ESG, Investing, and Corporate Finance: Some Basic Questions
Vol. 20, No. 2, 2022
by Bradford Cornell
This paper is devoted primarily to asking questions about the implications of the growing focus on ESG (environment, social and governance) for investing and corporate financial policy rather than offering answers. Many of the questions raised here were anticipated by Milton Friedman in his classic New York Times article. Although many critics now dismiss Friedman’s article as stogy and dated, I argue that the critical questions he raised remain unresolved today and lie at the core of much of the debate regarding ESG.