EPISODE 258: Natural Asset Companies: A Scheme to Profit From the “Degrowth” Agenda with Margaret Byfield


On September 27, 2023, the New York Stock Exchange and the Intrinsic Exchange Group submitted a proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a new type of company called a “Natural Asset Company”, or “NAC” whose primary purpose would be to manage and grow so-called “ecosystem services” on land throughout the United States.

NACs would be empowered to manage every type of property:  federal, state, and private land, including conservation easements to maximize their so-called “ecological value.”

Critically, what they are not allowed to do is anything considered “unsustainable” including: mining, agriculture that uses traditional fertilizers and machinery, managing timberlands, grazing, hunting, and most every type of recreational activity.

Instead of maximizing traditional economic value, NACs would put this land off limits from any productive purpose involving oil, gas, coal, yellowcake production, lithium mining and processing, steelmaking and anything else essential to national defense that produces CO2, which is their definition of sustainability.

In other words, everything that makes land valuable to ordinary human beings and to America’s national security.

The goal is to create not only a new kind of company, but also a new asset class that could attract billion of investment dollars, including from global sovereign wealth funds from, say China, Russia, or other nations. (What better way for a foreign adversary to cripple the United States than through locking up America’s natural resources without a fight?)

The greed factor is also front and center in this proposal. By some estimates, trading markets in “natural assets” could reach $100 to $150 trillion with market makers like Black Rock, Goldman Sachs, and big green energy utilities like NextEra, in the thick of the action.

If these numbers seem fantastic, consider this new math.

Today the value of our existing real economic land assets is estimated to be about $1.5 quadrillion dollars globally. Proponents of these new Natural Assets claim the value of “ecosystem services” to be $5 quadrillion dollars.

The problem with this estimate is that you can’t get there using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles which measures basic cash flows to describe value and net present value. Instead, it is based on a new accounting system called SEEA EA, invented out of whole cloth by the United Nations, which claim to be able put a monetary value on the ability of NACs to block others from putting land to productive uses.

There are massive problems with this accounting system.

There are massive problems with this whole Scheme.

The SEC and the New York Stock Exchange must know this. To avoid scrutiny and opposition, they have put it on an unprecedented fast track for approval. To read the filings, it looks intentionally confusing, and intentionally made to make it difficult to weigh in on. The Intrinsic Exchange Group is partly owned by the New York Stock Exchange and is backed by the Rockefeller Foundation.

But one thing is clear: it’s their desire to permanently embed the mechanism and monetary values for the disuse of federal lands, easement properties and ultimately private properties in our federal securities laws.

Joining me to unpack this proposal and its underlying agenda, is Margaret Byfield, the Executive Director of American Stewards of Liberty, a non-profit organization working to protect private property rights and the liberties they secure.

It’s going to be very important to take direct action, make comments, reach out to your lawmakers and try to stop NACs from becoming a reality.


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EPISODE 258 TRANSCRIPT

Margaret Byfield Transcript

Bill Walton (00:08)

On September 27th, 2023, the New York Stock Exchange submitted a proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a new type of company called a Natural Asset Company, or NAC. These NACs primary purpose would be to manage and grow so-called eco-services on land throughout the United States. These NACs would be able to manage every type of property, federal, state, and private land

including conservation easements to maximize their so-called ecological value. Critically, activities not allowed to the NAC would include anything considered quote unsustainable, things like mineral extraction, industrial agriculture that use traditional fertilizers and machinery, oil extraction, grazing, hunting, and other recreational activities not considered sustainable. In other words,

everything that makes land valuable to ordinary human beings. The financial aim is to create a new kind of asset class that could attract trillions of investment dollars. The value of our existing real economic land assets is estimated to be about $1.5 quadrillion globally. Astonishingly, proponents of NACS claim the value of these new natural assets that produce

$5 quadrillion. The problem with this estimate is you can’t get there using generally accepted accounting principles. Instead, it’s based on a new accounting system invented whole cloth by the United Nations, which it calls S-E-E-A-E-A, which means the system of environmental economic accounting, ecosystem accounting.

