It looks like Larry Fink and Blackrock are trying to fill the void left after states like North Carolina and Florida decided to walk back from the company due to its embrace of ideologically driven ESG policies. Fink has been courting — and winning — Volodymyr Zelensky and his now-nearly triumphant Ukraine.
The deal was announced following Zelensky’s recent trip to the White House.
“Volodymyr Zelensky and Larry Fink agreed to focus in the near term on coordinating the efforts of all potential investors and participants in the reconstruction of our country, channeling investment into the most relevant and impactful sectors of the Ukrainian economy,” the Ukrainian government said on its website.
“During the conversation, it was emphasized that certain BlackRock leaders plan to visit Ukraine in the new year,” the statement added.
Blackrock boasts $10 trillion in holdings and is the world’s largest asset manager. But it is also beset by concerns from conservatives that Fink — who has a open interest in cozying up to China — is playing fast and loose with client assets by using the controversial and ideological ESG (which stands for environmental, social, and governance) as a guide to running his company.
BlackRock has faced major scrutiny for its conduct of business in China, which is accused of committing genocide against ethnic Uyghurs. Last year, Fink’s company began tapping into the Chinese market by offering mutual funds and investment products to Chinese investors — the first such foreign-owned firm to be allowed to do so.
The research arm of the company has also encouraged investors to triple their exposure to Chinese assets. Fink’s venture into China has been met with bipartisan condemnation. Billionaire and liberal political philanthropist George Soros, seen as a bogeyman on the Right, called Fink’s move a “tragic mistake.”
On its new website, Consumers’ Research highlights Fink and BlackRock’s ties to Beijing. It also points out controversial remarks the CEO has made about authoritarian regimes.
Now that Fink is on the radar of high-ranking state officials who are concerned he’s focusing on his own business interests rather than the interests of clients, his move to help Zelensky may be both a financial and public relations move.
For what it’s worth, Zelensky is also reportedly set to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos next month, a meeting that many conservatives consider a veritable cabal of globalists that are, as Roger Kimball writes, the enemy of freedom.
The globalist alternative dangled before us is a version of utopia. But like The Wizard of Oz, it is all show and no substance. Or rather, the substance is an erosion of traditional sources of strength and identity together with an assault on the middle class and its “deplorable” values as an impediment to the realization of beatitude.
Welcome to the cabal, Ukraine.