This op-ed by NLPC Chairman Peter Flaherty appears today on Real Clear Markets:
Last week, Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies, lost a critical board fight with Engine No.1, a “woke” small investor group. The win was predictably spun by the mainstream media as a David vs. Goliath story as well as a milestone moment for a new type of altruistic Environmental, Social and Governance investor.
The truth, however, is more cynical than heroic. Among other things, this is a story of how a billionaire like Larry Fink, a true Wolf of Wall Street, uses other people’s money to simultaneously camouflage his checkered past and help promote himself as an elder statesman of the markets, a beneficent oligarch with a penchant for saving the planet.
The popular media narrative is that this latest Exxon shareholder campaign was conducted by a small group of activist shareholders. But Engine No. 1‘s effort to chivy Exxon into changing its business strategy to please environmentalist investors and their allies would likely have gone nowhere without the timely intervention of Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock.
Click here to read the whole op-ed on Real Clear Markets.