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Governor Ron DeSantis isn’t messing around when it comes to fighting back against the nonsense decision-making processes being used by asset managers in regard to Environmental, Social, and Governance standards (ESG).
BlackRock is a New York City-based investment company. According to Business Insider, it is the largest money manager in the world.
The company uses ESG investment policies that many on the Right consider to be a way to advance an ideological agenda that most Americans would vote against at the ballot box.
DeSantis isn’t playing that game. The state treasury is removing BlackRock as the manager of around $600 million worth of short-term overnight investments.
Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis said that the state will be giving its business to other money managers.
The Florida Treasury will begin divesting $2 billion worth of assets currently under management by BlackRock.
In a statement, CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, it’s my responsibility to get the best returns possible for taxpayers. The more effective we are in investing dollars to generate a return, the more effective we’ll be in funding priorities like schools, hospitals, and roads.
“As major banking institutions and economists predict a recession in the coming year, and as the Fed increases interest rates to combat the inflation crisis, I need partners within the financial services industry who are as committed to the bottom line as we are – and I don’t trust BlackRock’s ability to deliver.
He calls out BlackRock CEO Larry Fink for his commitment to changing the world and policing who should and shouldn’t have access to capital based on their ESG score.
Patronis continued, “Whether stakeholder capitalism, or ESG standards, are being pushed by BlackRock for ideological reasons, or to develop social credit ratings, the effect is to avoid dealing with the messiness of democracy. I think it’s undemocratic of major asset managers to use their power to influence societal outcomes.”
Fink has been quoted as saying that democracy is messy and has called access to capital a privilege, not a right.
Governor DeSantis recognizes how dangerous this is and he and Patronis are doing something about it.
Patronis said, “If Larry, or his friends on Wall Street, want to change the world – run for office. Start a non-profit. Donate to the causes you care about. Using our cash, however, to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering project isn’t something Florida ever signed up for.”
Their approach has “nothing to do with maximizing returns and is the opposite of what an asset manager is paid to do. Florida’s Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they’ve got other goals than producing returns.”
The Florida CFO said there are many other companies that will invest on Florida’s behalf. The Florida Treasury will find a company more concerned with returns and less concerned with social issues.