The wall of money is enormous, and the media oblivious to the real flow from taxpayers to corporate welfare freeloaders.
The wall of money, part 23
Citigroup promised to spend, invest and loan $50 billion in 2007 and found it so easy, it managed to do it by 2013, three years ahead of schedule. This month it promised to send another $100 billion more towards “sustainability”.
How much of this is about being a green corporate citizen? Not much apparently. Citigroup are making the Citigroup buildings energy efficient, but what they didn’t say was whether they would stop investing in or taking money and profits from their fossil fuel customers. As it happens Citigroup might Big-Green, but they are also Big-Ungreen too, they were one of “the top providers of funding for the most damaging practices of the U.S. coal industry last year. “ Not that any journalist mentioned that when they repeated the press release.
The banks can sniff out a good subsidy — it’s money for jam, and they are happy to feed the machine that feeds them.
Easy money for “sustainability” will also generate thousands of scary press releases from each and every sub-project as they start up and report. Not only do banks thus get a slice of the $70 odd billion in annual subsidies, but every new renewable project instantly becomes another “vested interest” in the climate scare, and another lobbyist for big-government subsidies. The cycle feeds on itself. The constant media promotion counts as free advertising for corporate welfare. In addition, Citibank will profit handsomely if a global trading scheme takes off. The brokers in those markets make money on every trade, no matter the price.
So Citigroup use this as a way to paint themselves as green corporate citizens while they are actually sweeping in the profits of taxpayer funded subsidies which forcibly shift resources from the middle class to the elites. Don’t expect these banks to ever take the side of the taxpayer and protest about uncompetitive corporate welfare. Don’t expect most news outlets to do that either.
The press release:
New York – Citi announced today a landmark commitment to lend, invest and facilitate a total of $100 billion within the next 10 years to finance activities that reduce the impacts of climate change and create environmental solutions that benefit people and communities. Citi’s previous $50 billion goal was announced in 2007 and was met three years early in 2013.
Newspapers as advertorials pretending to be news
Who would question the intentions of major finance houses promoting themselves as “green” community players? Not most journalists, who repeated the Citigroup press release without a single skeptical question.
- Siri Srinivas at The Guardian dutifully cut and pasted the press release and found a few activists who pretend that there is large investor demand. In reality 97% of investor demand for renewables dried up in Australia as subsidies shut down, but don’t expect the old media to join those dots.
- Ehren Goossens (Sydney Morning Herald) parroted the press release and gave an activist non-profit group some free advertising space too.
- Business Spectator and Bloomberg New Energy Finance
The media is the problem. How many subscribers of these media-houses realize they are paying to be fed advertising disguised as “news”, and how many realize that the advertising is selling them pointless schemes that they have to pay for with taxes? If the media told subscribers how many hundreds or thousands of dollars a year they personally pay on fantasy programs to change the weather, the subsidy gig would be up in a few weeks.
Here’s more of the original press release green-spin.
With this $100 billion initiative, Citi will build on its leadership in renewable energy and energy efficiency financing to engage with clients to identify opportunities to finance greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and resource efficiency in other sectors, such as sustainable transportation. As part of a commitment to helping cities thrive during this period of unprecedented urban transformation, Citi will seek to finance and support activities that enable communities to adapt to climate change impacts and directly finance infrastructure improvements that increase access to clean water and manage waste, while also supporting green, affordable housing for clients, including in low- and moderate-income communities.
“Citi has demonstrated its deep commitment to not only taking environmental consequences into account, but also finding innovative ways to finance projects that lead to sustainable growth,” said Michael Corbat, Chief Executive Officer of Citi. “For more than 200 years, Citi’s mission has been to enable progress by facilitating economic growth and financing transformative projects. The core mission hasn’t changed, but the way we approach it has. Incorporating the principles of sustainability into everything we do improves our own operations, enhances our clients’ work, and contributes to a better world.”
h/t to Bulldust