A major investment firm is seeing its stock value plummet after a slew of Republican-led states cut ties with it over its promotion of left-wing agenda items through divisive Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores.
(Article by Ashley Sadler republished from LifeSiteNews.com)
The world’s top asset manager, BlackRock Inc. manages almost $10 trillion in investments and boasts such big-ticket holdings as Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Last week, UBS analyst Brennan Hawken downgraded the firm from “Buy” to “Neutral” due to its increasingly unpopular focus on pushing so-called Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) scores, according to a report from Barron’s, the Dow Jones & Company’s official financial news publication.
“We are downgrading BLK to Neutral based on environmental pressure to earnings and risk from the firm’s ESG positioning,” Hawken said in the report, which flagged ESG as “increasingly risky.”
The burgeoning financial risk posed by politically unsavory ESG scores caused Hawken to cut BlackRock’s target stock price by $115 per share, from $700 to $585. The firm’s shares fell by 1% following the report, The Daily Wire noted.
Get Woke, Go Broke: BlackRock Stock Downgraded Over Risk From ESG Investing https://t.co/q77HK9kvZ4
— Daily Wire News (@DailyWireNews) October 17, 2022
Broadly speaking, ESG scores are designed to promote investment in companies that advance left-wing “social justice” goals, including “green energy,” racial “equity,” and abortion access. Pressured by left-wing shareholders, many major corporations have begun promoting radical ideology on a range of social issues including homosexuality, transgenderism, race, and abortion.
BlackRock has actively endorsed ESG principles and promised to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by leveraging its “ESG-focused financial products.” The World Economic Forum is listed as one of BlackRock’s “key diversity partners.”
Earlier this year, the firm announced it was launching an effort to help “streamline and standardize ESG data, reaching over 70,000 private companies.”
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has previously shared his view on companies’ role in “forcing behaviors.”
“You have to force behavior and if you don’t force behavior whether it’s gender or race or any way you want to say the composition of your team, you’re going to be impacted,” he said in 2017.
BlackRock’s down-ranking comes as numerous Republican-led states have publicly divested from the investment giant, which manages many state pension funds, over concerns regarding its left-wing corporate activism.
In August, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the State Board of Administration (SBA) trustees passed a resolution directing that investment decisions regarding Florida’s pension funds exclude “social, political, or ideological interests,” LifeSiteNews reported.
DeSantis blasted the use of “corporate power” to “impose an ideological agenda on the American people through the perversion of financial investment priorities under the euphemistic banners of environmental, social, and corporate governance and diversity, inclusion, and equity.”
The same month, Texas named BlackRock along with and nine other financial firms in a list of groups that will be barred from “entering into contracts with state and local” governmental agencies.
Texas and Florida aren’t alone in distancing themselves from BlackRock for its use of investment dollars to cram down a radical agenda.
Last week, South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Lofits blasted BlackRock’s “leftist worldview” and announced he was extracting the state’s last $200 million from the firm’s control.
Louisiana jumped onboard earlier this month, announcing plans to pull $794 million from the investment giant.
“This divestment is necessary to protect Louisiana from mandates BlackRock has called for that would cripple our critical energy sector,” Schroder said in a press release shared with The Daily Wire. “I refuse to spend a penny of Treasury funds with a company that will take food off tables, money out of pockets and jobs away from hardworking Louisianans.”
This week, Missouri’s state treasurer said that the state employees’ pension fund has similarly opted to withdraw all of its BlackRock-managed equity holdings, citing the investment giant’s interest in “advancing a woke political agenda above the financial interests of their customers,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Meanwhile, BlackRock isn’t alone in its use of financial power to push leftist ideology. Fellow investment giants Vanguard Group, State Street, Fidelity Investments, and Capital have also embraced ESG scoring, leading critics to worry the powerful firms could easily use their financial muscle to shape corporate policy and starve out opposition.
Read more at: LifeSiteNews.com