It's not enough to stop big banks and financial institutions from forcing businesses to abide by ESG rules. We also must protect the average consumer. Glenn speaks with Justin Haskins, the co-author of his new book, "Dark Future," about how banks have started secretly denying loans to people on the basis of ESG. Glenn and Justin are also joined by Florida State Representative Bob Rommel, who has been leading the charge to protect consumers in Florida from the ESG "cartel": "To me, it's just another form of discrimination."
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Justin Haskins is with us now. He is the coauthor of The Great Reset. And Dark Future.
Both of my New York Times best-selling books. And also research center, director for the heartland institute.
Socialism Research Center. How you are?
JUSTIN: Good morning, Glenn! I'm doing great. I'm in Stu's chair. We threw Stu out of the studio. He's terrible. I'm in the chair. And I have to tell you, this feels good, this feels right.
GLENN: Does it? Don't get too comfy.
You also brought with you Bob Rommel. Bob is the Florida state representative who has been fighting against ESG in Florida. And Florida has the model. Do you think?
JUSTIN: Oh, yes. Yes.
As you know, back when we put the Great Reset book together, and we realized that ESG was the key to the entire Great Reset puzzle. And you and I thought, this is pretty depressing. Because no one was going to do anything about it.
But we were convinced, no one was going to do anything about it.
Then the book came out.
And the states across the country, started enacting various ways of fighting back against ESG. But in many of those cases, we've had 14 different states.
That have put some kind of an anti-ESG legislation together.
Most of them are focused on making sure that government pensions and government contracts are not being used to promote ESG causes. That's really good.
GLENN: Sure. It's a start.
JUSTIN: That's really great. It's a start.
But if you really want to protect people, you have to protect consumers. You have to protect the individual.
And the only place where they have actually enacted a law that does this. That protects financial individuals from financial institutions, promoting ESGs in the state of Florida.
And Bob Rommel is here with us today in the studio.
He is the champion of that cause. He's the guy who led the charge in the House. And he is a personal hero. He really is. He's a personal hero. So thank you for being here, Bob.
GLENN: Bob, thank you so much for standing up for this.
I don't know why more states won't protect the consumer.
They will protect all the big guys. But it's the consumers. The little person, when they go to try to get a loan.
You know, the farmer that tries to go get a loan, and he's rejected because he's not doing everything he's supposed to do, ESG-wise.
And that consumer will never be told, it was because of ESG. So they can't sue them. They can't do anything about it.
BOB: Well, Glenn, thank you. And Justin, thank you for those kind words. I don't know if anybody called me a champion. But thank you. As an ex-banker, I know that if you control the capital, you make all the rules. And you do everything.
I sort of look at ESG. Some of the ESG rules. And some people that are telling me about it, two years ago. And then the incoming speaker, I told him about, we have to do something about this in Florida. We need to protect our citizens.
To me, it's just another form of discrimination.
GLENN: It is.
BOB: And as an ex-banker, when we did more mortgages for folks. You know, we couldn't discriminate based on race, color, creed, political belief. They got mortgages based on their ability to pay and their income.
GLENN: That's the way it should be.
BOB: That's the way it should be. That's how our country was built.
GLENN: And you always -- when the government messes with our banks.
And tell them, that you have to consider other things, it creates a system that is false. And it -- it creates the bubble that we had in '08. That was the United States government. Telling banks, you have to make more loans in these ways. Which the people couldn't afford, but the government was demanding the banks do it.
And luckily, that we had in Florida. We had a speaker, and we had a governor that wanted to do something.
Because the pushback was huge. And it was pushback on multiple sides. So Democrats -- and I believe it was a Democrat who came you up with ESG. They're great with coming up with these new words and this new terminology.
So the first thing is environment.
You know, environment. So, listen, everyone wants clean water, clean air. So they said, we have to do this. To save the environment, because if not, we're all going to die.
I don't know if anybody is listening. But we're all going to die.
GLENN: We will all die. It's just slower.
BOB: So then the social governance.
And what is social governance.
And you can look at a couple of the greatest American icon companies in the world.
That social governance has destroyed the value of their companies.
BOB: Disney and Anheuser-Busch.
GLENN: Coca-Cola is really bad too.
GLENN: Yeah. So me, as a businessperson. Whenever I hire somebody, I hire the best, the brightest, and the people who actually showed up to work.
And I never looked up at their race, or political beliefs.
I wanted to hire the best. And that's how our country was built. Our country was built on access to capital, and people like Thomas Edison. I know you have an issue with Thomas Edison.
GLENN: Thank you for noting that.
BOB: I know you do. We can debate whether that was the best technology or not.
But we need to make sure that the next inventors have access to capital. So whatever the next great invention, that will help civilization is available.
And when I saw what was happening, a friend of mine has a multi-national company, based on their worksheet that they have to fill out, to get capital.
And it had nothing to do with his business or the ability to pay. It was based on, how many transgender people do you have working here?
How much carbon footprint do you have?
What are you using to mitigate your carbon footprint?
And I said, there's something wrong here. And, you know what, in the end, it will hurt civilization. In Florida, we wanted to make sure we did something to protect our citizens.
