Blackrock Vice Chair: "We need to change Capitalism…" Because Climate Change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Mainstream media is reporting that Blackrock Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand thinks investors should consider environmental benefits rather than simply focussing on maximum return on investment. But there is more to this story than some reports might suggest.

‘We have to change capitalism’ to beat climate change, says world’s biggest asset manager

By Climate Home News on 25 January 2018

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Climate Home News

Capitalism must change to avert climate change, according to the vice-chair of the world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock.

Two weeks ago, Blackrock boss Larry Fink shook the corporate world with a letter demanding social responsibility in return for the support of his company, which manages around $6 trillion in assets.

On Wednesday at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Philipp Hildebrand expanded on that theme in a discussion of “fiduciary duty” – the responsibility to make clients the best return on their investments.

That would mean funds like Blackrock could become duty-bound to consider environmental risks such as climate change while making investments. It would create a dramatic shift, he said, but warned it would take time.

“We have to be realistic, we also have an enterprise to run, we have shareholders, this is a complicated story. Nobody is served by reducing this to very simple, fast things that we have to do immediately.

We have to change capitalism. This is really what’s at stake here. And frankly we need a new contract between companies, investors and governments,” said Hildebrand.

Former US president Al Gore, who was on the panel with the Blackrock executive, agreed that the field of research was still evolving.

But he said: “In 26 sectors of the economy, the vast majority of them, the companies that integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) into their business plans perform better.”

Read more: http://reneweconomy.com.au/change-capitalism-beat-climate-change-says-worlds-biggest-asset-manager-98821/

The following is from Blackrock founder Larry Fink’s letter;

… In 2017, equities enjoyed an extraordinary run – with record highs across a wide range of sectors – and yet popular frustration and apprehension about the future simultaneously reached new heights. We are seeing a paradox of high returns and high anxiety. Since the financial crisis, those with capital have reaped enormous benefits. At the same time, many individuals across the world are facing a combination of low rates, low wage growth, and inadequate retirement systems. Many don’t have the financial capacity, the resources, or the tools to save effectively; those who are invested are too often over-allocated to cash. For millions, the prospect of a secure retirement is slipping further and further away – especially among workers with less education, whose job security is increasingly tenuous. I believe these trends are a major source of the anxiety and polarization that we see across the world today.

We also see many governments failing to prepare for the future, on issues ranging from retirement and infrastructure to automation and worker retraining. As a result, society increasingly is turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges. Indeed, the public expectations of your company have never been greater. Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.

Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders. It will succumb to short-term pressures to distribute earnings, and, in the process, sacrifice investments in employee development, innovation, and capital expenditures that are necessary for long-term growth. It will remain exposed to activist campaigns that articulate a clearer goal, even if that goal serves only the shortest and narrowest of objectives. And ultimately, that company will provide subpar returns to the investors who depend on it to finance their retirement, home purchases, or higher education.

A new model for corporate governance

Globally, investors’ increasing use of index funds is driving a transformation in BlackRock’s fiduciary responsibility and the wider landscape of corporate governance. In the $1.7 trillion in active funds we manage, BlackRock can choose to sell the securities of a company if we are doubtful about its strategic direction or long-term growth. In managing our index funds, however, BlackRock cannot express its disapproval by selling the company’s securities as long as that company remains in the relevant index. As a result, our responsibility to engage and vote is more important than ever. In this sense, index investors are the ultimate long-term investors – providing patient capital for companies to grow and prosper.

The statement of long-term strategy is essential to understanding a company’s actions and policies, its preparation for potential challenges, and the context of its shorter-term decisions. Your company’s strategy must articulate a path to achieve financial performance. To sustain that performance, however, you must also understand the societal impact of your business as well as the ways that broad, structural trends – from slow wage growth to rising automation to climate change – affect your potential for growth.

Read more: https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/en-au/investor-relations/larry-fink-ceo-letter.

I can’t help thinking Blackrock’s top people have done a remarkably poor job of communicating their ideas, and possibly not fully thought through the consequences of some of their ideas.

I agree with Blackrock that governments are doing a very poor job of preparing people for the future – but governments always do a bad job. Arguably governments are doing an unusually poor job of managing education, law enforcement and public finances by historical standards, though maybe thanks to the Internet we are simply more aware of their mistakes.

The climate message in my opinion is a bit of a red herring. Blackrock might be worried about Climate Change, though this doesn’t mean they’ve bought into the whole climate social justice package. But weaving their climate reference into a message of corporate responsibility has created a lot of confusion.

Companies should invest in their employees. But this investment must be tempered with the knowledge that other companies might take advantage of companies which invest in employees, by poaching well trained employees from their rivals rather than training their own.

I think Blackrock executives are motivated by compassion for the suffering they see, though I also think Blackrock is worried that the frustration and suffering of ordinary people might empower politicians to take radical action, such as seizing or heavily taxing the assets of companies like Blackrock.

Where I think Blackrock has made a mistake, is that people ultimately have to take responsibility for fixing their own lives. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Look at all the people who needlessly live in fear of the carbon demon, despite the wide availability of information on the web and elsewhere, which demonstrates climate risks are wildly exaggerated. People who take responsibility do their own research. People who don’t take responsibility for their own education remain the victims of scare stories they read or see on television.

