May 20, 2019 - Business

Seeing green shoots in green investing

Data: Fannie Mae, Bloomberg, NEF, Institute of International Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investment in green assets — securities developed for climate and environmental projects — remains small, but growth is starting to pick up significantly, data from the Institute of International Finance shows.

The big picture: While their asset volumes are still marginal compared to traditional U.S. mortgage-backed securities (which have averaged over $1.5 trillion annually in recent years) IIF notes that green MBS volumes have grown from a trickle of some $6 million per year 2012–2015 to much more substantial issuance. In 2017 and 2018, green MBS issuance averaged $28.8 billion a year.

  • The total has now exceeded $55 billion, with the overwhelming majority issued by the government mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

What it means: Asset-backed securities (ABS) are groups of mortgages, credit card loans or other typically illiquid assets pooled together and sold as one security. Green ABS are all related to low-carbon assets like solar-powered systems or real estate loans in which the proceeds are used to finance green projects.

What's next

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Impeachment: Then & now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We are living in a measurably different political and media landscape than when the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges in 1999.

The big picture: These dynamics are setting the pace as President Trump’s legal team speeds through arguments to seek a fast acquittal.