The GOP-led governments of four conservative southern and western states recently withdrew over $1 Billion worth of investments in mega-asset-manager BlackRock over its promotion of the anti-petrochemical, “fashionable,” political trend called Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG). And by doing so, they offer us another indication of the power governments now have to steer corporate behavior (whether one applauds the behavior or does not) and they hint at a growing regional U.S. schism between mostly leftist northeastern industrial/tech-banking states and mostly southern and western states housing major oil, coal, and natural gas reserves.
Patrick Temple-West covers the action, via The Financial Times:
“In an interview with the Financial Times, South Carolina state treasurer Curtis Loftis said he would pull $200mn from BlackRock by the end of the year. Louisiana treasurer John Schroder said last week he was withdrawing $794mn from BlackRock. Utah’s treasurer Marlo Oaks said he liquidated $100mn in BlackRock funds, and Arkansas reportedly pulled $125mn this year.”
MRCTV readers will recall my July warning about ESG and how the vast web of nationally-sanctioned central banks, international banks, corporations, so-called “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs), and political bigwigs worldwide were not only pushing an anti-petrochemical, command-and-control of energy and food agenda via their various so-called “legislatures” (everyplace from England, to New Zealand, to Holland, to Sri Lanka, to Germany, to the U.S., and the EU), but also how their machinations were steering the central-bank-created money flows towards those artificially created ESG investment plans.
As I wrote at the time:
“ESG is the culmination of decades of government propaganda and political ties to corporations, universities, banking, and non-profits, steering them away from consumer satisfaction and towards political plans. It is the attempt to see politically preferred behavior and propaganda control resources and crowd-out any competition offered by the consumer-oriented ‘un-woke.’
And it's one of the driving forces behind the Dutch government’s merciless attack on farmers, livestock, and nitrogen fertilizer, which, as Micky Wootten reported July 5 for CNS News:
‘…calls upon each Dutch Province to implement emission reduction measures to reduce nitrogen emissions between 12 and 70 percent, depending on the area.’”
For the Dutch, it's getting worse, as the Climate-Cultish Dutch government under Prime Minister Mark Rutte is pushing not only to destroy vast herds of cattle, but to confiscate/nationalize farms, taking them from thousands of family farmers, supposedly to reduce “nitrogen emissions.” Dutch reporter Eva Vlaardinerbroek is becoming well known in the U.K. and U.S. for following this and other authoritarian government attacks, and she is not alone in noting that the majority of the targeted farms are close to urban areas where the Dutch open-immigration policy has led to a distinct housing crisis. Both Vlaardinerbroek and Dutch researcher Ralph Schoellhammer speculate that the Rutte government wants to transform the farmland into residential property.
If you are familiar with the British “Enclosure Movement” that saw its apex in the early Industrial Revolution – a political assault by which the royals retained strength by handing to special friends farmland that for centuries had been locally managed according to ancient Common Law, forcing many farmers into the growing industrial cities – then you might see echoes of this in Holland and other areas. The common thread is that private property and market decisions are to be crushed beneath the boots of the new feudal lords at places like BlackRock, the European Central Bank, the U.S. government and Fed, and multinational corporations.
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And the top-down inversion of market principles into green-masked corporate-government fascism comes with a lot of monetary “green." Writes Temple-West:
“As the global sustainable investing phenomenon has surged — it has increased by $1tn since 2020 — BlackRock jumped into the action. The company manages five of the top 20 US sustainable funds by assets, which is more than any other investment manager, according to Morningstar.”
And, as I noted last week for MRCTV, the U.S. Federal Reserve is ready to use its fiat currency clout to usher in U.S. bank-created ESG-Climate Costs and “risks.” They’re doing it out of thin air - because, of course, people can’t apply real cost numbers to so-called Climate Change. And that, in turn, is because no real financial risk can be determined for a fake-out the way a market actually determines expenses for REAL threats.
And as the Federal Reserve greases the wheels of this Climate Change Choo-Choo to Povertyville, we also recall that nine northeastern state governments have signed onto the artificial, top-down, carbon-tax-imposing “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative” (RGGI), which will create carbon ceilings for state energy sources (why should a state be involved in supplying or controlling energy to residents?) and create a fake “market” for various state-catering energy companies to “trade/sell” carbon indulgences if they were extremely efficient at cutting their emissions.
But the free market incentivizes efficiency. Even the USDA admits that farmers have become more and more efficient over the past century, and in Europe, small farms dominate the efficiency metrics.
“In the European Union, 20 countries register a higher rate of production per hectare on small farms than on large farms. In nine EU countries, productivity of small farms is at least twice that of big farms.55 In the seven countries where large farms have higher productivity, it is only slightly higher than that of small farms.56 This tendency is confirmed by numerous studies in other countries and regions, all of them showing higher productivity on small farms.”
What appears to be happening today in the U.S. is an echo of other historical periods, a segregation and battle of interests between leftist northeastern states and right-leaning, energy-producing (or would be, if the feds would allow it) southern and western states. Akin to the conflict between politically dominant northern industrial/banking/shipping states and southern agricultural states prior to the U.S. Civil War, where the North-favoring federal tariffs against foreign imports heavily harmed the South, the question they want answered is “who gets its bread buttered” by policy.
And the governments of these conservative states no longer want their state investments feeding BlackRock, which, in turn could lobby for more policies that will harm the oil, coal, gas interests and consumers in general.
The key lessons are:
First, to recognize how much illegitimate power the federal government has acquired -- even beyond the power that led to the Civil War – over most of our lives.
Second, to recognize what we saw with the flipside of this state move, when NYC Comptroller Brad Lander threatened to withdraw vast public employee pension fund investments from credit card companies if they didn’t start collecting sales data from gun shop purchases. And that is the vast political leverage state and city-level interests can have on corporations without us even knowing.
This move by right-leaning state governments is laudable, but it reflects a problem that could stand repair: the vastness of political bureaucracies, on every level, and the money their employees can shower on schemes that will, inevitably, further influence our lives.
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