There are massive problems with this system. There are massive problems with this whole thing. The SEC and the New York Stock Exchange must know this. To avoid scrutiny and opposition, they have put it on an unprecedented fast track for approval. With me today to unpack this proposal and the underlying agenda behind it is Margaret Byfield, Executive Director of the American Stewards of Liberty. Margaret, great talking with you.

Margaret Byfield (02:34)

Great to be here and thank you for covering this issue. I’m so glad you’ve taken a deep dive into this. This is, I think, one of the most important.

Bill Walton (02:41)

By the way, that dive is very deep. This is the most complicated issue I’ve come across in a long time.

Margaret Byfield (02:49)

Yeah, you know, the first time that I came across it was in September of 2021, when the Intrinsic Exchange Group and New York Stock Exchange made their first announcement, they were creating these natural asset companies. And we were in the middle of the 30 by 30 campaign, which is the Biden campaign to permanently protect 30% of our land and oceans. And that’s when it kind of

I crossed my desk and I started diving into it and I had to back away after about a weekend and say, wait a minute, this is really, first off, it’s really hard, I think, for logical people to understand what they’re doing because it sounds so crazy on the surface that it sounds like this is not anything that could be accomplished. But then you look at who’s behind it and you realize they are deadly serious about getting this agenda in place. And so I totally agree. When I first stepped into it.

had to back away for a while to really absorb it. But since then, though, we have been tracking every move that they have made to get this implemented. And it’s all really come to a head right now where the Security Exchange Commission is in position to approve these. And what they are approving, I don’t even know if the SEC really understands what they are approving with this rule.

But that’s why it’s so important that people like you are digging into it to help others understand what this is all about.

Bill Walton (04:14)

My guess is that Gary Gensler does know what this is all about. I mean, this is right up his alley, and my guess is that this is something that he is very aware of. Whether the ordinary staff people or I don’t know. But mentioning that, why don’t we talk about the players? Who’s behind this?

Margaret Byfield (04:31)

Well, the intrinsic exchange group is the company that was formed to create these NACs and natural asset companies. And they are funded by, uh, the Rockefeller foundation. And then, so that’s really where it got kicked off. That’s where it got started. And then all of the additional players, uh, that you would relate to the Rockefeller foundation have come in and they’re, they’re supporting it as well, but you also have the environmental component.

So if you can go to the intrinsic exchange groups website, you’ll see they list who their funders are and it’ll show Rockefeller Foundation and the others. And then it’ll, then it mentions the supporting organizations like World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International. What all these entities have in common is they are the same entities that have been globally pushing the climate crisis narrative, the 30 by 30 agenda, the decarbonization agenda.

the net zero agenda, all of these things which tamp down our use of the resources and get control of the private property.

Bill Walton (05:37)

Explain the 30 by 30 agenda.

Margaret Byfield (05:40)

So 30 by 30 is an international agenda to permanently protect 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030. Now, what’s important to understand about that is that it’s been in the works internationally for some time. Other nations have been really pushing this agenda. Other nations where the governments control everything or environmental groups control everything, unlike our nation where we still have

the majority of our lands held by private landowners. So we still have some sense of control over our government. But 30 by 30, you will recognize that if you followed the Netherlands crisis, where the Netherlands government has set out to require the voluntarily, the voluntarily, voluntary sale of 2000 to 3000 farms and ranches in the country in order to meet their

30 by 30 goal. In the European Union, it’s called Natura 2000. Natura 2000 was adopted back, I think, in probably a good 20 years ago. So they’re much further down the road than we are. 30 by 30 could not be implemented into America until we had a president in position that was willing to defy the Constitution, violate the Constitution in order to implement this agenda.

So six days into his office, he implemented this in America.

Bill Walton (07:12)

Well, down the road back to the 12th century, the dark ages. 30-30, like all these things, they cook up. The title sounds reasonable. What could be wrong with putting 30% of the world’s asset into ecological protection?

Margaret Byfield (07:30)

Well, it means nobody gets to use these lands. So they argue that in order to save humanity, we must set aside 30%, let me qualify, we must set aside at least 30% of our lands and oceans. And that’s what, exactly, that’s what Biden’s executive order says, is it says at least, you can serve at least 30% of the lands. Their ultimate, well, their next agenda is what they call the Half Earth.

