Question Is the incidence of organ donation and transplants higher during major US motorcycle rallies?
Findings In this cross-sectional study of 10 798 organ donors and 35 329 recipients of these organs from a national transplant registry from 2005 to 2021, there were 21% more organ donors and 26% more transplant recipients per day during motorcycle rallies in regions near those rallies compared with the 4 weeks before and after the rallies.
Meaning While safety measures to minimize morbidity and mortality during motorcycle rallies should be prioritized, this study showed the downstream association of these events with organ donation and transplants.
Author(s): David C. Cron, MD, MS1,2; Christopher M. Worsham, MD3,4,5; Joel T. Adler, MD, MPH2,6; et al
Publication Date: 28 Nov 2022
Publication Site: JAMA Internal Medicine
JAMA Intern Med. Published online November 28, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2022.5431
Funds adhering to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles have been hit by unprecedented outflows in the market downturn, as investors prioritize capital preservation over goals such as tackling climate change.
ESG, a classification applied to fund assets currently worth an estimated $6.5 trillion, is being tested by a drop in market values fuelled by concerns that central banks hiking interest rates to fight rampant inflation will trigger an economic recession.
Investors souring on ESG funds could pose a challenge to governments seeking to enlist them in the fight against climate change. Policymakers at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt are trying this week to secure more financing from the private sector to help lower carbon emissions.
Data from research service Refinitiv Lipper shows that funds of equities, debt and other asset types dedicated to responsible investing posted net outflows globally of $108 billion this year to the end of September, the first time investors withdrew money from them over such a long period since Refinitiv started tracking them in late 2017.
The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund trustees in October voted to engage with fossil fuel companies to encourage them towards clean renewable energy sources and investing in viable clean and renewable energy sources to offset the fund’s fossil fuel investments. The fund plans to achieve this goal by the end of 2027.
In a statement shared to Chief Investment Officer, the fund’s CIO Fernando Vinzons wrote, “the fund will approach divestiture from a multi-pronged approach, engaging with current companies to encourage them toward a path of clean renewable energy sources, while working toward the longer-term goal of divesting from publicly traded fossil fuel holdings and investing. Divestment does not attract consensus among institutional investors. Many public pension funds are engaging with companies that produce fossil fuels, some are divesting those companies, and some, as the case with state funds from the state of such as Louisiana, are allocating away from managers perceived to be harming the domestic energy sector by endorsing programs like the Net Zero campaign.
According to a press release from the Chicago Teachers’ pension fund, Carlton W. Lenoir, Sr., executive director at CTPF, commented on the vote saying, “as fiduciaries, our trustees must invest consistent with our mission to protect and enhance the present and future economic well-being of members, pensioners, and beneficiaries, and we are confident that this action fulfills that responsibility.”
Republicans picked up state financial officer positions during the midterm elections amid a campaign against environmental, social and governance investing.
Five positions — in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada and Wisconsin — flipped from Democratic to Republican in races for state auditor, controller or treasurer. Of the 50 directly elected positions, Republicans won 29 and Democrats won 19, according to an analysis from Ballotpedia. Two races remain uncalled.
A handful of Republicans’ campaigns for state financial officers focused on ESG, echoing sentiments from GOP officials at statehouses across the country and in Congress who say ESG investing is harming capital markets and domestic energy production and reject the case made by Democrats, major investors and other proponents.
At stake is a suite of legislation and rules that would curb ESG as a material consideration, along with other financial factors, for investors. The proposals include policies for states’ pension funds to divest hundreds of millions of dollars from financial institutions that incorporate ESG — and especially climate — in their investment decisions.
City Hall’s 4,200 retirees likely may wait years before seeing another cost-of-living adjustment in their pensions.
In a report to City Council on Monday, Leo Griffin, director of the Richmond Retirement System, projected that 2029 may be the earliest that cost-of-living adjustments are considered for enrollees in the defined benefit pension plan. The defined benefit plan provides a guaranteed pension that depends on the salary earned.
Mr. Griffin’s report suggested the city would be better off waiting until 2033 to consider pension improvements. That is when the system is projected to be fully funded and the city’s yearly
contribution for the pension plan is projected to plummet 81 percent from around $55 million a year to $10 million a year.
Mr. Griffin’s projections assume that the system achieves an average annual 7 percent return on investments.
If that level of return is received, his report indicates that the system would cross the 80 percent threshold of funding in six years – the funding threshold the retirement system has set before any cost-of-living adjustment could be considered.
Experts have warned that Europe faces a “cancer epidemic” unless urgent action is taken to boost treatment and research, after an estimated 1m diagnoses were missed during the pandemic.
The impact of Covid-19 and the focus on it has exposed “weaknesses” in cancer health systems and in the cancer research landscape across the continent, which, if not addressed as a matter of urgency, will set back cancer outcomes by almost a decade, leading healthcare and scientific experts say.
A report, European Groundshot – Addressing Europe’s Cancer Research Challenges: a Lancet OncologyCommission, brought together a wide range of patient, scientific, and healthcare experts with detailed knowledge of cancer across Europe.
One unintended consequence of the pandemic was the adverse effects that the rapid repurposing of health services and national lockdowns, and their continuing legacy, have had on cancer services, on cancer research, and on patients with cancer, the experts said.
“To emphasise the scale of this problem, we estimate that about 1m cancer diagnoses might have been missed across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic,” they wrote in The Lancet Oncology. “There is emerging evidence that a higher proportion of patients are diagnosed with later cancer stages compared with pre-pandemic rates as a result of substantial delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment. This cancer stage shift will continue to stress European cancer systems for years to come.
But those scorned sectors have been the better investments this year, and tech companies have been hammered. Only 31% of actively managed ESG equity funds beat their benchmarks in the first half of 2022, compared to 41% of conventional funds, according to Refinitiv Lipper, as Reuters recently reported. So far this year, 19 of the 20 best-performing companies in the S&P 500 are either fossil-fuel producers or otherwise connected with fossil fuels.
Consequently, ESG funds “have been hit by unprecedented outflows in the market downturn, as investors prioritize capital preservation over goals such as tackling climate change,” wrote Reuters.
Predictably, the issue has become political since state and local officials invest trillions of dollars owned by taxpayers. Republican candidates generally oppose ESG investment of public funds, and five positions — in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada and Wisconsin — flipped from Democratic to Republican in recent races for state auditor, controller or treasurer. Of the 50 directly elected positions, Republicans won 29 and Democrats won 19, according to a recent Roll Call report.
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, however, is among the Democratic officials not backing off on ESG. “We are in it for the long term” is the title of an open letter he recently signed along with 13 other Democratic state financial officers criticizing efforts to stop ESG use of taxpayer money. The letter is astonishingly hypocritical. It says those who want to ban ESG investment of public money are “blacklisting financial firms that don’t agree with their political views.” That, of course, is precisely what ESG does.