Florida’s chief financial officer said his department would divest $2 billion from BlackRock after the asset manager made it clear they are prioritizing wokeness and ESG over fundamentals.
“Using Florida’s cash to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering project isn’t something we signed up for. It’s got nothing to do with maximizing returns and is the opposite of what an asset manager is paid to do. We’re divesting from BlackRock”, Florida’s CEO Jimmy Patronis wrote in a statement.
“Florida’s Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they’ve got other goals than producing returns,” Patronis wrote.
“As major banking institutions and economists predict a recession in the coming year, and as the Fed increases interest rates to combat the inflation crisis, I need partners within the financial services industry who are as committed to the bottom line as we are – and I don’t trust BlackRock’s ability to deliver,” he wrote.
“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is on a campaign to change the world. In an open letter to CEOs, he’s championed ‘stakeholder capitalism’ and believes that ‘capitalism has the power to shape society,’” Patronis continued.
“To meet this end, the asset management company has leaned heavily into Environmental, Social, and Governance standards – known as ESG – to help police who should, and who should not gain access to capital.”
In August, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis eliminated ESG considerations from state pension investments.
“Corporate power has increasingly been utilized 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,” Governor Ron DeSantis wrote at the time.
“With the resolution we passed today, the tax dollars and proxy votes of the people of Florida will no longer be commandeered by Wall Street financial firms and used to implement policies through the board room that Floridians reject at the ballot box. We are reasserting the authority of republican governance over corporate dominance and we are prioritizing the financial security of the people of Florida over whimsical notions of a utopian tomorrow”, DeSantis wrote.
ESG or ‘environmental, social and governance’ is a movement among woke corporations and asset managers to screen investments based on criteria such as social justice and climate considerations.
The movement has been described as a massive scam by outside observers, with investments flowing into poor-quality assets simply due to greenwashing or woke considerations.