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Tipsheet

This Florida Move Is the Largest Anti-ESG Divestment in History

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

The state government of Florida is clawing back billions of investment dollars previously managed by BlackRock in order to pushback on the firm's proliferation of extremely damaging "environmental, social governance" policies known as "ESG." It's the largest anti-ESG divestment in history.  

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“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink is on a campaign to change the world. In an open letter to CEOs, he’s championed ‘stakeholder capitalism’ and believes that ‘capitalism has the power to shape society.’ To meet this end, the asset management company has leaned heavily into Environmental, Social, and Governance standards – known as ESG – to help police who should, and who should not gain access to capital," Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis released in a statement. “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. 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."

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“Using our cash, however, to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering project isn’t something Florida ever signed up for. It’s got 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. As Larry Fink stated to CEOs ‘'Access to capital is not a right. It is a privilege.’ As Florida’s CFO I agree wholeheartedly, so we’ll be taking Larry up on his offer. There’s no lack of companies who will invest on our behalf, so the Florida Treasury will be taking its business elsewhere,” he continued.

The move comes after 19 attorneys general announced an investigation into six banks over ESG restrictions, which harm local industries. As Spencer reported in October: 

Led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, 19 state attorneys general announced an investigation of six major banks on Wednesday, probing their involvement with a U.N. alliance dedicated to advancing the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) agenda. 

The AGs look to learn more about the banks' involvement with the U.N.'s "Net-Zero Banking Alliance" which has adopted ESG's radical climate agenda with the stated goal of "aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions" by the year 2050. At present, the UN's ESG bank alliance represents some 40 percent of the world's banking assets. The alliance claims it "reinforces, accelerates and supports the implementation of decarbonisation strategies" — i.e., the eradication of fossil fuels — and notes the "vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions."

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