No Minister

The delicious bite of reality

with 3 comments

Let’s start with the good news before getting into the bad news.

Investment Giant BlackRock Loses $1.7 Trillion In Six Months

BlackRock lost $1.7 trillion of its clients’ money since the beginning of the year — the largest sum ever lost by a single firm over a six-month period, according to a Wednesday report from Bloomberg analyst Marc Rubenstein.

Blackrock are one of the largest fund managers in the world, controlling trillions of dollars of their clients’ funds – which is often the retirement and pension savings of typical American investors.

So why is this good news? Because BlackRock have been one of the leading proponents of the bullshit known as ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), insisting that companies it invests in use this method of measuring themselves rather than boring old crap like revenue, profits, dividends and ROI (Return on Investment):

By adopting ESG goals — or, in the case of BlackRock, pushing portfolio companies into adopting ESG goals — executives commit themselves to pursuing green energy, appointing a certain number of minorities to serve as managers, or otherwise blending profitability with progressive politics.

BlackRock have been bullying bastards on this matter since they have so much financial power. They even managed to place three environmental activists on the 12-person board of Exxon Mobil. That’s how much power they have.

Or perhaps had. You’ve all heard of luxury goods, things you can buy when you have a lot of money. Well there are also things called luxury ideas; electric cars in a world of $NZ 20/litre petrol; a world of organic farming and 100% renewable energy, But also very gauzy academic ideas like ESG or White Privilege and Critical Race Theory.

Which is to say that when times get tough, when the food, the petrol and the money start running out and that Bachelor in Environmental Gender Studies just ain’t pulling in the big bucks, luxury ideas tend to get jettisoned, and right quick. BlackRock is not at that stage yet; more pain must be inflicted on them.

However, an exclusive Daily Wire poll conducted by Echelon Insights showed earlier this year that 64% of respondents believe “individual investors whose savings are being invested” should ultimately decide whether retirement funds and pension plans are allocated according to ESG criteria. A mere 20% believe that “Wall Street asset managers” should make such decisions.

As an old varsity buddy cum investment manager in Wellington told me in the wake of the 1987 share market crash, regarding some clients who’d ignored his warnings, “People don’t react until the blowtorch is applied to the goolies”.

Goolie burning is a nasty business, as Sri Lanka has found out and which deserves its own post. But for the moment let’s note this:

“But the underlying reason for the fall of Sri Lanka is that its leaders fell under the spell of Western green elites peddling organic agriculture and ‘ESG,’ which refers to investments made following supposedly higher Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria. Sri Lanka has a near-perfect ESG score (98) which is higher than Sweden (96) or the United States (51).”

Michael Shellenberger, from his article ‘Green Dogma Behind Fall Of Sri Lanka

It’s a tempting idea to kidnap the BlackRock execs and dump them in Sri Lanka where they’ll have, shall we say, direct contact with the joys of near-perfect ESG score. Assholes.

Meanwhile in China….

Because nothing says “Your bank is safe but you can’t get your money out” than encountering a Main Battle Tank blocking the front doors.

Could be worse; in the future they’ll probably be using these instead – and this is not from the well-known firm, Boston Dynamics that pioneered these things: this is a Chinese model.


3 Responses

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  1. I was talking to my oldest about the robot dog, and we found this article about it: from The Verge

    The good news: It’s probably just a dangerous toy cobbled together by a Russian hoverbike startup guy.

    Vice traced the video back to a Russian hoverbike company founder named Alexander Atamanov, who uploaded both the video and a high-res image of the gun-dog-bot in March. Looking at the bot, it’s not clear it’s anything more than a gun strapped to an existing Unitree dogbot. (It’s not clear if the bot even aims or fires the gun itself.) Looking at his larger Facebook history, it seems likely that he simply slapped together a couple of things he liked into a new toy.

    However, it’s likely we will see these sort of weapons in the future anyway … not good.


    A while back, I saw that Blackrock was backing down from ESG scores, but likely not in a meaningful way. Will have search back through a couple of months of Twits .. ah, here we are: Entrepreneur Behind Anti-Woke Asset Management Fund Celebrates BlackRock Ending Support For Certain Climate Change Proposals That ‘Micromanage’ Its Portfolio Companies. @VivekGRamaswamy is worth following, though annoyingly enough, even though I do follow him on Twit, they are not showing me any of his updates. Another account I need to turn on notifications for.

    Lucia Maria

    July 26, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    • Yeah, hence my appreciation for this news…:

      West Virginia Republican Treasurer Riley Moore axed his state’s relationship with BlackRock last month over the $10 trillion investment firm’s dual loyalty to Chinese interests and woke capitalism.

      Moore is currently working with other Red States to get them doing the same thing. It’ll add up but I don’t want them to stop just when BlackRock cries “uncle”; they’ll just wait and try again when the heat is on.

      No, do it even if BlackRock promises to play nice. Hurt them, and especially pricks like Larry Fink; get him fired from BR as a lesson to others. Hurt me? I hurt you!

      Tom Hunter

      July 26, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    • Oh, and thanks for that piece on the “Chinese” robot dog. I think I may have seen the same guy running an automatic weapon on a drone. 🙂

      But I’ve seen that other one, with the custom-fitted sniper rifle, and of course I covered the Israeli’s use of a robot sniper in Iran in the post, The Iran-Israel Cold War. Even cooler was that it blew itself up after the hit.

      Tom Hunter

      July 26, 2022 at 7:37 pm

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