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BlackRock’s Larry Fink Backing Off ESG

Maybe Larry Fink is a Hotline reader, or maybe he’s paying attention to our annual report card “Putting Politics Over Pensions,” but what is undeniable is that BlackRock is in retreat on climate craziness. That’s a remarkable turnaround in 18 months – given that Fink was the leader of this whole CEO movement.

Our soon-to-be-released updated report card finds that on the most recent batch of ESG shareholder resolutions, BlackRock rejected most of the radical anti-fossil fuel proposals.

The firm with trillions of dollars of their clients’ money under management, is no longer trying to steer corporate behavior away from profitability, which in our view was actively destructive of shareholder value. Here is the way The Wall Street Journal reported this change in focus:

After crusading for years for investment funds and companies to take into account environmental, social and governance factors, Larry Fink has purged the letters from his vocabulary….

Fink retreated after a backlash from conservative pundits [including yours truly] against “woke capitalism” made the term politically toxic. Furthermore, he faced criticism, even in the finance industry, from people who said he was moralizing, playing God and stepping beyond BlackRock’s fiduciary duty to maximize financial returns for clients.

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