News Roundups

PPP line shareholder pockets, fossils fall behind green investments, and more

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from September 28, 2020.

Publicly traded firms paid dividends, bought their own stock after receiving PPP loans to pay employees

Some publicly traded companies that received taxpayer-backed small business loans to pay their employees during the early weeks of the pandemic paid out millions to Wall Street investors in dividends and share buybacks, publicly available financial disclosures reviewed by The Washington Post show.

The findings reinforce long-standing concerns that the Paycheck Protection Program, an emergency stimulus fund offering low-interest, forgivable loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees, was accessed by financially healthy companies that could have gone without a bailout.

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Wells Fargo stays positive on oil/gas names as it looks to 'Shale 3.0'

Following a week where oil-focused names followed crude prices lower, Wells Fargo is plumbing for tickers of interest with the investment case in exploration and production "incrementally positive."

"With the impacts of Shale Wars 2.0 and COVID-19 having negatively impacted the energy sector (and E&P specifically) on both the supply and demand side, we see the YTD underperformance vs. the broader market as having skewed the risk/reward positive moving forward," the firm says.

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‘Investment in Fossil Fuels Yields Much Less Returns Than the Green Sector’

Dow Jones dropped ExxonMobil from its blue chip stock market index, a spot it had occupied since 1928. Major banks are talking, anyway, about divesting from oil and gas; hundreds of US institutions, including colleges, have done so. And, of course, hundreds of millions of people globally have spoken out, marched and agitated against a fossil fuel industry that is despoiling ecosystems, driving climate disruption, distorting international relations, and wreaking havoc on the lives and communities of mostly poor, mostly people of color around the world.

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Loud Calls For Global Shipping To Ditch Fossil Fuels And Meet Climate Goals

At UN Climate Week this week, calls have increased for shipping to urgently ditch fossil fuels to meet the planet’s climate goals.

The global shipping industry remains weakly regulated and is significantly off course to meet climate targets that scientists and the rest of the world all agree are needed to avoid runaway climate change.

A new report, entitled ‘Zero-Carbon for Shipping’ from leading international conservation organization Ocean Conservancy was launched at a virtual gathering of world leaders and decision-makers at Climate Week in New York this week.

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Opinion: Going green on bonds is best way to change behaviours

Hats off to those who want to change the world when investing their money. The irony, however, is that the most popular way to do it — owning relatively more shares in public companies that do relatively more good — does not change much at all. If you want to encourage better behaviour by investing in listed securities, you should invest in green bonds — preferably in emerging markets.

To understand why, think about how capital markets work from first principles. Companies raise money by issuing stocks and bonds. These then trade on what is known as the secondary market — the Hang Seng Index, say. Once raised, equity capital is permanent, although it can also be cancelled. Bonds, meanwhile, have a finite life by design.

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