Many rich people provide scholarships, try to give something back to society. But this is the limit of what can be done. You can offer someone help, but you can’t make people accept that help – the recipient has to be willing to accept the help which is offered.

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Time to divest from Blackrock into fossil fuel stocks.

kenji

I High Anxiety … I am anxious to SPEND my Trump Dividend(s) !

Ian Magness

Exactly!!!!

commieBob

I hope this crap doesn’t catch on. I rely on my pension. It performs very well, much better than I could do as a retail investor. Of course, I can’t disinvest from my pension and go with another one. 🙁

Latitude
Wally

IOW, Blackrock is invested deeply in taxpayer subsidized inefficient & costly ‘alternative energy’.
And try telling that nonsense to retirement funds who depend heavily on returns from oil, coal, & gas,

Michael S. Kelly

“We should ask ourselves – do we want to live in a world where the wealthy hide in their gated enclaves, while those around them struggle?” he said.
This from the guy who inhabits a 10,000 square foot, 22 room house free of charge (Rideau “Cottage”), and as a backup has the 13 acre Harrington Lake Estate as his summer home (also free of charge).
He produces nothing, but (forcibly) takes money from those who do and gives it to those who are lucky enough to get what’s left after government “overhead.”
And his speech sounds like one any American high school student from the late 1960s would make. It’s just as well-informed, too.
What a buffoon.

Sara

Do I smell another Enron fiasco in the making? No, wait – that was outright criminal behavior. Different story. Still – something is not right with this presentation. Definitely not right.
And Trudeau is telling people to NOT invest in Canada?
Fine. We’ll do our OWN uranium processing right here at home. We need the jobs.

Klem

Wow, whoever wrote Trudeau’s speech has clearly never run their own business, not even a lemonade stand. Neither has Trudeau for that matter.

erastvandoren

I guess we have the fourth degree of intellectual disability here: moron, imbecile, idiot and Trudeau.

You are correct, these guys do not seem to understand Capitalism and what allows their managed funds to succeed. Also, people talk about carbon and not about CO2, which is the fertilizer of life. To date, we have seem many more positive benefits with increased CO2 than negative consequences. It appears that it will take another 10 years for them to understand that our sun is the major player in this game.

Old England

It fits entirely with the UN’s aims to change the world ……
This coincided with the World Economic Forum at Davos and what is being put forwards fits completely with the UN aims of changing the world’s economic model, redistributing wealth from the developed nations as their economies and industry are shrunk and reduced to a more ‘sustainable’ model:
Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change explained in the past “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution”.
Ottmar Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015. “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole …… We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy ……….. the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”
The Global Warming / Climate Change scare was selected by the UN as the tool to achieve this. As Maurice Strong explained to the Club of Rome years ago:
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that .. the threat of global warming.. would fit the bill…. the real enemy, then, is humanity itself….we believe humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is a real one or…. one invented for the purpose.” (Maurice Strong – speech to Club of Rome – and “invented” referred specifically to ‘Global Warming’)
He went on to say : “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?”
And that is precisely what has been happening – but of course the richest in the world need have no fear of the financial consequences of destroyiing industry and jobs as the ‘renewables’ industry has provided alternatives for massive wealth creation for those very few.

Robert Northrop

I just sent an email to my financial consultant and told him to sell all of my Blackrock investments.

Andy Pattullo

As a physician this is like being asked to consider my patient’s carbon footprint and the future joys of the “afterlife” when deciding on their therapies. If that makes sense to any readers then feel free to follow the investment advice being peddled above.

ironargonaut

I’m going to check my 401k

texasjimbrock

A couple of months ago, I was blogging on climate change. Another poster blistered me for not condemning the oil companies, and dared me to invest in oil instead of renewables. I bought a couple hundred shares of CVX and XOM, but not TSLA. So far, I have netted over $6,000 in value for those two investments. Don’t know what TSLA has done, but I consider TSLA a real gamble…it still has not posted any profit and does not predict any in the next couple of years. I do not invest in concerns that continually lose money.

billw1984

I agree. The last thing I want my money manager doing is worrying about fictional things that might happen in 150 years instead of worrying about keeping my portfolio diversified and earning money for my retirement in 10 years. Some “green” investments may make sense for diversification purposes. And having one of your funds not have nuclear in it for example, may be a good thing after a nuclear disaster. But, in general I want to invest broadly.

Coeur de Lion

How can I short the climate?

MarkW

Place a big wire between the two terminals?

commieBob

That was 2/3 of a pun. 🙂

Dipchip

No: Ground the wire between San Fran and New York in Omaha.

Tom in Florida

I would like to read the prospectus on that first.

Mike McMillan

I think I used to have some Blackrock funds, as of tomorrow.

R. Shearer

Wear long johns.

The Reverend Badger

How to short the climate:
To be frank you will need 1 Kite, a long Piece of String, a Metal Key and a great deal of luck if you want to report the result after the fact.

