The SEC’s Green Name Game

Securities and Exchange Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
The agency is not — and should not be — in the business of deciding what is good for the environment and society.


hen considering the prospect of “green” finance, I’m often tempted to burst into song: Green, green, bo-bean, bo-na-na fanna, fo-fean, fee fi mo-mean. Green! Perhaps this can be attributed to my children, who are entranced by the rhymes in Shirley Ellis’s iconic song, “The Name Game.” Yet rather fortuitously, that song can actually help us in thinking about how to name investment products.

While determining what “green” means — or what qualifies as such — is not a new endeavor, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently begun to wrestle with it for investment products. As funds advertising themselves as …

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