BlackRock CEO Defends His Controversial Position on Corporate Credit Scores

( – Blackrock CEO Larry Fink believes the discussion around ecological, social, and governance (ESG) corporate credit scores is being confused by “the far-left and far-right,” according to a recent panel discussion covered by Axios. Fink was one of many panelists during a discussion on Sunday, June 25th, during the Aspen Ideas Festival.

ESG is the process by which third parties or the companies themselves conjure a “score” based on the alleged environmental impact, social policies, and governance trends that their business generates or influences. For example, hiring a transgender actor for a new film might boost Disney’s ESG score, while Tesla may get a bump due to their development of electric vehicles. The higher the score, the more likely they are to be able to access financing or investment capital at the highest echelons, where hundreds of millions or billions are available.

Fink claimed he was “ashamed” of participating in the conversation about ESG and lamented Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s decision to pull $2 billion in assets from his firm, complaining that it harmed his business. Blackrock has yearly revenue of around $17 billion for 2021 and 2022, which was a decline compared to previous years. Their stock price has also dropped from a high of $980 per share in November 2021 to around $680 today.

When asked about his controversial investment letters, Fink suggested he writes them for his long-term investors and not to make a political statement. He also suggested that the shame he felt was solely due to the conversations around the subject of ESG, not ESG itself. He said he believed in the practice, calling it “conscientious capitalism.”

In a 2022 letter to CEOs, Fink suggested ESG “is not a social or ideological agenda” despite the obvious fact that it is. Carefully crafting his words, Fink suggested the practice was the “fair pursuit of profit” and seeks to maintain “long-term profitability.”

A clip posted to Twitter showed Fink pointing out that the purpose of ESG is to coerce or “force behaviors” that ultrawealthy international businessmen like himself want to see promoted across the board.

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