Roger Knights

When the Ireland-based betting site Intrade existed, it was possible to bet on climate. If U.S. laws regarding betting on sports events are loosened, then maybe will be able again to bet on climate, if the wording is wide enough to allow it. It would be silly to allow betting on sports and not on matters of important social concern, like the outcome of dire predictions that are rattling the populace.

texasjimbrock

Roger: But how could you find a trustworthy source for global temperature?

Roger Knights

GISS was used. Small inaccuracies didn’t matter much, because warmists were anticipating much larger increases in temperature over the years, or because they wouldn’t matter much either for short-term bets (by the quarter or month). And they didn’t matter for betting on Arctic ice extent.

kaliforniakook

Oh, Texas – you are so right.

Roger Knights

PS: this betting occurred from 8 to 4 years ago, roughly, during the Pause, so warmists anticipating substantial annual rises were wrong, despite the slight bias of GISS on a year-to-year basis.

ResourceGuy

Oh, and keep us as your fund manager because we said the right (meaningless) things in public. Kaching

Walter Sobchak

The subtext is don’t punish us when we make crappy investments.

Bingo Walter. I suspect they are probably way overinvested in green schemes propped up by their statist buddies like Obama/Holdren. The rug is being withdrawn much faster than their most vibrant nightmares.

ResourceGuy

Mr. Market says boo.
Cold Weather Heats Up Natural-Gas Market
Forecasts for a deep freeze spur a surge in futures prices

Leo Smith

“Dont think of the profit, think of the environment”
While we make more profit!
e.g.
http://vps.templar.co.uk/Cartoons%20and%20Politics/smart-meter.jpg

Robertvd

Welcome to enslavement. where those in power know every move you make.

4 Eyes

Marketing beat up by someone who makes a fortune in fees but doesn’t actually produce anything tangible and wants to stay in the good books with everyone. I’m a cynic but in 64 years I have never come across a money manager that doesn’t have self interest in mind. And “Former US president Al Gore” – president?

MarkW

A money manager makes money by making money for his clients.
The more clients he has, and the more they invest in him, the more money he makes.
The best way to attract new clients and to convince existing clients to invest more with you, is to make lots of money for your existing clients.

Tom in Florida

“And “Former US president Al Gore” – president?”
In their make believe world of course he was President.

Tom in Florida

Just realized that it said “president” not “President” so obviously he was not THE President. Question is now, what do they think he was president of.

Auto

Tom
‘President of Vice’, perhaps.
Auto,
Aware there are various Vices.
Maybe –
Greed and
Avarice
are possibilities here?
???
You decide!
Auto
[not as thin as a racing snake, myself . . . ]

MarkW

And to think, there are still people out there who object when we point out that one of the purposes behind the CAGW movement is the elimination of capitalism.

Growth fuels wealth, wealth fuels investment and investment fuels growth. Many who oppose capitalism are under the false impression that for one to become wealthy, another must become poor and fail to account for the importance of growth. The rest who oppose it are envious of its successes, the most obvious being the Korea that embraced free market capitalism as compared to the one that didn’t.

drednicolson

There’s no Law of Conservation of Wealth. And no Law of Conservation of Joy, for that matter. More wealth and joy CAN be created, bringing everyone up.
Socialists think and act as if the opposite was true, that you can only give to one by taking from another. And that noble-minded intellectual elites such as themselves are the only persons who can arrange this fairly (which of course means they’ll skim from the top before it’s doled out).

MarkW

Under the free market, two individuals make a trade when they both value what the other has, more than they value what they have.
As a result of this trade, both parties feel themselves to be better off. In other words, wealth has been created.

“There’s no Law of Conservation of Wealth.”
Ironically, those that believe such a law exists fail to acknowledge Conservation of Energy which precludes a climate sensitivity as high as they need it to be in order to justify climate reparations as a mitigation for their presumption of Conservation of Wealth.

Tom in Florida

Ah yes, advice from a manager of managers of assets. Perhaps all their fees should be donated to the cause.

Neo

We started with Tom Steyer working hard to save his investment in Climate Change investments.
Now, we get Larry Fink saying that other companies need to help Tom unwind his investments.

MarkW

“we need a new contract between companies, investors and governments,”
Translation: We need to give government more power to force everyone to do what we think they should be doing.

A C Osborn

Agenda 21 writ large.

The Reverend Badger

My very first thought !

MarkW

“In 26 sectors of the economy, the vast majority of them, the companies that integrate ESG (environmental, social and governance) into their business plans perform better.”
Companies that play ball with the government are rewarded. Those who don’t are punished.

AllyKat

One wonders which sectors. And how “ESG” and “integrate[ion]” are defined.

Michael Jankowski

Well if they perform better, then Blackrock and everyone else should already be investing in those. If a dimwit like Algore is aware of this “fact,” then surely the big financial companies have been for a long time. So why the need for a call to change?

I am reminded of Dr Crichton’s view that some have a theory that “wet streets cause rain”.
Mr Gore, is it just possible that companies that perform better then have the resources to enact politically correct programs like “social justice training” and “climate awareness”?
It has been my observation that companies that DON’T perform well spend their time and money striving to meet payroll and to keep the lights on.

