You may be wondering if relatively small measures like GOP states pulling their pension funds from BlackRock can make a difference when the company’s business dwarfs any withdrawals. Despite the small relative size of withdrawals by states like Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia, CEOs of ESG-pushing money management firms like BlackRock’s Larry Fink are paying attention. Fink is distressed that investors don’t want their money used to push his personal agenda. Ben Zeisloft reports for the Daily Wire:
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink denounced criticism of the ESG movement and expressed skepticism toward supply chain resiliency efforts at the World Economic Forum.
During an interview on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland, the asset management company executive remarked that disputes concerning environmental, social, and corporate governance investing have created significant controversy.
“I’m taking this very seriously,” he told Bloomberg News. “We are trying to address the misconceptions. It’s hard because it’s not business anymore, they’re doing it in a personal way. And for the first time in my professional career, attacks are now personal. They’re trying to demonize the issues.”
The reference to critics’ attempts to “demonize” the ESG movement comes days after Elon Musk quipped on social media that “the S in ESG stands for Satanic.” The billionaire entrepreneur formerly called the philosophy a “scam” that has been “weaponized by phony social justice warriors.”
Fink traveled to Switzerland for the conference days after his company announced plans to dismiss hundreds of employees following a $1.5 trillion loss in assets over the past year. BlackRock has witnessed extensive criticism from opponents of the ESG movement who argue that the investment philosophy compromises profit maximization for left-wing causes such as climate change and racial equity.
“Let’s be clear, the narrative is ugly, the narrative is creating this huge polarization,” Fink continued. “We are doing everything we can to change the narrative.”
Notice that rather than changing his approach, Fink is trying to “change the narrative.” That means he wants to keep doing what he’s doing with investors’ funds, but he doesn’t want anyone to talk about it anymore. Good luck with that.
Action Line: Don’t let an index fund manager vote your shares for causes you don’t want to support. Instead, own a portfolio of individual stocks and bonds, and retain the power to vote your shares yourself. If you need help building an investment portfolio that eschews ESG index funds, let’s talk. Until then, click here to subscribe to my free monthly Survive & Thrive letter, where I talk about all the things woke CEOs would rather avoid.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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