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Mega banks should use their lending power against Big Oil, say these Rockefeller family members

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‘…[F]inancial leaders of today [must] embrace innovation and move beyond the profits of fossil fuels to develop banking models that will excel in a zero-carbon world.’

That’s a shift promoted by Rockefeller family members Daniel Growald, Peter Gill Case and Valerie Rockefeller, expressed in a weekend New York Times op-ed that follows a climate-pledge announcement from JPMorgan Chase
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 , their family’s legacy bank and the business that emerged from their family’s oil dominance.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase made an announcement that appeared to align its activities with the Paris Climate Agreement although, critics said, without actually committing to curtail its lending activities to the fossil-fuel sector.

The Paris pact calls for voluntary private and public sector agreement to hold the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees.

The trio, descended from John D. Rockefeller Sr., the oil tycoon and founder of once global-leading and eventually trust-busted Standard Oil, was also writing to announce new roles as co-founders and co-chairs of BankFWD. The organization was described as a network of individuals, businesses and foundations that will use their banking choices and public standing to persuade major banks to phase out their financing of fossil fuels and lead on climate matters.

JPMorgan’s pledge, while notable for its recognition of a changing and risky world, is ignoring outright lending limitations — “its major lever for change,” the op-ed authors said.

Since 2016, 35 banks have funneled $2.7 trillion into fossil fuel companies and projects, according to the Rainforest Action Network. Of these banks, JPMorgan Chase has led by providing 36% more financing than the next largest lender to the sector, Wells Fargo
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 .

Last month, a report turned out by the bipartisan task force for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said “climate change poses a major risk to the stability of the U.S. financial system and to its ability to sustain the American economy.”

Diversifying away from oil into green energy isn’t just lip service, but part of prudent investment evolution, the Rockefeller family members wrote: “Fossil fuels have been essential to the development of the modern world and its widespread, though unequal, prosperity. The next generation of innovators, working in low- and zero-carbon technologies and in high finance, will prosper from the greatest business and technological revolution in history.”



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Video: SEC's Hester Peirce on why the U.S. is behind the curve on crypto

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S.E.C. Commissioner Hester Peirce on the outlook for crypto regulation, and whether this will finally be the year we see a Bitcoin ETF.





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My husband doesn’t get along with my son. I brought most of the wealth into our marriage. How do I split my estate?

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Dear Quentin,

How do couples typically handle their estates in a second marriage? My husband and I have been married for seven years, and it is the second marriage for both of us. I have one adult child from my previous marriage; he has no children.

I brought the majority of our wealth to our marriage, including almost $1 million in my 401(k) and a nice home that is almost paid off; otherwise, we have no debt. My husband and I bought a second home together. We work hard to fund our new 401(k)s, and own a successful business together.

I am turning 65 this year, so estate planning is long overdue. My husband is five years younger than me, and we are both in very good health. We have two issues facing us: I see our retirement as living very comfortably on the monthly income generated by our 401(k)s, pension, Social Security, etc., and leaving whatever may be left to my son.


‘The other issue is that my husband no longer gets along with my dear son at all, and feels no obligation to get along with him.’

I am not interested in scrimping, but I want to be able to have enough money to last us until age 90 (or beyond) by not touching the principal. My husband is more interested in dipping deep into our savings, and living it up in retirement while we are young enough to enjoy it.

The other issue is that my husband no longer gets along with my dear son at all, and feels no obligation to get along with him, to the point that neither one wants anything to do with the other. As far as he is concerned, my son doesn’t meet his expectations, and so deserves nothing from me and certainly nothing from him.

I want my estate planning to be fair to both my new husband and my son. How do people typically handle this type of quandary? I think that I need to create some type of trust to pass on my share of our estate to my son. My pre-marriage assets involved my son as I pursued my graduate degree through night school and worked long hours throughout his childhood.

Second Wife

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com.

Dear Second Wife,

Don’t allow your husband’s feelings toward your son to influence your estate planning.

Your relationships with your husband and your son and your own plans for retirement are all fair game when making decisions about your estate, but your husband and son’s fractured relationship is their business, not yours. You worked hard for this money, and your son is your legal heir. Any effort by your husband to spend all of your savings and fritter away any inheritance that you intended to leave to your son should be resisted at all costs.

You have worked too hard your entire life to compromise your plans for a comfortable retirement where you have money set aside for long-term medical care insurance, unforeseen emergencies and/or your son. If you jointly own your home, you can leave your half to your son in your will, and specify it can only be sold after your husband passes away.

If you own the home, you can give your husband a life estate. Your son would pay capital-gains tax on the value of your home when he sells it, and not when you bought it. You could also make your son the beneficiary on your life-insurance policy, and/or gift him a certain amount of money per year to see how he manages and spends that money.

Figure out what is fair to yourself first before moving on to what is fair to your husband and your son. It’s OK to put your needs first. I caution against your dipping into savings at a rate that is beyond your own risk tolerance.

Ultimately, you are entitled to leave all other separate property to your son when you die — and, along with a financial adviser, set up a trust with that in mind for you, your husband and your son. Not necessarily in that order.

The Moneyist: ‘I cut his hair because he won’t pay for a haircut’: My multimillionaire husband is 90. I’ve looked after him for 41 years, but he won’t help my son

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook
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 group, where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

By submitting your story to Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of MarketWatch, you understand and agree that we may use your story, or versions of it, in all media and platforms, including via third parties.



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These money and investing tips can help you make a place for crypto in your portfolio

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Don’t miss these top money and investing features:

These money and investing stories, popular with MarketWatch readers over the past week, can give you a better understanding of bitcoin and other cyrptocurrency, and help you figure out if digital currency has a place in your portfolio alongside stocks, bonds and other traditional assets.

Sign up here  to get MarketWatch’s best mutual funds and ETF stories emailed to you weekly!



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