Roger Knights

Perhaps it’s the other way around: the companies that perform better can afford to “integrate ESG.”

Hivemind

No, it’s the companies that implement ESG that get good write-ups in the financial papers, so nobody notices their actual performance.

Roger Knights

“… nobody notices their actual performance.”
But studies have been carried out that find a correlation between ESG and performance. Given that, “write-ups” are irrelevant. The question is which is cause and which is effect—ESG or performance?

tom s

Black-dumasrocks-rock. I will advise anyone I know to avoid these idiots like the black plague. Hope they fail at everything they do.

Warren Blair

BR will never fail they use soft corruption to secure the right to manage your pension money. They and their competitors have control of the largest pig troughs in the World. Their power is exercised over every major Western corporation. Their AGW crusade is a major platform for winning business based on the contacts and influence it provides.

Warren Blair

“I think Blackrock executives are motivated by compassion for the suffering they see”
Are you kidding?
You clearly don’t understand BRs clinical strategies.

Bill Illis

Blackrock is the biggest index fund company in the world. They know there are people who want green index funds so the Vice-chair was just virtue signalling and drumming up business for a green fund. I can guarantee you will be able to short this fund if they build one.
This is a list of Blackrock funds and I don’t think it is even a complete one.
http://quicktake.morningstar.com/fundfamily/blackrock/0C000034YC/fund-list.aspx

The deeper they fall for the deception, the more harm will come from the truth. It’s unfortunate that the alarmists rhetoric has gained so much traction which clearly illustrates the power of emotional manipulation when it comes to supplanting a truth.

Kamikazedave

What in the blue Hell does “Beat climate change” mean?

Bruce Cobb

It means beating ManBearPig. We can’t let ManBearPig win.

co2islife

This kind of nonsensical talk has resorted in the destruction of one of America’s greatest industrial companies, GE. Their focus on the “Green Economy” and government subsidies did them in. Fortunately, all the left wing pensions pushing this nonsense are the ones that took the hit.
https://youtu.be/QowL2BiGK7o?t=21m23s

Barbara

GM used to be known as Generous Motors to their employees and communities where they had operations.

John F. Hultquist

Then it became known as Government Motors.
However, it is not GE.

By law, companies are required to operate to maximize return on investment to shareholder.

MarkW

Leftists are working to change that law. They want to put things like environmental and social justice ahead of mere profits.

Peter

No, they just want to make money from Government subsidies, using money taken from the poor.
Example, solar panels for housing with high feed in tariff. Only the well off can afford the panels, and the poor have to pay dramatically more for it.
Example, the Australian Gov wants everyone on electric cars. Roads and infrastructure is paid for by fuel taxes. So only the poor who can’t afford EV’s will pay for all the infrastructure. The rich will get $7000 subsidies to avoid the fuel tax.
Blackrock can see the enormous profit potential.

Robertvd

No the only thing Leftists (progressives) want is absolute power.

MarkW

Controlling the economy is one step on the road to absolute power.

Jim Gorman

I read this stuff and I immediately think of Mussolini.

joelobryan

There’s enough space under the “Risk Consideration” tent to drive a Mac through. One person’s “too risky” is another’s opportunity.
As long as capital if free to flow and invest, and greed exists, the system will sort it all out, some will succeed where others fail in a risk environment. But that is far better outcome than any attempt at government economic engineering. The 20th Century is full of examples that prove that.

Edwin

Ah, but that is what Blackrock executives are trying to do, get governments to change the law thereby changing their fiduciary duty. Push comes to shove they can’t do it by themselves without shareholders taking them to court.

Chris

False, that is not true. The company’s strategy is determined by the CEO and BOD. It may or may not maximize ROI for shareholders. Costco is a perfect example. They have paid their employees a living wage and provided good benefits for many years. Lots of Wall Street analysts pressured them to reduce benefits so that more money could be returned to shareholders via dividends. The CEO said “no, we will not do that, if you don’t share our beliefs, then don’t buy our stock.” No laws whatsoever were broken by the CEO’s position and actions.

