Thursday, April 18, 2024

New York Stock Exchange Withdraws Controversial Rule Change Following Opposition from Louisiana Treasurer

by BIZ Magazine

Baton Rouge, LA – The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has withdrawn its request to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a policy rule change that would have allowed the creation and listing of Natural Asset Companies (NAC). This decision comes after a letter of objection was submitted by State Treasurer John Fleming, MD, who strongly criticized the move as a “land grab disguised as an investment strategy.” The withdrawal follows the objection letter signed by 26 financial officers from 23 states, marking a significant victory against what was perceived as an attempt to control natural resources for political outcomes.

“This was all about control – control of natural resources like air, water, and soil – for the purposes of attaining political outcomes. It was a blatant attempt to permanently remove both public and private lands from economic use in the name of solving environmental issues,” said Fleming. “I am pleased that we have been able to stave off this attempt, but know we must remain vigilant in our protection of fiduciary responsibilities.”

The rule change would have allowed private interests to acquire farmland, national and state parks, and other mineral-rich areas, intending to prohibit economic activities such as farming, grazing, and energy extraction on that land. The objection letter, crafted by members of the State Financial Officers Foundation, emphasized the danger of privatizing natural resources and assigning arbitrary economic values to essential public goods. The withdrawal of the request renders the SEC proceedings and public comment period moot, providing relief for those who opposed the controversial proposal.

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