BlackRock reacts to conspiracy theorists
Since we have already advanced our thesis that 2022 is the year of the ESG backlash, it is with a heavy dose of confirmation bias that we present some additional evidence of the phenomenon.
In the weeks following our flagship missive, ESG ETFs suffered their first monthly outflows in over three years, one ESG fund actually closed after do not earn assetsadvisors and clients seem to be cooling off on ESG, and most importantly, BlackRock is taking it all seriously enough to launch an ad campaign to let people know (especially those working in Washington) that despite all the global mindset The ESG talk is really more about good old American economies, roads and other patriotic stuff.
Another thing BlackRock takes seriously, or at least seriously enough to address, is a series of wild conspiracy theories that have been posted about the company on the internet over the past year.
These include the idea that BlackRock controls every aspect of your life (due to the fact that it owns many businesses and has White House alumni), that it directly buys single-family homes ( uh, it’s Blackstone), and that he was behind the collapse of the Terra cryptocurrency (which takes too long to explain in parentheses).
The plots are obviously crazy and kind of fun, but what’s interesting is that BlackRock feels the need to respond. With $10 billion in assets under management, why respond?
As Rich Latour, the company’s global head of content and media, told Insider just a year ago, the asset manager wouldn’t have cared, but “now we’re just trying to organize ourselves for the cases where the stories are important enough and wrong enough”. that it kind of justifies us correcting the record – at least on social media.
As the Insider article notes, this change is due at least in part to the fact that companies like BlackRock now have content and social media account manager roles. BlackRock also has a particularly high profile among asset managers and (thanks to being both too ESG and not ESG enough) attracts critics from both right and left, none of whom seem overly interested in reading about BlackRock’s methodologies. clues.
It’s the index investing side of BlackRock’s business that could also mean the company has more to lose than other companies (like Blackstone, which actually buys up single-family homes) from crazy internet conspiracies. Where Blackstone’s clients are institutional, BlackRock holds some $4 billion in assets in retail mutual funds and its iShares ETFs (some of which are institutional, but the vast majority of which are retail).
Retail assets are much more volatile than institutional money, and you can’t pressure the internet, so what can a multi-billion dollar company do but hire people? former journalists and launch a TikTok?
Accept? To disagree? Let us know what you think – email Alex Steger at [email protected]