Bill Walton (07:44)

Yeah, they like more.

Margaret Byfield (08:00)

um half earth uh agenda so they want 50 of the lands permanently protected um by 2050 that’s the next goal and the biden administration says if they achieve 30 by 30 then they’re just well on their way to accomplishing 50 by 50 so the first thing to really understand is they will never have enough they will never have enough of our land until they have it all

agreement that was signed last year or 2021-2022. That agreement, they say in their organizing documents that really they should be looking at permanently protecting 70% of the land and oceans. So when we say permanently protect, we’re talking about lands that the people don’t get to use. And let me qualify that. We the people don’t get to use that. The general public, the middle class.

The elites will always be able to use these lands and get to the resources. And I’ll tell you something that my dad told me years and years ago that has always stuck with me. To really understand the environmental movement, which you have to understand is, their agenda is not whether we’re going to use the resources. It’s always been about who is going to use the resources. And that’s what we’re seeing happen in America today. It’s really a transferring of who owns the property.

via control. In other words, landowners may still have title to the land, but the federal government or the NGOs largely control what happens on those lands. And that’s really where all these conservation programs come in, these climate smart programs that landowners have been signing up with. That’s one of the ways they get control over the property. And then all of those get enrolled in these natural asset companies.

Bill Walton (09:45)

Yeah.

Margaret Byfield (09:55)

where the wealthy elites get to profit off of those lands and their values through that process.

Bill Walton (10:03)

Well, the thing about the deeper agenda, of course, is all these groups listed in the – what’s the name of the group that something exchange – intrinsic exchange group, they’re all into the degrowth agenda. They think the economy should be shrinking. They think there should be fewer human beings. They think that human beings are the problem. And –

Margaret Byfield (10:13)

Intrinsic exchange group, yes.

Yes.

Bill Walton (10:31)

Therefore, taking assets, land assets, and making them completely unusable for things that benefit ordinary people is their goal.

Margaret Byfield (10:40)

Yes, that’s absolutely correct. They believe in depopulation from a religious perspective. They believe that nature is really more important than humans. So, Christianity of course believes that you worship the creator, not the creation. They’re the opposite of that. They are largely atheists that are really driving the agenda. And they believe that

uh, their God is mother earth. So they protect the creation and worship the creation, not the creator. So it’s, it’s completely opposite of Christianity. And so you have coming out of that, all of these really crazy policies that put nature above humans. And so now you can start to understand from that perspective why it’s okay to restrict human life forms. And, um,

They’re okay with depopulation because they believe that people are harm in mother earth, their God. So it’s really, um, it’s really kind of a crazy philosophy, but, but they are obviously fully believe it.

Bill Walton (11:53)

Well, just, I always used to like to watch the nature shows on PBS. And I had to stop five, ten years ago because every show, the theme was, well, nature would be great, the animals would be great, the seas would be great, if only human beings did not exist. So I don’t really accept that premise, neither do you and neither should anybody. But that’s nevertheless what the agenda is.

Margaret Byfield (12:15)

Yes.

Bill Walton (12:23)

The natural asset company though, they’re doing what they’ve done with so many other areas of the climate change agenda. They’re not just saying, gee, this is great for our religion or our beliefs, but this is something you can make a lot of money from. And what they’re trying to do with this accounting system that…

I was an accounting major, so I should know about this. And I went on their website, the United Nations website, and looked at their accounting principles, which they had, principles might be the wrong word, but the accounting rules which they invented for this, and it looks like they’re creating value just out of thin air.

Margaret Byfield (13:08)

Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I’ve had a, that’s, this is one area I’ve had a hard time understanding how they justify this because, you know, to create an asset, it’s based on property. And property is something in very basic terms that you can exclude somebody else from having. So a piece of land, you have 40 acres, you can decide who gets to come on that land and who doesn’t, you can exclude that. How do you exclude people?

Bill Walton (13:08)

Literally thin air.

Hmm

Margaret Byfield (13:36)

from breathing clean air. You know, you can’t define that I get to breathe this clean air here and my next door neighbor breathes some different clean air. I mean, you can’t, this isn’t something that you can exclude other people from. But that’s exactly, those are exactly the kind of natural functions, natural processes that they are trying to monetize through this creation of the NACs.

