The S.E.C. “is setting the stage, sending a signal that we are no longer in an administration where ‘climate change’ is a forbidden term,” Mr. Hall said. “It’s a warning flare to let people know new disclosure rules are coming down the pike.” He said he expected Democrats to push Mr. Gensler on adopting specific disclosure requirements, while Republicans will probably lobby for a more vague, principles-based system that gives companies extra leeway.
“It’s a significant statement and one companies can see as an opportunity,” according to Wes Bricker of PwC, a former chief accountant at the S.E.C. Mr. Bricker said he thought that many companies had already moved beyond what’s required under the old framework, responding to the market’s increasing demands for transparency on their environmental impact. For companies that are not there yet, the S.E.C.’s announcement is a reminder of the direction things are heading.
The business of pain
In “Crisis,” a new movie about the opioid-addiction disaster by the writer and director Nicholas Jarecki, three interwoven stories offer radically different perspectives. Together, they show how fundamentally decent people — doctors, police officers, academics, government scientists, parents, children, people in pain and pharma executives — can make bad decisions in a subtly corrupting system. DealBook spoke with Mr. Jarecki about the film, out in theaters today and streaming next Friday. (The interview was edited and condensed for clarity).
Why this topic?
I had a friend who got involved with opioids many years ago and died. It was perplexing. No one understood. How did this happen? It turns out that opioids affect people very differently and that pills were far more addictive than drug makers admitted. Meanwhile, doctors were overprescribing, encouraged by pharmaceutical companies. We’re used to demonizing addicts, though in the last 10 years awareness of these problems has increased. Still, people are dying as we speak.
Gary Oldman plays a professor who accidentally discovers the truth. Is he a good guy?
He is compromised. I like characters who are conflicted because life is really more in the gray areas. Gary’s character is almost a rubber-stamp guy for a pharmaceutical company because I found in my research that doing routine lab work for corporations can bring a lot of money into schools, which suggests an inherent conflict. The professor gets caught in that. His boss is saying, “Do we really want to rock the boat?” He’s not sure. But his actions, his dealings with the university and government and drug company, have ramifications for other characters.
Do you blame corporations?
There’s no villain in this film sitting in a corporate boardroom thinking of how to kill people. But I do like to look at institutional dysfunction and systemic corruption. I’m fascinated by the role of money in American society, how well-meaning people can be perverted by financial incentives. The question then is whether there are adequate safeguards and regulations and how much responsibility we have to change things.
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