Sen. Cruz blasts Larry Fink for climate shareholders’ ‘Week’ vote

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on October 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.

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Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday blasted BlackRock CEO Larry Fink for his so-called “Wick” investment decision – and advised money managers like Fink to refrain from voting for other investors “to advance their own political interests.”

“Because it’s not capitalism, it’s abusing the market,” Cruz, R-Texas, alleged in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

For most of the interview, Cruz blamed White House policies for raising gas prices since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

But he also targeted Senator Fink, whose company is the world’s largest asset manager, and other CEOs, who he argued have moved away from focusing on increasing shareholders’ profits in favor of wealthy liberals to take a stand on social issues such as climate change. .

In a letter to Blackrock’s CEOs in 2020, Blackrock highlighted climate change as a problem facing the corporation. “Climate change has become a defining factor in the long-term potential of companies,” Fink wrote. “I believe we are on the verge of a fundamental reconstruction of money.”

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On Tuesday, Cruz repeatedly called on the ESG to support Fink – environmental, social and governance issues – in various shareholder votes.

“Does Wall Street also carry some liability? Absolutely,” Cruz said, adding that the average price of regular unleaded gasoline peaked at $ 4.59 per gallon.

“There’s a Larry Fink surcharge. Whenever you fill up your tank, you can thank Larry for the huge and inadequate ESG pressure,” Cruz said.

He later said, “What Larry Fink is doing is unprecedented in the rise of ESG.”

“And I think there’s a real problem with those who are investing, those who are passively voting for shares of the fund,” Cruz said, referring to investing funds in companies with different stock indices.

“Larry Fink is not using his own money to vote as a shareholder,” Cruz said. “What Larry Fink is doing is your share and my share and [those of] Millions of young older women who have invested in the fund, and she is raising that huge amount of capital and she has decided to vote not to maximize their returns, because obviously her loyal responsibility to customers is not the top priority. He is voting for his politics. “

Cruz said Fink “decided that he would be more welcome to the New York Country Club when he enters and stands up against oil and gas, even if it lowers the return on his managed account, and even if it destroys the job.” Helps America. Enemies are hitting America. “

He said money managers who vote for shareholders on the basis of their political interests rather than investors need to be further scrutinized.

“It’s not capitalism, it’s abusing the market,” the senator said.

A BlackRock spokesman, asked about Cruz’s comments, said in an email, “The only agenda for BlackRock’s proxy voting is the long-term economic interests of the millions of people we care about.”

“And we believe that clients should also have the option to choose how their proxy votes are cast,” the spokesman said. “We lead the industry in providing proxy voting choices.”

“Today, about half of our index equity assets in management – including pension funds serving more than 60 million people – can choose how their proxy votes are cast,” he said.

“While this is an art first, we see it as a start,” he said. “We’re pursuing technology and regulatory solutions to expand voting choices for more clients. Index investments have been the driving force behind investment democratization for millions of Americans at low cost and with more choices. We are also committed to democratizing proxy voting.”

In his annual letter to CEOs in January, Fink wrote, “Stakeholder capitalism is not about politics. It is not a social or ideological agenda. It is not ‘uk’.”

“This is capitalism, driven by the mutually beneficial relationship between you and your company’s employees, customers, suppliers, and communities. This is the power of capitalism,” Fink wrote.

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