And so it’s really, you know, when you extrapolate that out, then you have to start thinking about, okay, if they own these natural functions, things that nobody has a right to own, that means they get to control who gets to use them. And so now we’re talking about, you know, all of us having environmental credits where, you know, if I drive, um, an SUV, I’m going to be deducted more than somebody who drives an, an EV.

I mean, it’s that kind of thinking that this leads to. It’s really just the whole idea that they are trying to make property out of these natural functions is really immoral.

Bill Walton (14:48)

Well, it’s also.

an insane form of accounting because property has value because of the uses we put to property. And I mentioned at the outset, their uses involve agricultural mining, recreation, mineral extraction, whatever, oil, fossil fuels. And there’s an existing market for that. And when you value land, you’re valuing about what use it could be put to, to these purposes. Well, they’ve

really from just their imagination, the value of air that we breathe, and they put an astronomical value on it. But once that happens, once the SEC approves NACs, and once these NACs get into existence, they’re going to be able to start coming up with valuations, which as I mentioned at the outset, boggle the mind, and they’ll create a trading asset. And it’s a trading asset that

as value because other people believe it as value. And it’s entirely possible that if this gets kicked into existence, we could see people making fortunes out of the climate agenda. And it’s not unlike what we’ve seen with the Inflation Reduction Act, which is really the Green New Deal Act that Biden passed or Congress passed last year.

where most all of it went to subsidies for green energy. And none of the green energy proposals would be economic without these subsidies. This would be a whole new asset class that would really dwarf the climate change asset class.

Margaret Byfield (16:36)

Yeah, it absolutely would. And you really hit on that because these, I envision how are they going to come up with this value? And you said exactly what they’re going to do. It’s going to be subjective. It’s going to be based on frankly, which bureaucrat decides this era over here in Yellowstone National Park is worth X versus the era I breathe in Texas. I mean, it’s arbitrary. It’s subjective.

So it’s really, it doesn’t, it’s not going to respond to traditional market forces, but in doing so, you know, you have to ask what market distortions are going to come into play with them putting these, forcing these into our current economic system. So there could be some great disruptions. And it’s just to me, I look back, back at the, you know, the, the common say, saying that we’re not making any more land.

There’s only so much land. And land is the hard asset.

All wealth comes from the land. It all starts with the natural resources, from food to fiber to minerals to energy. It all starts with the land. And so this is one of the concepts, I think, that our founding fathers really understood well when they founded America, was as they were looking for a system that would really allow the people to run the government, to run a representative government, and be in control of that.

as opposed to kings and lords and governments. They knew that to achieve that, to have a country that was literally run by the people, the people would have to own the land. And it’s through that land ownership, because we own the land, that we have had the ability to control our government. And this is just another way to get at…

control of that land through by literally, as you said, at a whole cloth creating these new assets, self-appointing themselves as the owners of them through these NACs or through the federal government creating the natural capital accounts, which is the other tandem issue that’s running alongside the NAC issue and putting those assets on the balance sheet, the federal balance sheet. And so they are literally creating

a new asset claiming control and ownership of it in order to control the land.

The land is ultimately what they’re after.

Bill Walton (19:06)

Well, well, they are. And that’s just exactly the opposite of what the founders intended. You mentioned that, but the original formulation of the declaration of independence, the first draft had the words life, liberty and property, which was John Locke’s, who was the inspiration for a lot of this, his formulation for the principles of freedom. And

Jefferson and his wisdom decided to make that pursuit of happiness. And I think thereafter, we’ve had all sorts of problems. The founders believe that if every American owned property, that they would be able to not only make their way in the world economically, but they’d have a stake in the system. And that was really the source of freedom and human flourishing. And ever since the progressive movement, we’ve seen the idea of property steadily attacked.

And now we’ve gotten to the point where Klaas Schwab of the World Economic Forum reminds us, I wouldn’t say reminds, but tells us that, how does he say it exactly?

You will own nothing and you will be happy.

Margaret Byfield (20:17)

Uh, we will, yes, that’s what he says. Yeah. You know, the, I love how, um, when you look at the practical applications of what the people owning property accomplishes, there’s a really great letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to Reverend James Madison when he was in France, the different James Madison than, than we know as, uh, in our popular history.

