lists a litany of ‘cross-function working groups,’ including a ‘Sustainable Finance Group’ that monitors progress against SVB’s Climate Commitment & monitors ‘operational greenhouse gas reduction initiatives,’ Ramaswamy tweeted on Monday.



“Taxpayers shouldn’t vindicate SVB’s political hubris,” Ramaswamy wrote, responding to news of President Joe Biden’s announcement that the Biden Administration's FDIC will bail out SVB and its clients with more than the federally-protected $250,000 in the bank.

Included in his tweet is a clip from an interview with CNBC, in which he warns of how ESG investments hinder the growth of retirement account and pension values.

Ramaswamy said it’s fine if clients want their retirement fund managers to invest based on social causes – but, most don’t even know they’re doing it, and would be furious if they found out:

“If you ask most clients, do they know that their money is actually being used to advance these agendas, they will say, ‘No.’

“If you look at that new Biden rule change, in the Department of Labor, said that they were going to change the ERISA rules to allow retirement fund managers to promote ESG values. There’s a crucial distinction: there used to be a disclosure requirement that was proposed – they got rid of the disclosure requirement.

“And, you want to know why?

“If you tell most Americans that their money is going to be used to vote for their policies, they will say ‘Absolutely not.’”

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