NSO, Astroworld, and Live Nation — the past, present, and future of ESG
Separating responsible investing from cancel culture
This week, a nine-year old boy became the tenth person to die from injuries suffered at the Astroworld music festival in Houston. At the event on 5 November, he was trampled as a crush of bodies surged towards the stage to watch the rapper Travis Scott.
It didn’t take long for lawsuits to appear. As well as Scott himself—who kept performing even as fans struggled to breathe—many of them implicated the event’s organizer Live Nation, a well-known issuer in the high yield bond market.
A few days after this horrendous incident, a loan issued by the Israeli spyware company NSO Group hit an all-time low bid of 70 cents on the dollar. This came shortly after the company was blacklisted by the US for helping foreign governments spy on civilians.
While unrelated, these two news events highlight an increasingly pressing debate: what role do debt investors play in holding companies accountable?