And he was walking through the French countryside, met up with one of the very poor serfs, somebody out of the general masses in France, had a conversation with her as they were walking through this beautiful countryside. She was going to the next town trying to find work. She was a day laborer. She had kids at home she was trying to feed. And as they’re walking through this area, he’s noting how beautiful the resources were.

these King’s lands, they were used for hunting and only certain people could go on them. And he made note that this lady who was just trying to make a simple living, if she went onto that land and picked off a piece of wood for firewood, it would be a criminal offense. And so when he came back and he wrote this letter to James Madison, he said, we cannot allow this to happen in America.

And what he explains is that most of the land in these European countries is owned by the government and lords. And therefore the masses, the people, the majority of people in the nations are absolutely dirt poor. And so he concludes at the end of that letter, he said, it is the small landholder that is the most important part of the state. And so that’s why you see.

Bill Walton (22:07)

CLEARS THROAT

Margaret Byfield (22:08)

the practical application of how our nation was founded, why the land was disposed to the people. So when Jefferson made the purchase of Louisiana Purchase, about 540 million acres, he didn’t call it Bill Gates or China and say, how much of this land do you want? No, it was all disposed of to the people. So depending on which state you were settling in, you could go out and acquire 120 acres up to 640 acres.

And it was dependent upon the size, it was dependent on what would make a good economic unit, how they could make a living off that piece of land. Every bit of it was disposed of to the people, to the settlers. But what happened in America is in the West, when the West was settled, it was settled the same way, except the laws did not follow. The robber barons, you remember the robber barons, which goes back to the Rockefeller Foundation and that group.

as they were working to control industrialized America and snuff out the competition, they were also working to federalize the Western lands because they didn’t have control of them. And that’s a really interesting history that we’ve written, done a lot of writing on, which is fascinating to get into. The end result is the Eastern states were settled under the concept of private property. The West was federalized. 50% of the land in the West is owned by the federal government.

as a result of that. And that’s when the power in our country changed from being held by the people to starting to move into government and the big consolidated groups.

Bill Walton (23:49)

Well, I think there’s a misperception that we’re somehow people are occupying most of the land. In fact, Americans live on only about 6% of the land. About 40% of the land, including East and West, is owned by the government, federal, state, and local. Only 60% is in private hands, and they’re doing everything they can to change even that.

Margaret Byfield (24:08)

Mm-hmm.

Bill Walton (24:19)

And the thing about, you know, our productive, you know, America’s future lies in our ability to invest and build and innovate. And we see ourselves in an expanding growth world where everybody benefits. This kind of proposal is exactly the opposite of that. They foresee a shrinking world, you know, the club for growth, which…

And back in the 60s, was talking about the population problem. And they’ve been talking about the land problem for a year. So this is a religious ideological divide. And I think we’ve got to make sure that we come out on the right side of it with these nacks.

Margaret Byfield (25:04)

Yeah, and that’s a really key point about these NACs. For all of the assets that go into a NAC, they have to be sustainably managed. So first you have things like the federal government enrolling our federal lands into these NACs, such as our national parks, which is what the SEC rule says. That things like our national parks can be enrolled in these for the private investors to profit off of. Or…

sovereign wealth funds like China, which brings up national security issues. But all the assets that go into this NAC then have to be managed for sustainably. And the way they explain that is they say that nothing can happen on the land that isn’t replenishable. So immediately no mining, no oil and gas. All of the other uses are going to be eventually stopped on this land, on the assets that are in there.

The other thing the SEC rule does, which I think is extremely dangerous, and there needs to be oversight into what they’re doing, but they are giving management authority to the NAC to manage these assets. So the question comes up, how can a NAC have management authority over our national parks? You know, there’s some really major constitutional questions at play here that nobody from the SEC

the IEG or the New York Stock Exchange have disclosed how that’s gonna work. Nor have they disclosed how they have the authority to assume that authority, that management authority. So now, but let’s say that they accomplish this, and that means all of those assets that are owned by that NAC are going to be managed by the investors. So if China’s sovereign wealth fund,

is one of the major investments, investors. That means China is going to be managing what happens on these assets in America through the NACs. And I think it’d be a smart play on their part to come in and try to invest in as many of these as they can, keep our assets from being developed so that they, of course, can continue to grow in their power while they keep tamping down America. I mean, it’s such a d***.

