(LifeSiteNews) — The head of BlackRock, the largest investment firm in the world, Larry Fink, has said the term “ESG” has become “weaponized,” forcing him to distance himself from the brand.
“I’m not going to use the word ESG because it’s been misused by the far left and the far right,” Fink said at the Aspen Ideas Festival on June 25, as Axios reported.
What is ESG?
According to Investopedia, ESG is “a set of standards for a company’s behavior used by socially conscious investors to screen potential investments.”
The acronym stands for
In effect, it is a means of transforming investment strategies to privilege companies which implement and promote radical changes including “Net Zero” initiatives and the promotion of employees for reasons other than competence.
As Investopedia explains:
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing is used to screen investments based on corporate policies and to encourage companies to act responsibly.
Many mutual funds, brokerage firms, and robo-advisors now offer investment products that employ ESG principles.
Or as Breitbart states:
Would you invest in a company that doesn’t display the trans flag on their social media accounts during Pride month or tweet platitudes about climate change and Ukraine? If you do, you might be supporting bad companies and you might be bad yourself. ESG is a simple yet effective way of using social shaming to bring about radical change.
These ESG goals are the “behaviors” which BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said it was his duty to “force” as early as 2017.
He went on to stress the nature of these behaviors later in the interview, threatening the “impact” on businesses which do not comply.
“We’re doing the same. So, it’s just it, 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 gonna be impacted…”
So, what has happened? Has Larry Fink had a change of heart – or is he simply repositioning the brand of a vast firm which Bloomeberg has been called “the fourth branch” of the U.S. Government?
A growing liability
Fink has been reported as saying he was “ashamed” of using the term ESG, but has since denied making this comment.
His remarks indicate a change of messaging, however, not one of direction. Whilst BlackRock will, in accordance with Fink’s wishes, discard the term ESG, it remains dedicated to promoting the same agenda under a different name.
On a page highlighting BlackRock’s AI trading platform, ALADDIN, the term appears in a link to ESG-guided investment strategies.
We’re continuously developing new sustainability-focused capabilities within the Aladdin® platform, by integrating climate and ESG metrics, analytics, and functionality into investors’ daily workflows to drive more informed decisions. We launched Aladdin® Climate and eFront® ESG Outreach to do just that. And just over the past year we have added over 2,000 new ESG-related data elements that support public and/or private markets investing.
Yet the link opens a page on the “effects of climate change on investing” with no mention of the term “ESG.”
The term itself is being scrubbed, but the Net Zero element remains. What is notable by its absence is the “diversity” aspect, which accounts for 30 percent or so of the ESG scores given to businesses.
ESG requires the promotion of candidates on the basis of sexual behavior, race, sex, “gender” and other characteristics to the governing board of companies, as well as policies which promote these identity agendas both in corporate culture – and in wider society.
From Investopedia under the subtitle “Social”:
Social aspects look at the company’s relationships with internal and external stakeholders.5
Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. “Time to Rethink the S in ESG.”
Does it hold suppliers to its own ESG standards? Does the company donate a percentage of its profits to the local community or encourage employees to perform volunteer work there? Do workplace conditions reflect a high regard for employees’ health and safety? Or does the company take unethical advantage of its customers?
Socially responsible investing (SRI) is an investment strategy that highlights this one facet of ESG. SRI investors seek companies that promote ethical and socially conscious themes including diversity, inclusion, community-focus, social justice, and corporate ethics, in addition to fighting against racial, gender, and sexual discrimination.
Expanding on this thought, Investopedia adds that the “social” score also means a company:
- Operates an ethical supply chain
- Avoids overseas labor that may have questionable workplace safety or employ child labor
- Supports LGBTQ+ rights and encourages all forms of diversity
- Has policies to protect against sexual misconduct
- Pays fair (living) wages
BlackRock’s own report suggested that the “forcing” of these policies was effectively creating a culture of incompetence in Western corporate governance.
It is this aspect of ESG – and not only the Net Zero component – which has seen the shareholders of many major companies denounce it.
A toxic brand
The brand’s toxicity was noted in an earlier Axios report this April which noted growing discontent in major corporations over the agenda.
- Investors have filed 68 anti-ESG proposals this year to date — compared to 45 in all of 2022, per data from the Sustainable Investments Institute, a nonprofit.
- About one-third of the anti-ESG proposals this year are focused on diversity — asking companies, including Apple, JPMorgan, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, to report on the “risks” that their anti-discrimination or racial justice efforts pose to their business.
- Two proposals ask companies to avoid public policy positions unless there’s a business justification. And a handful are asking public companies to report the risks posed by attempting to achieve net zero or decarbonization goals.
Speaking of a “backlash” over the program, which awards scores on Net Zero goals and “diversity,” Axios published a chart showing a surge in shareholder protests over ESG implementation.
This is an agenda which has been most aggressively advanced by BlackRock itself. In its Global Outlook for 2023, BlackRock admitted that ESG was destabilizing the corporations and economies into which it has forced these behaviors.
In this context, the remarks of the CEO of the biggest business in the world are indicative of a wider trend.
Last December, the world’s second largest investment firm Vanguard withdrew from the Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) initiative. Vanguard is also the biggest shareholder in BlackRock.
Following this, energy giant BP “dialed back its climate pledge,” as the Washington Post reported in February.
On diversity and Net Zero, the backlash has grown from a groundswell of popular outrage to shareholder action – which seems to be forcing a quite different type of behavior.
