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Woke Capital Won’t Save the Planet – But It Will Crash the Economy


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Real Clear Politics

Judged by BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s latest letter, January 2022 might turn out to be the highwater mark of woke capitalism. Stakeholder capitalism is not “woke,” Fink says, because capitalism is driven by mutually beneficial relationships between businesses and their stakeholders. He’s right. What Fink describes is capitalism pure and simple, the stakeholder modifier adding nothing to the uniqueness of capitalism in harnessing competition and innovation for the benefit of all.

Fink’s shift is more than rhetorical. Just three years ago, in his 2019 “Profit and Purpose” letter, Fink told CEOs that the $24 trillion of wealth Millennials expect to inherit from their Boomer parents meant that ESG (environment, social, governance) issues “will be increasingly material to corporate valuations.” Now Fink tells them that “long-term profitability” is the measure by which markets will determine their companies’ success, dumping the ESG valuation metrics he’d previously championed.

 

Why, then, launch a Center for Stakeholder Capitalism, as BlackRock intends, and not simply a Center for Capitalism? “Your company’s purpose is its north star,” Fink says, echoing the Big Idea of his “Profit & Purpose” letter. BlackRock is the largest shareholder in Unilever. London-based Terry Smith, a top 15 Unilever shareholder, slammed Unilever’s top management for being obsessed with public displays of sustainability credentials at the expense of focusing on business fundamentals. In his letter to Fundsmith shareholders, Smith wrote, “a company which feels it has to define the purpose of Hellmann’s mayonnaise has in our view clearly lost the plot.” Ouch.:snip:

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  • 3 months later...

May 12 2022

How do you control the Bull on Wall Street? Simple: you put a ring through its nose. The name of that ring is ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance scoring for financing and investment. Allegedly, ESG is supposed to provide a measure of a company's long-term sustainability and profitability, but it is, instead, the tool of a small number of so-called "stakeholders" who are actually technocrats. The tool enables big investment firms like Blackrock, Vanguard, State Street, Fidelity, and others to effectively run a monopoly-trust, which is to say a cartel, without being in direct violation of existing anti-trust legislation. If you wonder why everything, especially every big corporation, is going Woke, ESG is your answer. Join James Lindsay in this quick episode of New Discourses Bullets to break it down.

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