Fossil Fool Divestment Fail: BlackRock Edition

Guest Ron White impression by David Middleton

“You can’t fix stupid”…

Activists call on BlackRock to divest from fossil fuels

Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech 5 days ago

Protesters also called for the company to invest its money into clean energy.

Climate change activists blocked the entrance to BlackRock’s midtown headquarters early Tuesday morning during a protest of the investment management company’s ties to fossil fuel corporations responsible for deforestation.

“We are here to send a message to BlackRock to clean up its dirty act,” said Pete Sikora, the climate campaigns director for New York Communities for Change which organized the demonstration of roughly 150 people. “It’s time for them to become the solution and not the problem.”

[…]

“We all know that burning fossil fuels and deforestation causes climate change,” said Krystal Ford from the Sunrise Movement. “But we also know that greed causes climate change. There are people who are profiting right now off of this climate disaster.”

BlackRock has multi-billion dollars worth of investments in some of the world’s largest oil companies like BP, ExxonMobil and Chevron and is the largest investor in the world in coal, according to The Guardian. 

[…]

The protest occurred on the seven-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s touchdown in New York City — an event that activists said…

[…]

AM New York

Figure 1. Can you say “greentards”?

Where to start?

How about the first sentence?

Protesters also called for the company to invest its money into clean energy.

Note to New York Communities for Change: It’s not BlackRock’s money.

What we stand for
At BlackRock, we’re guided by our culture and a set of principles that ensure we never forget what we stand for – to help more and more people invest in their financial well-being.

We are a fiduciary to our clients
Put simply, your goals are our goals. We represent your voice, your needs and your investment goals in every decision we make.

BlackRock

BlackRock is a capital management company. They manage other people’s money for the sole purpose of generating returns on their clients’ investments.

We are a global investment manager.

BlackRock

BlackRock is an investment manager.

“We are here to send a message to BlackRock to clean up its dirty act. It’s time for them to become the solution and not the problem.”

Pete Sikora, the climate campaigns director for New York Communities for Change, organizer of 150 person criminal trespassing.

150 protesters? This merited a news article? Well, it certainly merits ridicule.

Peter “Climate change and inequality, mostly” Sikora should know better than this. He has an MBA… Although he’s never had a real job.

“There are people who are profiting right now off of this climate disaster.”

Krystal Ford from the Sunrise Movement

Krystal “Activist and Community Organizer with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry” Ford has an excuse for being stupid. She has a BS in nutrition and an MA in food studies. The closest thing to a real job in her CV appears to be as a self-employed yoga instructor. Although, Krystal, like a blind squirrel, did manage to find the acorn: “profiting.”

BlackRock wouldn’t be investing its clients’ money in ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and all of these big “beautiful clean coal” companies, if it wasn’t generating a better return than its competitors…

Figure 2. Too fracking funny! Coal is a black rock! (The Grauniad)

The two largest asset managers in the world (BlackRock and The Vanguard Group) are also ExxonMobil’s largest shareholders

Activists thought BlackRock, Vanguard found religion on climate change. Not anymore
PUBLISHED SUN, OCT 13 2019

Eric Rosenbaum

In the history of the earth’s climate two years is a infinitesimal blip, but in the recent history of investor-led efforts to push for action on climate change from corporations, two years has meant a great deal.

In 2017, the two biggest U.S.-based fund managers, BlackRock and Vanguard — which control a combined $12 trillion in assets — both voted to require Exxon Mobil to produce a report on climate change. It was a seen as watershed moment showing what can occur when the biggest index funds punch their weight at the annual meetings of corporations, and join other shareholders in supporting proxy proposals covering social issues.

Until it wasn’t the watershed everybody thought it was.

Since that 2017 vote, multiple analyses of proxy votes have shown BlackRock and Vanguard to have among the worst voting records when it comes to social issues supported by other shareholders, including many of their peers among the world’s largest asset managers.

[…]

Why does that matter?

BlackRock and Vanguard control the largest blocks of shares in nearly every publicly-traded firm in the U.S., including in the carbon-intensive energy and utility industries.

[…]

CNBC

Figure 3. I see greentards, that’s the green I see. Europa Press News | Europa Press | Getty Images

Caption from CNBC article:

Demonstrators hold banners at the demonstration in Barcelona with the slogan ‘The problem is not the weather, the problem is capitalism’ , in which people are seen protesting in support of the global climate strike demanding solutions for global warming on September 27, 2019.
Europa Press News | Europa Press | Getty Images

CNBC

“The problem is not the weather, the problem is capitalism”

There’s a reason why the two largest asset managers in the world (BlackRock and The Vanguard Group) are also ExxonMobil’s largest shareholders… The reason is capitalism and capitalism isn’t a problem. It’s the solution to most of the world’s problems.

“Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.”

Milton Friedman

The concept is very simple.

“The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

Milton Friedman

Figure 4. “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy.” Data from BP 2018 Statistical Review of World Energy

“A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

Milton Friedman

BlackRock is a major investor in fossil fuel companies because they give “people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want” and…

“There is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud”

Milton Friedman

Which puts the total lie to the NY Attorney General’s fraudulent lawsuit against ExxonMobil. If there was any evidence that ExxonMobil was deceiving shareholders about climate change, BlackRock and The Vanguard Group wouldn’t be their largest shareholders, controlling nearly 15% of the company.

But, as Ron White says…

Figure 5. You really can’t.

And, since you can’t fix stupid, you also can’t prevent…

Figure 6. Really futile and stupid gestures.

via Watts Up With That?

https://ift.tt/2oMjizi

November 5, 2019 at 04:32AM

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