The world’s largest investment asset manager, and the main financier of ESG and the Great Reset, lost nearly $4.5 billion in 2022 after Republican led states began divesting their state funds. That list includes Florida, Louisiana, Arizona, Utah, South Carolina, Missouri and Arkansas.
“What we’re trying to do is ensure that we’re being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and that we don’t have a conflict of interest … so we’re not going to do business with anyone that’s trying to diminish the funds that they are managing,” West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore told the Daily Caller. “BlackRock is trying to diminish those funds through its investment strategy.”
“They’re trying to push their left-wing agenda through our capital markets and the financial sector because they can’t accomplish these goals at the ballot box,” Moore said.
Moore also banned five major banks from doing business with West Virginia due to their anti fossil fuel policy, and formed a 15-state coalition, which represents over $600 billion in assets, that vowed to stop dealing with banks that impose “boycotts” on oil, gas and coal producers.
Republican Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced on Dec. 1 that his state will be pulling $2 billion from BlackRock by the end of 2022 because the firm was engaging in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).
Republican South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftus began pulling $200 million from BlackRock on Oct. 10. Republican Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder claimed on Oct. 5 that he would divest $794 million from the company by the end of 2022. GOP Utah treasurer Marlo Oaks removed $100 million in state funds from BlackRock in September and Republican Arkansas State Treasurer Dennis Milligan pulled $125 million in funds from the company in May, according to the Financial Times.
Republican Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee revealed on Dec. 8 that her state had removed $543 million worth of pension funds from BlackRock’s control throughout 2022. Yee claimed that BlackRock was focused on pushing “wokesim” and was not acting in the financial interests of the state.
GOP Missouri Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick declared in October that Missouri’s pension system had pulled $500 million out of BlackRock because the firm had chosen to force a “left-wing social and political agenda” on publicly traded companies.
“All the money that has been taken away from them represents a tiny portion of their assets under management,” Hild noted. But these divestments are hurting their growth and are increasing exponentially, which shows that BlackRock is going in the wrong direction financially.”
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is also being investigated by 19 Republican state attorney generals for potentially boycotting fossil fuel producers and prioritizing “left-wing political initiatives over shareholder returns.” BlackRock responded to the attorney generals in September and claimed that it had approximately $170 billion invested in energy companies and claimed that it never forced businesses to adhere to its climate targets.
The push back against ESG isn’t stopping with BlackRock. In August, Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar released a list of 348 banks and ten investment managers, including BlackRock, that will be banned from doing business with the state because of their anti fossil fuel agenda.
The backlash against companies like BlackRock is likely to grow over the coming year. This week, Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball threatened to divest from 11 banks that have “boycotted” energy companies in a press release published on Tuesday.
“When companies boycott fossil fuels, they intentionally choke off the lifeblood of capital to Kentucky’s signature industries,” Ball said in the release. “Traditional energy sources fuel our Kentucky economy, provide much needed jobs, and warm our homes. Kentucky must not allow our signature industries to be irreparably damaged based upon the ideological whims of a select few.”
Within 30 days of the list being published, state agencies will be required to notify the treasury if they have indirect or direct holdings in any of the institutions on the list and send a notice to those institutions. The banks will then have 90 days to end their boycott of energy companies, or risk being divested from. The list of companies in danger of being divested from include BlackRock, JP Morgan Chase, and Citigroup, all of which are members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which is a United Nations-convened group of banks that are “committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.”