Investors are attracted to “green” investments by the promise of good returns allied with the virtue signalling of :care for the environment”. However, there are growing signs that green funds are sucking themselves into unsuitable schemes.
Green Funds are generally underperforming. “Renewable” energy projects need to be approached with a high degree of caution.unless they have shown that they make real investment opportunities. “Renewable”
Investments can vanish very fast and unpredictably. Many green schemes are downright frauds. In a fraudulent environment. fraud is to be expected. A solar energy firm recently offered annual interest of 6.5%c for three years, but the interest payments ceased when the firm, Secured Energy bonds, went bust. Going bust is very, very final and costly to investors. Similar things have happened with Forestry, Emu Farms, Mushroom Farms and similar Ventures.
Subsidies for solar panels will continue to be scrapped to help reduce household electricity bills. Governments are realising that costly energy makes for angry Voters and they dislike angry Voters most of all. Energy Ministers know that exchanging happy Greenies for Angry Voters is a losing path.
Green Investments can suddenly become hard to sell. This is a very bad thing in investment.
Energy investments can be difficult to sell because they involve funding projects that can last several years and can fail to clearly demonstrate profits, other than subsidies.
Some energy funds are structured as “venture capital trusts”, which offer generous tax breaks to those who invest at the beginning. They are also traded on the stock market. Venture Capital Trusts are designed to wind up after a specific period and return capital to investors.
Because the investments are primarily with small and emerging companies, anyone who sells the shares before the Venture Capital Trust is wound up won’t get a price that reflects the value of the underlying assets, such as it is anyway. Subsidies ceasing can be very damaging too.
Oil is getting cheaper. This is bad news for “Renewables”. As oil gets cheaper, it becomes harder for green energy to compete. Coal is on the rise thanks to China and India, which adds to the real pressure.
Advocates of green energy predict very little impact, but it is difficult to envisage that an oil price that stays lower for longer can be anything but bad news for renewable energy projects. Concentrating Solar generators and Wind-Turbines are increasingly being fingered as damaging Birds and Bats, and this is very bad PR for “Renewables”. Oil prices have consistently fallen over the past 6 months adding to “Renewable” woes.
Tax Breaks are on the way out as governments try to plug Budget Leaks. Renewable energy funds will no longer be eligible for “Enterprise Investment Scheme” or Venture Capital Trust tax relief, which lets investors reclaim the tax rate on the cost of the shares they buy. If you invested $10,000 in an enterprise investment scheme consisting of green companies, for example, you would get $3,000 or so back in tax cuts. These things are about to vanish forever as they cost government money that it can use to buy Votes.

MarkW

By doing things like changing fiduciary duty away from protecting shareholder value, into things like promoting social and environmental justice they can stand back, just blame those evil businessmen when the inevitable problems start happening.
They use the law to force others to do their dirty work and thanks to a compliant media, the average consumer never catches on.
Even better, since they have convinced the public that the problem was caused by private business, it’s easy to go the next step and convince the public that the best solution is even more government.

Auto

ntesdorf
“Oil prices have consistently fallen over the past 6 months adding to “Renewable” woes.”
Whilst most of what you wrote seems reasonable to me, the quoted sentence – from about four-fifths the way down your post – doesn’t accord with the figures I have been able to find.
See, for example – other sites are available –
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/commodities/143908/twelve_month.stm
where the graph shows the Brent Crude Oil Futures $/barrel rising steadily [with chaotic variation] from June 2017 – about $45 – to the last week or so at >$70.
Auto.
And at about USD$ 70/barrel, we are in the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” scenario . . .
Not ideal if you are the Saudi Finance Minister, perhaps.

Yes indeed Auto- it has been a tremendous run in fossil fuel businesses accentuated by Trump policy and the US $ (DXY) breaking down through multi-year support.

Zigmaster

It is too coincidental that warmists have infiltrated so many institutions and governments . Whether it’s BHP , AGL , Blackrock, many of the major merchant banks, media, religion, government, oil companies warmists are in places of major influence. In academia and education all influential leaders are warmists. Public servant heads are warmists. Only someone like Trump has beaten the system and it hasn’t been due to a lack of effort by warmists to have their person in power. It sickens me to see leaders of large corporations who pander to the warmist line . True leaders of corporations should recognise the global warming movement as the enemy who’s true purpose is not care for the environment but a desire to bring down the whole of the capitalistic structures that helps to lift the whole of the world out of poverty. In Australia I can’t believe how many of these global warming hacks running our large influential companies are ex US based employees who see the gullible Australian state and federal governments as fertile ground for their anti capitalist ideology. They espouse this ideology with the comfort of their multi million dollar salaries.

MarkW

I strongly suspect that most of these hacks couldn’t care less about global warming or the environment.
What they want is more power so that they can force other people to behave as these “elites” believe they should

Peter

Tried it. I put money into green power and recycling, years ago. Lost the lot. Further research showed the reason, its just a scam. The investment managers did fine though.

Bruce Cobb

“We have to change capitalism.” Yeah, we know – to be more like socialism.

The Reverend Badger

Next week: Blackrock changes it’s name to Blockchainrock and lectures on the importance of all investments being quoted in Bitcon (sic).

Ray

I will listen to Blackrock’s leaders about the need for investor’s to consider more than just maximising returns on investment AFTER they have given back the obscene profits that they have obtained by virtue of the uncompromising deals they have entered into over recent decades.
These are private equity people, and many are the fabled stories of how they bought company X, & turned it’s financial position around, before selling it for 3, 4, or 5 times what they paid for it. In the meantime, many thousands of former workers of company X lost their jobs.

MarkW

How many people would have lost their jobs had Blackrock’s leaders not saved those companies from bankruptcy?
Companies that are bloated and efficient have to slim down, and that means layoffs.
Nobody is guaranteed a job for life.

MarkW

A lot more people would have lost their jobs had the leader’s of Blackrock not turned those companies around, saving them from bankruptcy.
Bloated and inefficient companies have to go through layoffs.
Nobody is guaranteed a job for life.

MarkW

Mod: I’ve replied to this twice, and both responses have disappeared.

MarkW

A lot more people would have lost their jobs had the leader’s of Blackrock not turned those companies around, saving them from bankruptcy.
Bloated and inefficient companies have to go through layoffs.
Nobody is guaranteed a job for life.