GLENN: Okay. So now, does this actually -- if I'm a citizen and I go to a bank, and I feel like they've judged me on ESG. Does this cover me as a citizen of Florida?
JUSTIN: Yeah. So there's no doubt that the law. And they're going to challenge it.
We highly suspect banks are going to fight this. Because they want to be able to discriminate against people. That's what banks want the ability to do. And they're being pushed by the left and big asset managers.
But, yes. That's what the law is designed to do.
The law is designed to make sure that you are being discriminated against. That you have an ability to file a complaint with the government. So that the government makes sure that that doesn't happen.
Now, one of the problems that we have, and Rommel is trying to address this going forward, is how do we even know that that's going on?
How do we know that the bank -- because the bank may not just tell you. The bank might just deny you the loan and never tell you why.
And so we need to figure out a way to make sure that people know why they're being denied access to bank accounts and things like that.
So you want to talk a little bit about that plan that you have?
JUSTIN: Sure. We know we did. And we knew it would get challenged. And we had tremendous amount of pushback. And pushback from people I didn't even understand why they were pushing back.
As a matter of fact, one of the second in charge of BlackRock came to visit me.
The Commerce Chair in Florida. Which was kind of cool.
You know, he read my background. He says, you seem more like a Libertarian, you're a free market guy. Why are you interfering with business?
And I said, it sounds like you're interfering. And we actually had a great conversation.
And he was talking about, this is just free market business. And I said, well, let's talk about ESG.
I said, did you fly down here to visit me on a private plane?
And he said, yeah. As a matter fact -- I said, did you pick the most diverse pilot, or did you take the best pilot?
He goes, that doesn't matter.
I said, no, it does matter. I go, if you truly believe in this stuff, you'll make the most diverse pilot and, God forbid, you ever get sick, you will get the most diverse surgeon.
But it's not. This is about you controlling the markets. Controlling capital. Controlling people. Making people have fewer decisions. And maybe buying some bad technology.
And, you know, they kept pushing and pushing.
The banks came back to me. And said, oh, you're interfering with us.
But, you know what --
GLENN: It's so bad.
This banking. It's a cartel, that they have going against -- you know, against our representatives. And our legislatures in America.
This cartel comes in so heavy-handed with loads of money and credibility.
And tries to stop people like you.
GLENN: You know, and we had to be careful the way we crafted the bill. Because if you use ESG as a form of scoring.
You won't be able to issue Florida bonds. You won't have access to qualified public deposits.
Our pension funds.
We also had to make sure, if everybody did it. We were able to write checks in the state of Florida.
There was a balance there. And we had to make sure we -- there was other access. And there is. There's not quite enough for $300 million in local community banks. I think we're in a good place there.
But over the summer, one of our local businesses in Florida, Dr. Mercola who owns a very big supermarket, but he also own owns a multi-national natural health vitamin company.
And over the summer, I get a call from one of his representatives. He goes, Rep Rommel, can you help us? And I go, I'll try. What's up?
And he said, well, all of the managers and multiple employees from the Mercola Markets have been debanked. Their bank, which was JPMorgan Chase, gave them letters that said, find new banks, we will not bank with you anymore. So I talked to a JPMorgan --
GLENN: Hang on just a second. How rare -- because I've never heard of being debanked before, unless you were like Al Capone.
I've never heard of that.
How rare did that used to be?
BOB: I would think never, because banks wanted you to keep your money. And your interest rate. Late fees and things like that, to earn income. So we looked into it, a little bit, and I talked to their rep.
And they said, well, Bob, we could be doing money laundering or some suspicious activity.
And by the law, we're obligated to debank them. I go, this entire workforce?
And they couldn't tell me. Because I'm not authorized to hear this information. And the state of Florida, if you're running arms or fentanyl, we don't want you banking either. We also believe in due process in the state of Florida. I don't trust you as the bank. And I don't trust you as some federal agency. To say, this person needs to be debanked.
Because I remember Operation Chokehold. When they told, payday loans and arms dealers, I think that was Obama area. Obama 2013. Operation Choke Point.
That you can't do any banking business. So I don't trust the federal government agencies, and I don't trust the banks that are colluding with ESG with our federal agencies to debank them.
So what I will try to do this year, assuming it's passed. That if you're a bank, and you debank one of our Florida citizens, a business or an individual.
First off, you will have to tell Florida.
You will have to tell the division of financial services, hey, I debanked Dr. Mercola, and this is why I did it.
Then we as a state, keep it in private, will investigate.
If we felt you did it in bad faith, well, we will find you, and you won't do business in Florida. Then the individual that was harmed, we will allow them to have a private right of action against that bank.
GLENN: Excellent. Excellent. That's fair. That's fair.
JUSTIN: This is amazing.
GLENN: By the way, this -- what is it? Fair Access is what it is.
JUSTIN: Yes, fair Access is the shorthand.
GLENN: Shorthand is Fair Access. There are many states now that have passed anti-ESG laws. But it is Fair Access, that gives the power to the individual, to be able to get the information, and to sue. If it is -- if it's wrong information. Or based on ESG.
And you guys have led the way.