As CTUP readers know, we’ve been pounding investment firms like BlackRock, State Street, and UBS among others – for their woke politics. Our study “Putting Politics Over Pensions” sent some of these multi-trillion dollar colossuses reeling from the bad publicity.
We’re proud that – as you may have heard – the leader of the corporate ESG movement, CEO Larry Fink is backing off, at least rhetorically. He says he’s done with the terminology because it has been “politically weaponized,” and he promises a change of behavior at Blackrock. And since he manages a whopping $9.5 trillion in assets he holds enormous sway in the ESG ecosystem.
How big a reversal is this? Remember, not long ago Fink lectured his fellow corporate executives that it was time for firms “to force behaviors, whether it’s gender or race.” He boasted that compensation for managers at his firm was based in part on how well they imposed ESG. Now he insists that he “never meant to be political.”
Right. That must explain why BlackRock used its 7 percent ownership of United Parcel Services to force it to report on how it planned to follow the Paris Accords’ draconian demands for carbon emission cuts. We could recite many other examples of BlackRock flexing its muscle to achieve progressive policy goals.
Whether BlackRock’s retreat from ESG fanaticism is a head fake or real remains to be seen. But It’s safe to say that the spotlight that CTUP, and other groups like Consumers Research, have shined on these liberal groups is starting to change their behavior.
No one in corporate America wants to be the victim of the next Bud Light fiasco.