Bill Walton (27:20)

Hmm

Margaret Byfield (27:27)

dangerous proposal for national security, not only property rights, but national security, that it really is frightening.

Bill Walton (27:36)

Well, you and I, you were on a webinar that Frank Afney sponsored for the security for national, security for national policy, I believe. And it was, I highly recommend everyone go to that website and look at that entire webinar. It’s an hour and a half, and it will be the best hour and a half you can spend because Margaret and her colleagues outline really every aspect of the problems with this. And much of them, they do it.

in depth that we can’t, we don’t have the time to go into here today. But Margaret, what is the timeline for this? This is something they put into the Federal Register and I took the trouble to go onto the Federal Register and look at this and I see that October 4th was when this showed up and there was no announcement, there was no attempt to bring people’s attention to it because they really did not want people to reading about it.

They’ve got a biodiversity policy, a human rights policy, an equitable benefit sharing policy. I mean, the details of this are quite gory if you care about human freedom and property rights. How can we stop this?

Margaret Byfield (28:52)

So, initially, they only allowed a 21-day comment period. So, they officially published it on October 4th, allowed 21 days of public comment with no public announcement, obviously. They really were trying to get this done quickly and quietly. The SEC was going to make its decision to approve or disprove or continue to investigate on November 18th.

And I fully believe they had intended to get this done. But fortunately, we were able to get enough attention on it that SEC stepped back. They did not reopen comments in their first decision and their first extension. They only extended their decision-making time. That date was January 2.

In between all of that was when we were able to really get a lot of good people to take a deep look at this and sound the alarm. Utah Treasurer Marlo Oakes has been phenomenal. As soon as he started looking into this, he had the same concerns and he wrote an op-ed that came out in the Wall Street Journal. Representative Harriet Hagman from Wyoming, she gets this at a very, very deep level because she’s been watching this for a lot of years as well.

she immediately rallied her colleagues and they sent a letter off to SEC signed by 31 members that requested them to reopen the comment period. And then Treasurer Oaks was able to get 23 financial officers across the nation to sign a letter requesting the same thing. And so that really put enough pressure on them that they had to really do something. So they did extend comments.

They reopened the comment period, which closes January 18th. So our deadline’s coming up pretty quick. I really, I highly recommend that people comment and make as substantive comments as you can in the record, or simply even if you just register your opposition. That pressure, just the exposure of people knowing what they are trying to do is very, very helpful. After that, go ahead.

Bill Walton (31:00)

How does this work? How does this work? Does the SEC, the five commissioners, if you get three commissioners approving it, then it goes into effect? That’s a pretty small portion of our democracy.

Margaret Byfield (31:10)

Yeah.

It is, and it’s even worse than that. That’s only if the commissioners, it will take one commissioner to say we want a public hearing. Otherwise this is going to be administratively approved. In other words, the staff at SEC can get this approved unless the commissioner step in and say, wait a minute.

Bill Walton (31:34)

Well, the thing that we need to keep in mind is that Biden from day one and everybody behind Biden has had a whole of government agenda. Every single agency of the government has been weaponized to bring about their DEI agenda and the climate agenda. And the SEC, I live in the DC area and you look at the number of people in the federal government who voted for.

Joe Biden, it was probably 95%. And so the employees and the lawyers in the SEC have a natural inclination and bias towards approving this sort of thing. It’s those of us that are outside the Beltway that really can see the dangers and wanna stop it, which is all more reason that we need to get in and just fill their email inbox with reasons why this is a terrible idea. And my view would be we oughta start singling out people like Gary Gensler.

and make him the poster boy for this because it’s a tactic which often works. It worked with Larry Fink and BlackRock with his ESG agenda. I mean, this is one of the ways we can stop this.

Margaret Byfield (32:49)

Yeah, I totally agree. And I even think the New York Stock Exchange should be contacted on this as well, because they have a board position in this company, Intrinsic Exchange.