MarkW

What do you propose doing with failing companies?
Just keep pumping other people’s money in ad infinitum?

MarkW

Weird, my responses showed up, one at a time, over 2 days.

Wharfplank

And up go the fence posts and barbed wire for global socialism.

Rob

Sounds like there needs to be some changes made at Blackrock.

Robertvd

Capitalism ? There is more capitalism in China !

Robertvd

As long as the not federal reserve is in control there is no capitalism.

MarkW

You have one really, really strange definition of capitalism.

Robertvd

The society we live in now has nothing to do with capitalism. That’s why it doesn’t work and is on the brink of collapse.
The federal reserve system is a communist system.

MarkW

Not even close.

Extreme Hiatus

“We have to change capitalism. This is really what’s at stake here. And frankly we need a new contract between companies, investors and governments,” said Hildebrand.”
In other words… now that we’re rich it is time to change the rules to make sure we get richer.

Robertvd

Build a wall around Davos and let them not escape. It would make the world a much better place.

Gary Pearse

Gee, Eric you may be too kind to Blackrock. This is another garden vareity Champagne Socialist, like Soros, Steyer, the Rocefeller Foundation folks, Clintons…In the face of what has happened in US politics, UK, Austria and across Eastern Europe and the unprofitable vilification of Russia because they wont go along with this Euro/UN Neomarxbrothers putsch, this stuff has the deep odor of desperation. These ‘geniuses’ are at base surprisingly stupid. They’ve tipped their ugly hand and they are still going all-in. They are not doing the analysis because they fear the obvious result. These arethe most deluded D*nilists. Pull your cash out of Black Rock. My analysis they are about to under perform. The heads are going to be replaced soon to staunch the bleeding. I’m betting on America. I think the Dow was one of the indexesth3se Turkey’s are talking about. With Brexit, Soros, who has artificially kept an otherwise failing currency – the Euro afloat- it is now adjusting to its real value- it has another 50% to decline.

Russell Johnson

Socialism is just a prelude to communism, these idiots never learn…

MarkW

They are convinced that this time it’s going to work, because this time they are going to be the ones in charge.

Hivemind

A communist is a socialist with a gun.

Michael Jankowski

If Corporate America wants to do something about greenhouse gases and the environment…how about smaller offices and far more employees telecommuting? It reduces emissions of GHGs and other pollutants from vehicle use, reduces air pollution from regularly dry-cleaning suits, etc.
Blackrock has 13,000 employees in 70 offices in 30 countries. Fink himself has 3 homes – Manhattan, North Salem (NY), and Vail (CO). How environmentally responsible is that?

Yes, let’s change capitalism. Let’s bring back the free market, abolish the Federal Reserve, shut down the crony banks, and the crony corporations, repeal ObamaCare, and eliminate the paperwork burden.

Ed Zuiderwijk

Isn’t it wonderful, doesn’t it give you a great feeling to be able to decide how to spend other people’s money? Just look at all the good you could do.
Hint: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Brett Keane

Elections do have consequences as Chairman Barry said. This lot are seeing that and trying to turn the new tide. Vainly, it will be, and soon.

Change capitalisim to what? What is (or are) the alternatives?
Bet is socialisim…

WR

The only thing I need to change is moving any of my investment portfolio out of Blackrock.

Pat Frank

I think Blackrock executives are motivated by compassion for the suffering they see…
Were that true, Blackrock executives would be putting some profits into bringing cheap electricity and clean water into third world countries. Those two improvements would ameliorate more suffering than doing anything else.
But Blackrock executives are apparently doing no such thing.
Instead, they’re moaning about climate and capitalism, and angling for a global state of unelected technocrats, with power centrally located and perfectly set up for a little crony back-$cratching.
It seems most likely to me that Blackrock executives are virtue-posing hypocrites, who see a pathway to the easy life.

douglascooper

As we see the collectivist products of our schools march through our various institutions, I’m reminded that political theorist and novelist Ayn Rand maintained that controlling/influencing the culture was more important than getting involved with political campaigns. They have found that race and pollution, rather than poverty, is the reason we have to give up our freedom. If those two issues are ever solved, they will find another excuse.

willhaas

But the reality is that the climate change we have been experiencing, based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with modeling, is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control and no change to our economic system is going to change that. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of sceintific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. The AGW conjecture is based upon the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by trace gases with LWIR absorption bands but no such effect has been observed in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or anywhere else in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction hence the AGW conjecture is science fiction. We should not be trying to change our economic system because of science fiction. We already employ a means of providing for environmental quality and related infrastructure, that is through government through taxes. The big problem is that government is overhead to the economy especially if taxes are wasted of stuf that has no economic value. Trying to solve a problem that mankind does not have the power to solve is of no economic value.