Who advises Larry Link?
Does Larry Fink listen to this sort of discontent? A man comfortable with the coercion of corporations is likely to have preferred the advice of the world’s most powerful non-human influencer.
Known as ALADDIN, the Asset Liability And Debt Derivative Investment Network is an artificial intelligence system trained on BlackRock’s vast data pool.
Its decisions guide the actions of most major corporations worldwide, including those of BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street, who together manage more than 22 trillion dollars in global assets. It has twice been used by the U.S. government itself – once in the financial crisis of 2008, and again under lockdown – in a process which has seen the enormous sums of money printed by the Federal Reserve reinvested in the interests of these major firms.
‘Few people know it was a robot that saved America from disaster’
The 2008 financial crisis was a disaster for Wall Street. The implosion of U.S. banks and other lenders came close to collapsing the financial system entirely.
It was caused by the same practices which Larry Fink used in the 1980s to get rich. The sale of risky mortgages, and their subsequent use as assets on which to leverage further borrowing, was a very lucrative business.
Due to one computer glitch, however, Larry Fink made a trade which cost his firm 100 million dollars. He responded by building ALADDIN – an Artificial Intelligence trader which now controls more money that the GDP of the USA.
This startling video from 2021 explains how one “robotrader” controls more wealth than any nation on earth.
It was ALADDIN’s decisions as to what to keep and what to sell which decided the outcome of the crisis. With the U.S. Federal Reserve and many European central banks relying upon its decisions, how did ALADDIN spend all the money that was printed to halt the collapse?
Between 2008 and 2016, four major central banks – U.S., Japan, European Union and the United Kingdom – printed nine trillion dollars.
ALADDIN directed much of this money into investments held by BlackRock.
In 2017 Fink replaced his asset managers with ALADDIN, in a project named MONARCH. This precedent explains a trend which has now sees over 70 percent of all trades on U.S. stock markets completed without humans. It is a system which removes humanity completely from financial decisions which affect all of our lives.
The money printing accelerated under lockdown policies. The U.S. printed over three trillion dollars in 2020 alone. Where did the money go? Directed by ALADDIN, the U.S. Federal Reserve began buying into a financial instrument – ETFs – in which BlackRock had a leading 3 trillion dollar stake.
In May 2023, Statista claimed the U.S. Federal Reserve had created over 8.5 trillion dollars in the last fifteen years. Much of this has been directed into funds advised by ALADDIN.
This is an effective means of capturing money printed at the cost of the private citizen. Yet BlackRock is not content with taking money that you never saw, but for which you will continue to pay.
BlackRock is expanding to capture personal data and has notably begun to buy up family homes. It is said that no one can compete against BlackRock without the use of ALADDIN’s vast data store and decision-making capabilities.
As Forbes wrote in 2017:
‘Aladdin is like oxygen. Without it we wouldn’t be able to function,’ says Anthony Malloy, CEO of $238 billion (assets) New York Life Investors, one of hundreds of firms outside of BlackRock paying fees to use Aladdin. Daniel Pinto, CEO of JPMorgan’s investment bank, adds, ‘It allows our clients to trade across asset classes, conduct sophisticated risk analytics and oversee their portfolios in a very integrated data environment.’
The oversight of ALADDIN in the USA is headed by the National Economic Council, whose former head was Brian Deese. Appointed by Joe Biden in December 2020, Deese was previously the Global Head of Sustainable Investing at BlackRock. As the Wikipedia page on him says:
At the NEC, Deese was the first and last person Biden consulted on economic issues and was a driving force behind the President’s domestic policy legacy.
His contribution is one of vast public debt combined with an ESG inspired diversity agenda. As the New York Times wrote on his departure in February 2023:
But his legacy will include the high inflation that plagued the economy last year, which economists attribute in some part to spending from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
It will also include assembling the most diverse staff in terms of race and gender in the council’s history.
The current under-secretary of the Treasury is Larry Fink’s former interim chief of staff at BlackRock Wally Adeyemo.
A former economic adviser to the Obama administration, the native Nigerian was the first president of the Obama Foundation.
Adeyemo was appointed to the U.S. Treasury position in March 2021 by Joe Biden.
BlackRock Life Matters
What BlackRock does increasingly shapes the world we inhabit. Its power extends into U.S. and Western governments, with its portfolio now participating in a half a trillion dollar deal for Ukrainian reconstruction.
The recent revelations by James O’Keefe that BlackRock claims to be capable of buying presidents should therefore come as no surprise. Its robot trader ALADDIN manages over 20 trillion dollars – more money than is possessed by any nation on earth.
The scoop by O’Keefe sees so-called “conspiracy theories” uttered verbatim from the mouth of a BlackRock employee. The investment firm has bought our politicians, saying “senators are cheap” at around $10, 000.
Naturally, as exposed by O’Keefe, BlackRock sees in the Ukraine war a great business opportunity.
To describe the activities of a vast corporation plundering the world, and directed by a robot, sounds like a nightmare scene from science fiction. Yet this is the obscene reality that we inhabit, and it is one authored by a gargantuan machine whose enormous profits are only matched by the devastating losses they inflict on the lives of ordinary people.
It is a machine that is careful to position itself in a positive light, as it comes to dominate a world through an ever-refining technique of destruction. This is the reason it adopted the term ESG – and it is the same reason it is now discarding it.
BlackRock is concerned with keeping up appearances – because the reality behind them is obscene.