Bill Walton (33:02)

Well, this is really interesting. I’m sorry, this is my world. I used to run a company that was on the New York Stock Exchange. New York Stock Exchange owns a piece of this company. So they’re not only the exchange that’s handling trading at security, but they own, they have a stake in its upside.

Margaret Byfield (33:05)

Yeah.

Yes.

conflict of interest. I mean, that is really a serious position that they’ve taken. So I think they ought to be contacted. Additionally, let me tell you another group that has been very disappointing, and that’s the House Financial Services Committee. They have oversight over the SEC, and we understand they were briefed by New York Stock Exchange and IEG, and therefore took the position that they would not weigh in on this issue.

Bill Walton (33:22)

Yeah.

Who chaired that committee?

Margaret Byfield (33:49)

And so, McHenry, Patrick McHenry. And so that’s one of the reasons why it was so important that a freshman member, Representative Hagman, stepped in and organized her colleagues to oppose this because the committee that has the authority and responsibility to do this is standing down on this. Now not every member is doing that. There are three members on that committee that signed the letter with Harriet Hagman.

Um, but I think that’s another group. I think every member of the financial services committee should have to publicly come publicly come out and make a statement on whether they support or disapprove of NACs. I think, I think they owe it to the American people because they have been in the position to stop this and they have taken no action to do so. As you can tell, I’m a little bit irritated about that position.

Bill Walton (34:48)

Well, as am I, but this is one of these issues that is unique in a way because often we find ourselves complaining about something that’s already been done. This is something we can stop before it happens.

Margaret Byfield (35:05)

Yes.

Bill Walton (35:06)

And they were deliberately trying to sneak this thing through without any kind of scrutiny. And because you and I are talking about this and because a lot of other people are, we may be able to get a public outcry against it. And it’s hard to overstate the magnitude of damage this could do, but I think that helps us in getting a stop.

Margaret Byfield (35:28)

Yes, it absolutely does. It absolutely does. And another possible direction is Harriet Hagman also was able to get a rider on the financial services appropriations bill that would defund the SEC rule. And when that bill was pulled from the House floor, it wasn’t approved, then that rider is not, we understand, is not now being considered. But Speaker.

Johnson could make sure that writer goes back into the appropriations process and the SEC gets defunded. And so that’s another area that people can make calls, especially if they know the speaker or any of the other members of Congress that can help get that done.

Bill Walton (35:58)

Cough.

Did I hear that correctly? The penalty is to defund the SEC.

Margaret Byfield (36:20)

I’m sorry. That’s well, actually I hadn’t, I misspoke, but I’m, I’m kind of thinking that exactly.

Bill Walton (36:23)

That’s actually a very interesting idea. The SEC has long left the realm of protecting investors and they have a much deeper and more dangerous agenda. But some of what the SEC does is useful, but not most of it.

Margaret Byfield (36:36)

Yeah.

Yeah, well, I’m sorry I misspoke on that, but that’s pretty funny. No, the amendment is to defend that SEC rule. Yeah.

Bill Walton (36:44)

Ha ha

Okay, good, good. What else can we do? I wonder, we were running out of time here, so sum up for us.

Margaret Byfield (37:00)

Let me just, let me give you one more thing to think about, which I don’t mean to complicate this for people, but there is another tandem issue that is going on with this that we need to be cognizant of because we’re going to have to start fighting this as well. But in tandem with the NAC rule, the White House in January of 2023 put out their national strategy to create natural

capital accounts and basically take these same arbitrary new assets over the natural processes, quantify them and value them and put them on the federal balance sheet in order to arbitrarily inflate our collateral so that they can continue to increase the national debt. Now, the other part that’s really dangerous about that is what they measure they can also tax us on.

So that’s setting everything up for an environmental tax on the American people. Besides raising the national debt, that goes to a whole other realm. And that’s another thing we need to defund.

Bill Walton (38:10)

May I do the math on that? I said that our existing real assets based on existing economic value, I don’t know who came up with the number, $1.5 quadrillion. They’re saying these natural assets so-called are worth $5 quadrillion. That’s over three times more. So if you’ve got a property valued at a million dollars now based on its traditional real economic value.

