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Who will a pension fund pay a pension to?

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I have a number of big yawns when I watch the news these days.

Banks are doomed!!! Yawn.

Central banks are replacing money with digital money!!! Yawn.

Buy bitcoin now and make millions!!! Yawn.

COVID, vaccines, anti-vaxers!!! Yawn.

The Earth is heating!!! Yawn.

The climate is in an emergency!!! Yawn.

The world will end!!! Yawn.

I should stop watching the news.

It’s a bit like when I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.

It’s better to numb yourself to these things than to absorb these things that you feel powerless to change. Except you are not powerless to change. You may feel that way, but all of us can do something. It’s a little like saying I’m too fat and then, rather than resisting, eating a bowl of crisps followed by a dish of chocolate.

So, what can we do?

Well, the power of the people overcomes the power of politicians. Or so it should be. The challenge there is that politicians are very good at keeping power as, like business, it’s run as a cartel. Oh no Chris, don’t get cynical?

I won’t but, building on my red and blue pill discussion the other day, it’s overwhelming if you listen to the news too much. When I was a lad – sounds like a Monty Python sketch coming – we only had the news about our town. You were lucky. When I was a lad, we only heard news about our street. Luxury! When I was a lad, we only heard news about our house.

Too much, I hear you say, and yes it is. There’s too much news. It’s too global and too much on you, 24*7. There’s non-stop news if you want it. There’s dedicated news channels. The thing is do we really want news? Not really. We want action. That’s the reason why we are seeing citizens take action, because politicians are not. In fact, there are two forces of action taking place: one is the activist consumer, such as Extinction Rebellion; the other is the activitst investor, such as ShareAction:

Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse.

Alongside civil disobedience,  such as blocking roads and painting walls, the founders also launched a Money Rebellion:

The climate and ecological emergency is still getting worse. Racism and exploitation of poorer nations is still rife. Most of our ‘free’ press is still captive to the will of a few billionaires. We cannot halt any of these crises without changing the economic system that fuels them. Join us in rejecting the economic rules and financial institutions that are killing us.

Whilst ShareAction has an agenda to change the markets from the other side.

Money makes the world go round. £50 trillion of it is invested in the companies that we buy from, that employ us, and that shape the world we live in. A lot of this money belongs to ordinary people and we all have a stake in the way that it is spent. But many of the decisions on how it is invested are made behind closed doors. We believe that the investment system can be a force for good. But only if these decisions are made openly and with more than short term profit in mind.

Their aim is to use pension funds and institutional investors to withdraw funds from banks that invest in unsustainable companies and projects. Will they succeed? Who knows, but at least they’re giving it a try. After all, who will a pension fund pay a pension to if we’re all extinct?

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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