ESG Bully BlackRock Layoffs Coming Amid Consumer Concerns, Lawsuit, House Probe

Craig Bannister | January 8, 2024
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Layoffs are coming at BlackRock, the world’s largest money management firm, as the company contends with customer-pushback, a state lawsuit, and a House Judiciary Committee investigation over its efforts to impose radical leftist ESG ideology on the nation.

About six hundred, or three percent, of BlackRock’s global employees will soon lose their jobs, Fox Business reports, citing the firm’s loss of assets caused by its focus on ESG advocacy, rather than profits, as a factor in the move:

“The decline in assets also came as BlackRock became a political lightning rod over its embrace of Environmental Social Governance investing, or ESG, which directs investment dollars into public companies in the sustainable energy space, or those that are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and advocate corporate governance measures such as boardroom diversity.”

Not only have clients been removing their funds from BlackRock’s ESG investments, but pension funds in Republican-controlled states have pulled about six billion dollars from BlackRock.

The House Judiciary Committee is currently investigating, and has subpoenaed, BlackRock regarding the investment giant’s ESG coercion of investment-seekers and potentially-antitrust-violating efforts to advance ESG.

Additionally, the State of Tennessee is suing BlackRock, alleging that the company is harming consumers by misleading them about its prioritization of ESG over profits, Fox Business reported on December 18, 2023:

“According to the lawsuit filed in state court Monday and first obtained by FOX Business, BlackRock has articulated two inconsistent positions: one prioritizing financial returns and the other prioritizing investment policies to combat climate change.

“‘We allege that BlackRock’s inconsistent statements about its investment strategies deprived consumers of the ability to make an informed choice,’ Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti told FOX Business in a statement.”

In response to the growing anti-ESG backlash, BlackRock has, reportedly, stopped requiring its U.S. portfolio managers to consider ESG metrics when making investment decisions regarding non-ESG funds.

If true, this would be an extreme reversal of BlackRock’s long-standing policy of punishing employees who don’t succeed in using their power of the purse to advance ideology.

In a newly-resurfaced video from a 2017 interview, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says his company is “forcing” ESG compliance - and penalizing employees who aren’t:

“Behaviors are going to have to change and this is one thing we’re asking companies. You have to force behaviors and at Blackrock we are forcing behaviors.”

The firm’s investment managers will suffer financial consequences, if they don’t have enough pro-ESG impact, Fink goes on to explain:

“What we are doing internally is, if you don’t achieve these levels of impact, your compensation could be impacted, okay.”

“You have to force behaviors. And, if you don’t force behaviors, whether it’s gender or race or, just any way you want to say the composition of your team, you’re going to be impacted.”

 

 

Today, however, the term “ESG” has even become so toxic that Larry Fink says that he “won’t say it anymore” because, when people hear the term, “We lose the conversation.” But, not “saying” ESG is a far cry from not using the investment firm’s financial might to pressure companies to embrace it.

So, the question remains: is BlackRock backing away from ESG advocacy, or simply going underground with its efforts?

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