They’d now say this was worth $4 million, and they would tax you on that $4 million because of the value of the natural assets embedded in the land.

Margaret Byfield (38:47)

Yeah, I think that’s exactly a scenario we can expect to come out of this. Yes.

Bill Walton (38:53)

So, but the thing I fear is that this is like, I was thinking of it an analogy. If you think of painting as value, I, my wife is a very fine oil painter and we follow the market. Then there was a Medigliani that went for $174 million last year. And who’s to say what that’s worth? And

you know, with mining or with agriculture or with even recreational use where people pay to use it, you can put an economic value. Paintings and art don’t have an obvious real value. It’s very happy, it’s very likely that if they shove this imaginary counting into existence, this could quickly become a tradable asset and something that really grows into another way to make an incredibly

reckless federal government using this imaginary asset value to fund its debt.

Margaret Byfield (39:49)

But you know, that’s exactly right, except with a painting, that market is driven by the consumer. How badly does that consumer want that painting? That’s how the value is created. The value that’s created in these natural asset companies or these natural processes is arbitrarily created because governments and conglomerates are imposing social goals.

infusing social goals, using the policies and the powers of the government to enforce those social goals to get to this value. So, you know, one of the conversations that I heard in one of our calls, somebody raised and they said, well, it’s just part of the free market. And my response was, well, if you think blackmail and coercion is okay, because they’re doing it using the free market system. That’s really what we’re talking about here.

Bill Walton (40:45)

Well, the thing I fear, the thing I fear it is different now, but it could be that somebody says, well, look, people value in painting because they love art, but to somebody that does not love art and have zero value, for somebody that values the air or whatever these natural assets are, they could argue, well, I’ll put a dollar value on that and you create a trading asset. I think this is something that needs to be stopped now because it very easily could become a reality.

Margaret Byfield (40:45)

They’re not, this is different.

Yeah, it very well could. And you know, if I don’t think that the art piece has that value, then I don’t buy it. And that’s how the free market system works. What they’re doing with the natural assets is they’re monetizing something that everybody must have. I can’t decide whether or not I want to breathe clean air. I don’t get that choice. None of us do. And that’s the difference. That’s why this first off, it shouldn’t have been considered a property that somebody can own.

Bill Walton (41:31)

Okay, great point, great point, great point.

Margaret Byfield (41:46)

And that’s what they’re really establishing. It’s that property, right? They’re trying to establish on these processes that will lead, let them control every individual. I mean, that’s really the thing that you have to understand about property is we either own property or we are property.

Bill Walton (41:53)

Cough

Margaret Byfield (42:08)

That’s what’s going on here. That’s really what this whole agenda is about. It’s about controlling people. And I know that might sound a little bit out there for some people, but that is the bottom line. And they know that. They understand that. Do we? Do we really understand what’s going on? We’re talking about NACs, but that is the end game.

Bill Walton (42:33)

Well, with attribution, I think I’m going to use that line forever. We are their own property. We are property. That sounds an awful lot like what’s going on now with everything, in fact. So Margaret Byfield, thank you. Executive Director of the, again, the group is called, again, Margaret?

Margaret Byfield (42:37)

Absolutely.

American stewards of liberty.

Bill Walton (42:58)

Okay, we talked about this. It’s not American stewards for liberty. It’s American stewards of liberty, which means these are rights which pre-exist. And I’m so happy you’re there helping us protect them. And I’m going to be joining you in this effort. And I hope everybody found this eye-opening. And there is a line of action. And going on to the Center for Security Policy website, you’ll find.

Margaret Byfield (43:08)

Mm-hmm. Exactly.

Bill Walton (43:24)

a way to get in touch with the SEC and some helpful tips about what to put in the letter. Also you ought to look at the seminar which Margaret is the featured participant and learn more about this. If we don’t learn about it, it’s going to happen and it’s going to harm us. So anyway, thanks for joining the show and as always, you know, you can find us in all the major podcast platforms. We’re on Substack now. We’re on CPAC.

I’m sorry, we’re on Substack, we’re on CPAC now, and we very much appreciate your subscription and asking your friends to subscribe so we can bring you more programming like this. And thanks for joining and hope you found this edifying. Bye.

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