For all the boasts and claims thatBlackRock CEO Larry Fink has made in recent years about the need for corporate “accountability” with regard to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities, and that they are a better long-term investment prospect, he has consistently fallen short in the eyes of experts who evaluate those things.
First there was the academic study released in August that found that despite claims to the contrary by major financial firms – including BlackRock – that ESG factors did notinoculate investors against the stock market downturn that was attributed to the COVID crash of the global economy, nor did sustainability priorities aid in the subsequent limited recovery.
And now it turns out that one of BlackRock’s non-profiting investment priorities ballyhooed by Fink – climate change – is not all he cracks it up to be.
His behavior speaks of someone who was handed a massive inheritance and did nothing to earn it, rather than the from-the-bootstraps tech entrepreneur that he actually is.
His billions (as the world’s wealthiest man, according to Forbes) and his ascent to notoriety appear to have driven him to obsess over his image, but rather than actually conduct himself like a responsible grown-up, he would rather throw money around in futile attempts to come off as more responsible and mature than he is.
For example, consider his recent announcement that he will dedicate $10 billion of his personal wealth to “fight climate change.” It’s hard to imagine a business that belches more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the deliver-everywhere, mega-cloud-computing Amazon. Between package transport vehicles (oil) and massive … Read More ➡
For decades labor unions have utilized the tactics of corporate campaigns, which single out and target individual companies with public pressure via shaming and critical attacks, in order to get them to surrender and accept unionization of their workers.
Other activists behind various progressive causes have adopted the strategy in order to advance their agendas. Not the least of these are the shrill climate change warriors, who battle against the “evils” of the fossil fuels that energize almost every aspect of our everyday modern lives.
So far environmental pressure groups like Greenpeace and 350.org have gone after the obvious targets: coal and oil companies; public utilities like Duke Energy and American Electric Power; the automobile industry; and tech companies like Apple and Amazon who churn massive amounts of electricity for cloud computing services and the like.
As member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change take their 25thstab at an international agreement to limit so-called greenhouse gas emissions, some American corporations are trying to make up for the absence of the United States as part of the deal.
President Donald Trump famously announced in June 2017 the U.S. withdrawal from the nonbinding Paris Climate Agreement, which was previously negotiated in 2015 with the willful participation of then-President Barack Obama. Even though the U.S. Senate never ratified the treaty, as is required, the U.S. acted as though it was legal and pretended to adhere to the accord. But then last month Trump gave formal notification to the U.N. of America’s departure from the pact, effective the day after Election Day, in 2020.
Now that former CEO Jeffrey Immelt is fully out of the General Electric picture as both CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors, his replacement, John L. Flannery, is working to cut the costs many said would be among his first priorities.
The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday revealed (paywall) some of the excess under Immelt, the most sensational being that he sometimes had an empty corporate jet follow the one he was flying in, in case there were delays or mechanical problems. A GE spokewoman justified the practice by telling the newspaper that the “two planes were used on limited occasions for business-critical or security purposes.”
Whether or not the double-jet travel (what was Immelt going to do if his plane had problems – parachute to the other one?) was justified can be left to the judgment of the reader and … Read More ➡