“In the United States, the culture war is not favorable to companies”

vTwenty billion dollars a can of beer: that’s how much Budweiser, the king of brewers of St. Louis, Missouri, cost a single can of Bud Lite. The latter had been decorated with the image of a transgender influencer, who was quick to promote it on Instagram.

Forty-five seconds later, disaster struck. Riot around barbecues: In the Midwest, deep America has stopped buying the famous light beer, sales of which have fallen by 20%. Panic on Wall Street, where the company’s capitalization lost 20 billion dollars (18.6 billion euros). An earthquake never seen before, which, far from being anecdotal, reflects the state of the debate in the United States.

Global warming threatens the planet, Russia attacks Ukraine, conflict rages with China, but the issue that haunts America is the fate of transgender people, the culmination of the cultural battle between conservatives and woke.

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What a change in eight years when Donald Trump campaigned to defend white workers in the deindustrialized regions of the Rust Belt! Today, the United States is engaged in a new isolationism to promote “America first.” The fight focuses on the culture war, whose singer is the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, contender for the Republican nomination for 2024.

Of course, this reaction is no guarantee of success. The Supreme Court’s decision, which removed the federal right to abortion in the summer of 2022, is a pyrrhic victory that led to the mobilization of women and the relative defeat of the Republicans in the midterm elections. By dint of going too far, Ron DeSantis is in trouble against Donald Trump.

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However: it is the dominant player, and companies can no longer be called upon to take sides on all social issues. The climax was rightfully reached during the murder of African American George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer in May 2020. A stunned America did its collective soul searching.

Negative value

The ebb has primarily concerned the environment. After being negative in markets at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, oil has rebounded, contributing to inflation. The Republican jingle that came from the oil states of the South and Midwest was threefold: to divest is to increase American dependence, it is to drive up the price of a gallon of gasoline, which for a while exceeded $5, and to have a stockpile. of the market excluding pension funds. These states have adopted laws banning public investment from environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and the idea of ​​”divestment” of carbon energies has failed in a complex world: we can treat companies that promise to use the carbon windfall to reinvest in renewables and those that vaguely promise to capture carbon?

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