JPGuthrie

And here you see the purpose of the fight against climate change. The purpose is not to “change capitalism”, because none of here actually live in capitalistic countries. How is it possible that Americans believe they live in a capitalist economy when the federal tax code numbers nearly 80,000 pages, the federal register increases by more than 60,000 pages per year, and the various states have their own countless taxes, rules, and regulations? How can capitalism have failed in places where it has never really existed?
The purpose is to further transfer control of the world’s economy from it’s citizens to the state and the state’s cronies.
Too many people here are arguing about whether AGW is real or not real. Whether it is real or not is irrelevant. If climate change is real, giving the state more power, and giving big industry and big finance the ability to earn profits via state-granted subsidies and monopoly powers will do nothing to reduce climate change. Much money will be spent, little will be spent usefully. The people will have to make great sacrifices to reduce their consumption of energy, while the state and it’s friends will make no sacrifices at all. Have we not seen all of our climate change champions fighting the war against global warming by jetting around the world ceaselessly, traveling in heavy SUV’s, and living in homes which consume as much energy as entire ordinary neighborhoods?
The people most fooled by these shenanigans are those on the left. They think that granting the state more power to regulate results in a fairer and more equal society. It does not. What has been the result of increased state control over the past few decades? The left complains that as people we are becoming poorer, less equal, more divided. Yet, these problems have occurred in lockstep with ever increasing taxation, regulation, and expensive efforts to improve equality, and quality of life. Does the left really think that doing more of the same will suddenly begin working? What was Einstein’s definition of insanity?
The left make the fatal assumption that those who control the state are fundamentally different from those who run corporations. The only difference between the state and business is that when we deal with business, we have a choice, we can buy or not buy as we please. But with the state that is not so. We are required to abide by the state’s rules and regulations, to pay for things we may or may not need, even though we could often provide these things for ourselves at a much lower cost.
Those who run the state have at least as much self-interest as the worst of those who run corporations or big businesses, but are often less scrupulous. If the left gives these men more power to control the economy in order to increase fairness and equality, do they honestly think that such power would be used to such ends? If history is any teacher, the answer is “no”.
I don’t give the right a free ride here, because in Washington there is no “right.” There are no conservatives, capitalists, or free-market supporters in Washington, regardless of what they tell their constituents. If such were really true, we would be seeing much greater changes than we are. Despite controlling the presidency, both houses of congress, and the supreme court, there has been no action to deregulate outside the personal actions of president Trump, often against the resistance of the republican majority.
Companies like Blackrock see that the state is ever increasing it’s control over the world’s wealth, and the only way to beat the state is to join it. Who needs profits when one can receive subsidies? Why compete by producing the best product or services for the best price when the people will be coerced into buying your products and services?

RobbertBobbert

…Two weeks ago, Blackrock boss Larry Fink shook the corporate world with a letter demanding social responsibility in return for the support of his company, which manages around $6 trillion in assets…
From Bloomberg April 2017…
‘…Fink, 64, got an $8 million cash bonus and about $16.4 million in deferred shares, some tied to long-term performance goals, the New York-based firm said in a regulatory filing Friday. He also got a $900,000 salary and about $193,000 in perks. The package fell 1.2 percent from 2015….’
So is that puny $900,000 salary some sort of incentive to get up and leave any of his 3 ‘palaces’ and actually go to work. And when he gets there… in his Limo… what does he actually do?
Renegotiate his salary package for next year? Write a column for Green Socialist Weekly about all the social evils of Private Enterprise.
How about we change the Executive Lotto Pay Structure before we begin dismantling the system that, when applied, has transformed poverty where ever it goes.
This company and its executives are full of BS. And more and more of these companies with massive assets are parroting the Climate Narrative.
Do they Believe it or are they scared of being seen as the uncaring capitalist ogre?
And having to deal with the outrage of The Climate Kooks.

Pop Piasa

Former US president Al Gore, who was on the panel with the Blackrock executive, agreed that the field of research was still evolving.

This is where I stopped reading. Did I blot out Al being a POTUS from my memory or something?

Pop Piasa

Besides that, why did he refer to that field of research in the past tense?

Auto

“still evolving”
‘The Science is Settled’
Ummmmmm – might there be a dichotomy?
Someone above called BS. I Agree.
Auto

Hivemind

In case anyone missed it, HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY.
To be known in the future as “End of the Stone Age in Australia Day”.

South River Independent

Down Under export. Clue in today’s crossword. Four letters.

South River Independent

OPAL

John Smith

Ah, the socialist end game finally comes into view…

Margaret LaFranier

Unfortunately when left leaning types look to change capitalism into a utopian vision using ideologically driven scientific fantasies, everyone, except for those in charge, ends up broke and starving. They don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know that they don’t know and millions of people end up dead (releasing more carbon).

South River Independent

Capitalism, which is based on consumerism, will be forced to change when it eventually runs out of consumers.

subtle2

????

South River Independent

It is a little complicated, but to simplify, notice how the economy declines when consumer confidence declines. The economy is driven by consumers willingness to buy. Now, consider that in the future, consumers will be less able to buy because of a lack of high paying jobs (and the inability of many to qualify for the jobs that are available). Same result. Check out what the millennials are doing.
I think that business is eventually be more involved in education than they are now. They will have schools for entry-level people to train them for the work that business wants them to do. Of course, this will be for work that cannot be automated. But even if business reduces costs through automation. consumers are needed to purchase goods and services.

