Welcome to Global Affairs, Inc., a weekly newsletter at the intersection of business and global affairs. Here are the most interesting, informative, and excellent stories and insights I discovered last week.
The FT’s “Moral Money” newsletter team outlines the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) themes that will have an impact on companies, institutions, and industries in 2023, surveying Asia, Europe and the Americas. The forecasted issues are summarised neatly, but with ESG funds underperforming in 2022, legal challenges being brought against allegations of corporate greenwashing, and growing anti-ESG sentiment in a number of US states, ESG in 2023 will likely not be as easy as A-B-C.
FINANCIAL TIMES | 2,559 words
Keep your friends close and your enemies further away. This appears to be the new adage as Western multinational corporations move from China to "friendlier" shores in light of geopolitical tensions where states are organising into political blocs of East and West. In the midst of this, companies must choose: to disentangle their manufacturing, supply chains, and sales from less-than-friendly states, or stay and risk being punished by governments that see them as unaligned politically.
FOREIGN POLICY | 1,423 words
The metaverse buzz is building. But in the version of reality we are currently living in, the legal bases underpinning how Meta collects and processes users' data without their consent for targeted ads are falling away like an eroding cliff face. Social media platforms' revenue models rely heavily on ad targeting, which is being exposed to mounting regulatory pressure. This is encapsulated in the company's almost €400 million fines for a breach of EU privacy rules. For other platforms operating in Europe, this could signal that justifications based on "necessity" or "legitimate interests" and not consent are crumbling ground—that is if European regulators can agree.
POLITICO | 770 words
BBC News | 25:34