While Americans continue to suffer from the effects of a global supply chain shock, seemingly never-ending pandemic restrictions, and skyrocketing inflation, another, potentially even more serious crisis is developing behind the scenes.
In meetings in China, Davos, and Wall Street board rooms, bankers, government officials, and, most importantly, investment management firms like BlackRock are transforming the global economy by using their massive amounts of power and wealth to coerce corporations to promote causes favored by elites.
The Handful of Firms That Control Trillions
Fueled by trillions of dollars of new government spending and trillions more printed by the Federal Reserve and injected into the financial system under the guise of “building back better,” BlackRock and other investment firms have amassed unprecedented amounts of wealth in recent years, which they now regularly use as a tool to push for societal changes.
BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management corporation, now controls nearly $10 trillion in assets. (Just one year ago, it controlled less than $8 trillion.) And that’s just one of many large investment firms. The ten largest management firms have more than $41 trillion in assets under management, nearly double the annual gross domestic product for the United States (about $21 trillion).
Investment firms don’t use the fortunes they manage to build swimming pools of money; they buy assets, especially stock and real estate, in order to provide a good return for their investors and to increase their stranglehold on Wall Street. Investment firms like BlackRock now control so much stock, in fact, that they can effectively force virtually any large corporation in the United States to do — well, pretty much anything they want.
According to scholars at Harvard Law School, the three largest investment management firms — BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street — “collectively cast an average of about 25% of the votes at S&P 500 companies,” and that data is a couple of years old. The number is almost certainly higher today, based on previous trends. When you add other large firms to the mix, the number goes even higher.
Pushing Left-Wing Agendas
BlackRock, State Street, and others are using their stock to force companies to adopt policies and social causes promoted by elites, many of which align with left-wing goals.
The most important tool for accomplishing this strategy is environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, a new framework for evaluating businesses. Under an ESG model, which has already been widely adopted by corporate America, companies are rewarded or punished based on how they score on dozens of metrics developed by bankers, investors, activists, and, in some cases, government officials.
For example, one influential ESG model developed by the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum — one of the leaders of the international “Great Reset” movement — evaluates businesses based on their commitment to the Paris Climate Accords, water use, “ecological sensitivity,” and, among many other things, the “Percentage of employees per employee category, by age group, gender and other indicators of diversity (e.g. ethnicity).”
Although there are many politicians in America, Canada, and the European Union seeking to use government to enforce ESG metrics, at present, the primary drivers behind the movement are investment firms like BlackRock and banks. BlackRock has been one of the world’s biggest supporters of ESG metrics, using its power as one of the world’s largest shareholders to pressure companies to change society.
BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, has been an open supporter of the Great Reset movement’s use of ESG metrics. Fink has even asserted he believes in just five years “everything we do” will be affected by ESG scores.
The widespread adoption of ESG standards explains, in so many ways, why hundreds of large corporations have in recent years appeared to become propaganda mouthpieces for left-wing elites, on issues ranging from voter identification laws like Georgia’s to critical race theory.
In China’s Pocket
As troubling as all of this is for those of us who believe in the decentralization of power and wealth and the importance of individual rights and decision-making, there are also good reasons to believe this massive, cronyist ESG machine now being built could soon be heavily influenced or even hijacked by foreign entities, most notably China.
Some of the key figures promoting the Great Reset, “sustainable investment,” ESG standards, and other mechanisms for altering the world have also spent the past few years striking deals with the Chinese government, selling their souls to Beijing in exchange for access to China’s lucrative investment opportunities.
BlackRock, for example, secured in the summer of 2021 a highly sought-after deal with China’s government to offer investment products and services in China. Importantly, the deal came just days after BlackRock and other management companies met with key Chinese officials concerned about the international community’s perception of China in the wake of its government’s recent authoritarian activities.
The episode was recently reported by The New York Times’ Li Yuan, who noted, “At the height of a market sell-off in late July, the deputy chairman of China’s securities regulator, Fang Xinghai, summoned executives of BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and other firms to a meeting, trying to alleviate investor nervousness over Beijing’s crackdowns, according to a memo I reviewed.”
“Some 20 days later,” Yuan continued, “regulators approved BlackRock’s application to offer mutual funds in China. Around the same time, a BlackRock executive told The Financial Times that China was underrepresented in global investors’ portfolios and in global benchmarks. The firm recommended that investors boost their allocations by two to three times.”
The only thing worse than having Davos and Wall Street elites engineer society as part of a “reset” of the world economy is having those same elites beholden to the Chinese Communist Party.
What To Do About It
The United States is in desperate need of change, but Americans shouldn’t expect the federal government to solve their problems. Washington is corrupt, and if recent history has taught us anything, it’s that few improvements occur regardless of which political party is in control of Congress.
Americans need to once again turn their attention toward their local communities and state governments, which can act as safeguards against overreaches from the federal government, Wall Street, and international institutions like the United Nations. We also must start buying, banking, and investing locally. Corrupt corporations and large investment management firms have little, if any, influence over local businesses and governments.
Finally, conservatives need to reemphasize the importance of balanced budgets and limiting the power of the Federal Reserve. One of the biggest reasons Wall Street has so much power is because trillions of dollars have been funneled into investment corporations and banks over the past several years. The national debt and the Fed’s quantitative easing policies aren’t problematic merely because they pose significant economic risks, they are helping to further the centralization of power in the hands of a small class of elites in government and business.
Like it or not, the Great Reset of our economy is happening. To beat it, we must change our tactics and, more importantly, rethink our priorities.