South River Independent

. . .business will eventually be. . .

MarkW

There are still plenty of high paying jobs.
The jobs that are disappearing are low skill jobs.
Regardless, if costs and wages are coming down at the same rate, it doesn’t matter.
Except when government and unions get involved, automation drives down costs.

South River Independent

MarkW – and automation eliminates jobs, even high paying jobs.

MarkW

The vast majority are low skilled jobs.
Automation creates more high skill jobs than it replaces.

South River Independent

MarkW – But what about the people who cannot do the jobs that require high skills? Social Darwinism writes them off. Do you? What is your solution to the problem?

MarkW

The only way to run out of consumers is for all of them to die.

South River Independent

Or for them to have only a subsistence-level income that does not allow them to be consumers of anything but necessities.

MarkW

Since technology doesn’t do that, you have nothing to worry about.
If you want poverty, get government involved.

South River Independent

Government is involved. Liberalism requires it.

subtle2

Mussolini defined Fascism as the combination of big business and big government.
Blackrock meet Obama meet Al Gore

What the man really means is that he doesn’t think Blackrock is getting its fair share of crony capitalism. Another villain straight out of “Atlas Shrugged”.

Gareth

We need to change Capitalism not because it is essentially bad, but examples like raiding your employees pension funds, stashing them abroad, then declaring bankruptcy leaving others to clean up your mess can never be an ethical foundation for an economy.

JPGuthrie

I say again, what capitalism? The examples you give are not examples of capitalism, they are examples of the corruption, and simple crime. Capitalism is simple, if you succeed, you reap the benefits of that success. If you fail, you are entirely responsible for the consequences of that failure.
Countless laws and regulations governing business are passed every year. These laws contain loopholes and exemptions which apply to certain companies or industries. If you donate enough money to a certain person’s campaign, hire his worthless son-in-law as an executive, or simply hand over a bag of unmarked bills, you get your loophole or exemption, and your competitors or potential competitors do not.
Turn back the clock 100 years. In 1918, how many car companies existed in America? How many metal foundries? How many airplane companies? Motorcycle companies? Radio companies? How many independent banks?
Coming back to 2018, how many of these companies do we have now? Isn’t it rather surprising that after a century of population growth and industrialization that we now have far fewer of these companies than we did in 1918?
A hundred years ago it was not that hard to start a new manufacturing company. An idea, some money, and a lot of elbow grease, and you were on your way. How hard is it to start a new manufacturing company today? How long does it take to build a new factory, foundry, warehouse, or mine? How much does it cost?
Those countless pages in the the federal and state tax codes, the endless rules and regulations contained in the federal and state registers were not created so much to protect consumers and the environment as they were to protect established businesses from competition.
The fight against climate change is yet a new way to regulate the economy, to protect established businesses and corporations, and restrict the rise of new competitors.
There is no truly capitalist country in the world today. The only one which comes close would be Switzerland. With low taxes, not so many regulations, the lowest tariffs in Europe, and no minimum wage. And in the news yesterday, Switzerland managed to be rated as the “The Number One Country in the World” according to the “Best Countries” report.
What was it that FDR said about the necessity of competitive markets? “A program whose basic thesis is, not that the system of free enterprise for profit has failed in this generation, but that it has not been tried”
In our current system, the benefits of success are largely taken away. And, likewise, the consequences of failure are also taken away. Success is punished, failure is rewarded. What was formerly a thriving economy with countless companies, industries, and banks which rose and fell according to the times and their performance were eventually replaced by a handful of large companies and corporations who don’t need to compete, or suffer the consequences of failure. This is not capitalism, and none of us who are alive today have ever lived in a capitalist society.

MarkW

Socialists like Gareth define capitalism as anything they don’t like.
It’s not like he’s smart enough to figure out what capitalism actually is.

South River Independent

You sound like someone arguing that Communism/socialism has not been tried. Just like Communism/socialism, Capitalism is functioning in the only way it can. You also sound like a social Darwinist, arguing for the survival of the fittest. A society that ignores the plight of the less capable cannot survive.
Likewise, Liberalism is functioning in the only way it can. Liberalism and Capitalism are slowly failing because of their inherent flaws. Many see the only current solution is to opt out by forming relationships, including economic relationships, with their friends and neighbors. Politics and economics breakdown when they get too big. They both result in bureaucracies that are driven by the iron law:
https://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

MarkW

Everyone of these so called inherent flaws of capitalism was originally introduced by government.

South River Independent

MarkW – introduced by liberal government of the Democrats and Republicans, which use different means for the same ends: to stay in control.

MarkW

So you admit that the flaws you whine about, are not inherent to capitalism, but were introduced by government.
We are making progress.

South River Independent

Well, yes. Government gets involved because of the flaws in Capitalism. If Capitalism worked the way you think it does, there would be no need for the Government to be involved. But of course, government intervention does not fix the flaws. They are not fixable.

MarkW

Your example has nothing to do with capitalism.
Sounds more like socialism any way.

vice CHAIRMAN (MAO) hildebrand: We have to change capitalism to beat climate change
http://punkerslut.com/pictures/mao01.jpg