The following article, BlackRock CEO proud to cancel Russia in a letter to shareholders, was first published in Big League politics.
Corporate America seems to be quite vindictive against Russia. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink issued a letter on Thursday in which he addressed shareholders about his company’s views and its response to the ongoing attacks in Ukraine. The CEO of the world’s largest asset manager took a strong stand against Ukraine, claiming that he considered it “particularly painful” to witness the “indiscriminate killing” of civilians.
Fink went on to boast that he had joined a global effort to isolate Russia from financial markets in consultation with what he called Blackrock, the company’s “stakeholders.”
War has always been a humanitarian tragedy, but witnessing the indiscriminate killing of civilians is particularly painful. I am proud of BlackRock’s support for refugees fleeing their homes. In consultation with our stakeholders, BlackRock has joined the global effort to isolate Russia from the financial markets. Over the past few weeks, Blackrock has created a benevolent response to help our colleagues in need in Europe, which is closest to the war. Although we do not have offices or activities in Russia or Ukraine, I know this has created a lot of pressure and uncertainty for all our employees, especially in Europe, and we have worked to provide them with the resources they need.
The Blackrock CEO says the world has benefited from a global peace dividend and globalization expansion since Russia emerged from the Cold War and engaged in international trade in the 1990s, adding that he is “a long-term believer in the benefits” of globalization and the power of world capital markets.
“But Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has ended the globalization we have experienced over the past three decades,” he added.
Fink continued, explaining in detail how he and others in the private sector worked to punish Russia in a kind of political statement that would prevent any capital from flowing into the nation:
Capital markets, financial institutions and companies have also gone beyond the sanctions imposed by the government. As I wrote in my letter to CEOs earlier this year, access to the capital market is a privilege, not a right. And after the Russian invasion, we saw how the private sector quickly shut down long-standing business and investment relations.
BlackRock is committed to our part. Based on our fiduciary responsibility, we have moved quickly to suspend the purchase of any Russian securities in our active or index portfolio. Over the past few weeks, I have spoken with countless stakeholders, including our clients and employees, who all want to understand what can be done to prevent the deployment of capital in Russia.
The speed and scale of the company’s actions in extending the ban have been incredible. Iconic American consumer brands have suspended the activities of their non-essential products. And financial services companies have taken similar steps to further isolate the Russian economy from the global financial system.
Blackrock’s website additionally posted his views on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, posting a podcast snippet of Fink where he both apologized for the attack and terribly stated that “access to world capital markets is a privilege” and “not a right.”
“These private sector moves demonstrate the strength of the capital market,” Fink boasted in a letter to his shareholders. “Russia is largely isolated from the world capital market by demonstrating the commitment of large companies to work in line with core values. This ‘economic war’ shows what we can achieve when companies, backed by their stakeholders, come together in the face of violence and aggression.”
The firm has invested heavily in China, highlighting the nation as its biggest growth opportunity in its 2018 annual report. BlackRock has been under investigation for such transactions; Many have criticized Fink as a “Chinese pimp” for his seemingly hypocritical tendency to accuse only a few actors of human rights abuses while refusing to criticize the Chinese Communist Party – which has been accused of initiating genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uighur population. .
Larry Fink’s full letter to shareholders can be found by clicking here.
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