There are any number of global elites trying to change the world and destroy the West. George Soros may be the most infamous. Even Mark Zuckerberg used his considerable personal wealth to put his thumb on the scale in 2020 by funding local election offices through a non-profit. While you may detest their goals and actions, at least they use their own money to gain influence and results. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is no less determined to change how our economy and society function. However, he uses the power amassed by managing other people’s money to achieve his political goals.
One organization is calling Fink out. In October, Consumers’ Research launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign to expose BlackRock’s bad business practices and Larry Fink’s hypocritical woke principles. Now, the campaign has a website, WhoIsLarryFink.com, and a new digital ad:
Consumers’ Research is an independent educational 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to increase the knowledge and understanding of issues, policies, products, and services of concern to consumers and promote the freedom to act on that knowledge and understanding. It believes the cost, quality, and variety of available goods and services increase when American consumers have more information.
Before this phase of the campaign, Consumers’ Research released a television advertisement and penned a letter to Governors that included a consumer warning focused on BlackRock’s use of American investment dollars to fund the Chinese Communist Party. Since the release of the consumer warning, several states have taken action to protect their consumers from the shady dealings of BlackRock and Fink. Consumers’ Research also recently launched the website BlackRockLovesChina.com.
Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research, believes that Fink’s behavior is crucial to highlight because he is a fiduciary using assets under management to change the behavior of American corporations — all while investing in the status quo in China. BlackRock even had investments in Chinese companies that were banned during the Trump administration, according to Hild.
BlackRock has at least $10 trillion in assets under its management. That would make the firm the third-largest GDP in the world if it were a sovereign nation. Fink and his management team use their considerable balance sheet to push companies to adopt green energy standards, commit to zero emissions, and adopt social justice policies. The money they manage includes the retirement savings of working-class and public employee pensioners as well as employees with 401(k)s.
All you need to do is read one of Fink’s annual letters to CEOs to see what he expects. Klaus Schwab, President of the World Economic Forum, praised Fink’s 2021 missive. The letter sounds more like a master’s thesis from Oberlin than a serious assessment of world markets and global financial strategy. But the implied threat is clear for organizations that do not align with Fink’s priorities and politics: BlackRock will not invest in your company.
There is no company whose business model won’t be profoundly affected by the transition to a net zero economy – one that emits no more carbon dioxide than it removes from the atmosphere by 2050, the scientifically-established threshold necessary to keep global warming well below 2ºC. As the transition accelerates, companies with a well-articulated long-term strategy, and a clear plan to address the transition to net zero, will distinguish themselves with their stakeholders – with customers, policymakers, employees and shareholders – by inspiring confidence that they can navigate this global transformation. But companies that are not quickly preparing themselves will see their businesses and valuations suffer, as these same stakeholders lose confidence that those companies can adapt their business models to the dramatic changes that are coming.
According to Stephen Soukup, the author of The Dictatorship of Woke Capital, organizations like BlackRock are part of a top-down, anti-democratic movement that aims to change the relationship between businesses and their customers, citizens, and the state, and to forever alter the way public policy is made. You can see Fink attempting to do this by leveraging investment for compliance. The federal government no longer needs to pass the Green New Deal; BlackRock’s investment criteria will do it for them.
Since Consumers’ Research started its education campaign regarding BlackRock, several states have passed laws trying to mitigate the use of environmental, social, and governance scores (ESGs) by financial institutions to evaluate loans and investments. At least two have taken action against BlackRock specifically, according to Hild. West Virginia withdrew all public funds from BlackRock investment funds.
Florida went one step further: it removed BlackRock’s ability to manage the state’s proxy votes. Now, state representatives will vote at company board meetings where Florida funds are invested. One of the ways BlackRock is leveraging its portfolio is by placing activist board members using proxy votes on the funds it manages. According to The Wall Street Journal, BlackRock put three activist investors on Exxon Mobile’s board of directors. Together with two other new members, they are trying to cancel billions in fossil fuel exploration investment.
Wild is encouraged by these moves at the state level and hopes additional state officials will take action. “I would hope state officials whose pension funds are managed by BlackRock would examine Larry Fink’s actions in light of his fiduciary responsibility and take action.” He sees BlackRock’s heavy investments in China with no expectations for transparency or a behavior change from the CCP as a betrayal of the many investors whose money his firm manages. Wild recognizes Florida’s action as ideal because it will create democratic accountability in managing the state’s pension funds.
Soukup goes even further. When Glenn Beck asked him who was driving the move toward woke capital that focuses on stakeholder capitalism rather than shareholder capitalism and politics rather than profit, Soukup answered:
“Right now, the primary driver is BlackRock. BlackRock asset management, which is a $10 trillion asset management firm run by Larry Fink, who is one of the most aggressively woke CEOs in America. He has the ability — given that he holds somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-18% of every single company on the S&P 500 — he has the ability to leverage the shares that he holds to change the way businesses behave and essentially give them orders about how they should behave if they want to retain his support.”
And all of that leverage comes from other people’s money.