Anti-woke investing opportunities

I don’t believe this is generally true. When I look at Tesla’s used inventory, they’re not that much cheaper than new, not enough for me to consider buying used. I think the depreciation was higher than usual only because Tesla dropped prices on the new cars, dragging down the used prices with it.

So the thing to consider is that Tesla could do it again a few times until prices stabilize (or in my mind, become comparable with ICE). I don’t know if other EV makers have done or plan to do the same. If not, then this shouldn’t be generalized.

I thought the faster depreciation could be caused by rapidly improving technology for EVs, and economy of scale and efficiency in manufacture. Also the EV landscape is becoming more competitive so that’d seem to put a bigger downward pressure on prices (especially if you take into account price/subsidies intervention by China or US). And then there is the impact from ever-changing subsidies on some EVs and not others. That could have been a part of the issue for Hertz.

The original owners of the cars on the lots bought at a much higher price point, so they experienced high depreciation. Who knows if there will be more price cuts? Demand for EV is dropping fast.
NPR tries to spin it but the bad news are there

Bad headlines for electric vehicles have been piling up lately.

Sales leveled off at around 9% of the new car market, and even dipped down at the start of the year. Hertz is selling off a bunch of EVs, citing low demand for them. Ford is slashing production of the F-150 Lightning. GM cut its near-term investment in EVs and is now bringing back plug-in hybrids, which run on electricity and gasoline.

Even Tesla, the all-electric juggernaut that has shaped the rise of EVs in the U.S., warned investors that it’s in between “growth waves” and has a quieter year ahead.

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This. Nobody I know of wants to bother with the hassle of finding an EV station on vacation, near enough to an airport so that you can charge the car prior to return (to avoid fees).

Avis has tried to stick me with a Tesla a couple times and I’ve declined.


DWAC, the SPAC trying to take Trump’s media business public, had a huge run the several weeks, as they finally overcame SEC stonewalling and look to be able to proceed with their merger in coming months.

At present lofty prices, Trump’s majority stake would be some $4-5B or so. More details below


The move comes as the Biden administration faces pressure on multiple fronts to weaken its electrification targets, in part because of slowing EV sales and also problems with public EV charging stations.

The New York Times first reported that the EPA is mulling such a change, which would mark a major election-year concession to automakers and labor unions. It comes as President Biden walks a political tightrope by balancing two high-profile priorities: fighting climate change and championing labor rights.

During a contentious strike last fall, the United Auto Workers sounded the alarm that a rapid shift to EVs could come at the expense of well-paying jobs. The union has been wary of EVs because they generally require fewer workers


The $Billions in losses by automobile manufacturers apparently are real money even for Apple


The bloom is definitely off the road (pun intended) for electric cars.

Even at the EPA?


Woke EVs in the news


Meanwhile, down in the heart of Texas

Blackrock is not amused

BlackRock Condemns Texas Fund’s Divestment of $8.5 Billion


Sounds like the move is only to get on the safe side of a Texas law. I agree that each state should look out for itself but the implementation seems that it could be counter-productive. Instead of basing the decision purely on performance of an investment and the overall financial impact on the state, it just follows blindly a state comptroller list regardless of financial consequences.

For a fiduciary, the argument for moving out of BlackRock cash investments because alternatives had better performance, makes total sense. But moving out of very profitable environmentally-friendly investments sounds anti-capitalistic to me. But maybe I misconstrue anti-woke and capitalistic neutrality.

Blackrock on the other hand, just uses E.S.G. principles for virtue signaling. They do not claim it gives higher returns as far as I know. They exclude whole sectors of the economy, like hydrocarbon fuels and materials, that generate good economic returns. They try to force companies to use criteria other than competence and character to hire employees. This clearly leads to lower economic returns. The state law is well based on objective criteria and the Texas board made a wide decision.


I’ll disagree. Emphasizing objectivity of criteria for defining what is boycotting seems an overreach. The information in the law is very limited on quantitative measures and includes a fair number of subjective judgement from a single source (the state Comptroller).

The law states that a company may be considered boycotting energy companies even if the company actively invests in energy companies. That’s very difficult to understand for me. Why would a financial company invest in companies it boycotts?

And the verification process seems arbitrary and opaque to me.

For example “The Comptroller also reviews information from MSCI for divestment listings relating to Iran, Sudan, foreign terrorist organizations, and the boycotting of Israel.” What does it have to do with boycotting Texas energy companies?

As far as being objective, it seems to me that there is plenty of room for subjective judgement: "Yes, the Comptroller may review and rely, as appropriate in the comptroller’s judgment, on publicly available information regarding financial companies. " Hardly a hard and fast measurement of energy company boycott.

Again I don’t have any skin in the game so I couldn’t care less what Texas school funds do but the process seems kinda weird that it’s not solely based on investment performance as a fiduciary.

Regardless of the rationale, the firing of Blackrock was the best one for the beneficiaries of the fund. Blackrock has long been a proponent of E.S.G. investing even though they have tried to walk it back recently when it became obvious it provides poor results. Despite their protestations, it’s pretty clear they are still proponents of this investing style

BlackRock’s Fink says he’s stopped using ‘weaponised’ term ESG

June 26 (Reuters) - BlackRock (BLK.N), opens new tab boss Larry Fink, at the forefront of the business world’s adoption of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards, has stopped using the term, saying it has become too politicized.

But the world’s largest asset manager hasn’t changed its stance on ESG issues, Fink told the Aspen Ideas Festival on Sunday.


I don’t believe them - fundamentally they believe in the progressive vision. I think they tried to walk it back not because ESG funds might or might not generate subpar results. They tried to walk it back because it was getting backlash that was hurting their bottom line, ie when some states and institutions choose to not invest with them, or divested from them, due to their pro-ESG stance and they wouldn’t have otherwise.


Coverage of the Trump spac, which is very close now to completing its merger with Truth Social and Trumps media businesses. Guess which one is for the US legacy media…


Trying to walk it back would seem worse to me. If they believe in that ESG vision, they should stick to it because they believe it’s the right thing to do in the long run. Switching their tack all the time to please both progressives and conservatives seems very unauthentic to me (not to mention lacking backbone). Just means they’re fake to start with and will just parrot whatever trend will boost their bottom line the most.

The Trump spac voted successfully for the merger yesterday and it’s approved, expecting to become DJT instead of DWAC next week.

Former President Donald Trump will soon be at the helm of a publicly traded company that will trade under the ticker “DJT,” after his initials, and boast a potential valuation of more than $5 billion

Trump’s stake alone is worth $3-4B at current prices, but he can’t easily sell that for 6 months. The Trump media business will receive $300m in cash to further its business goals.

This is a pretty big win for him, after fighting the SEC for 2 years to get approved, paying $10m’s in fines to settle minor charges, etc.


More bad news on battery cars


Don’t drink the ESG koolaid. Turns out McKinsey’s cherry picked papers on how great racial diversity is for the bottom line didn’t stand up to academic scrutiny.

McKinsey’s view that greater racial/ethnic diversity in a firm’s executive team drives better firm financial performance: “What our data shows is that companies that have more diverse leadership teams are more successful. And so the leading companies in our datasets are pursuing diversity because it’s a business imperative and driving real business results”


In short, a better data set shows no relationship between executive level racial diversity and various measures of corporate financial success, and casts doubt on the whole McKinsey methodology.