The Wall Street Journal recently ran a news story about how Larry Fink, the CEO of the world's largest investment company, is pursuing his own social and political goals using client money.

BlackRock manages roughly ten trillion (yes, I meant to use the "t", that's trillion, not billion) dollars worth of investments. Even if you are not invested directly in a BlackRock fund, they may well be managing the retirement plan of your employer or of your state. They also administered the bonds involved with various stimulus programs (ones which they recommended the government launch) so if you are an American, they're managing a portion of the national debt.

One of the little secrets about these money management firms is that they don't just get to make money on your investments as a client (which, of course, is fine), but that they get to vote on your behalf about a wide variety of social and political corporate policies according to BlackRock's value system, and not yours.

Case in point, transgender issues:

"… the money manager joined others in signing a statement opposing a Texas bill regulating transgender access to public bathrooms in 2017, Britt Harris, then-investment chief at Teacher Retirement System of Texas wanted a word with Mr. Fink. Mr. Harris, who now leads the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Management Co., told Mr. Fink that he respected the CEO’s personal views. But he didn’t want BlackRock telling Texas what to do, according to people familiar with the men’s exchanges."

Wherever one stands on such issues as sexual reassignment medical procedures for minors, forcing physicians to violate their religious or moral convictions about such matters, or whether a biological man ought to be able to force himself onto a girl's wrestling team, it is at least clear that these issue are highly contentious and that that they are likely to foster backlash.

In fact, they already have:

"Mr. Fink’s power, combined with his advocacy on a hot-button issue, has made him a flashpoint for activists, politicians and unions, both those who think BlackRock isn’t doing enough and others who say it’s doing too much."

It's interesting to note that BlackRock is under pressure from activists who think it "isn't doing enough."

Having attended dozens of annual meetings, I've noticed a pattern in which those companies which have a history of acquiescing to social activists find themselves subjected to escalating demands. The basic argument is usually something like "You've already made public statements saying that LGBTQ (or global warming, or voting rights, 'stakeholder capitalism', etc.) are core values, now you have to live up to that by doing x, y, z!'
Money hides face by Matthew Henry is licensed under Burst
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