The Wall Street Journal is usually hit or miss. Sometimes, they offer unbiased news, more so than most corporate media sites. But generally, their takes on financial issues are accurate, especially as it pertains to the bigger corporations through which they have better connections than the smaller financial publications.
A story they posted earlier botched the news completely. In their article titled, “BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street Forced Into Abortion Debate,” they acted like this was an unwelcome development for the three giants of asset management. It is not. All three have always wanted to be included in the debate, and this year they’re finally getting their wish.
From the article:
Shareholders have placed abortion-rights proposals on the proxies at three big retailers this spring: Walmart Inc.; Lowe’s; and TJX, the owner of off-price chains including TJ Maxx. Many more could follow next year.
That development is pressuring asset managers such as BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group, and State Street Global Advisors to confront the issue because they hold significant stakes in those and other companies on behalf of millions of other investors.
Activist investors submitted the shareholder proposals in December. Broadly, they ask each company to compile a report evaluating the risks and costs of restricted reproductive rights, including on employee hiring and retention. In early May, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested that the court could overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion.
Trillium Asset Management submitted the shareholder proposal for TJX, while Clean Yield Asset Management did so for Walmart. Both financial firms are focused on environmental, social and corporate-governance concerns. Educational Foundation of America, a private foundation that makes grants to nonprofits and invests with social and environmental impacts in mind, submitted the proposal for Lowe’s.
Asset managers such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street have grown rapidly in recent years. Investors have flocked to them hoping that passive, index-tracking funds can get them steady gains at low cost.
One consequence is that the firms have accumulated voting power in thousands of public companies. They can influence corporate decision-making on a host of issues, including some they might prefer to avoid.
Abortion rights is a polarizing issue nationally. In a new Wall Street Journal poll, conducted with the nonpartisan research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, 68% of respondents said they wouldn’t like to see the court completely overturn Roe, while 30% supported such a move.
Urska Velikonja, a law professor at Georgetown University who focuses on securities regulation and enforcement, predicts that if Roe v. Wade is struck down, there could be hundreds of abortion-related shareholder proposals on company proxies next year.
“We expect for these large asset managers to consider abortion in the same way they consider other social-policy issues like climate change and diversity audits,” she said. “This one seems more head-on a business issue given that it affects a substantial portion of the employees.”
The financial firms have at times initiated their own campaigns to pressure companies to pursue social changes. In 2017, State Street publicly identified more than 1,500 companies with all-male boards as part of its Fearless Girl campaign. Since then, 60% of those companies have added at least one female director. In 2018, following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Fla., BlackRock stripped retailers that sell guns from some of its environmental, social and corporate governance-focused exchange-traded funds. BlackRock has said its positions are about long-term returns, not politics.
The Wall Street Journal has it mostly wrong. The three big asset managers have always used their influence over social issues. That is their goal. It’s why they’re so adamant about pushing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) guidance upon the thousands of companies they partially own. This is ALL about politics. The profits they create for themselves and their clients have always been a secondary consideration.
What American patriots need to realize is that these asset management companies see the ultimate goal of control over the direction of the world. They will be the primary beneficiaries of The Great Reset when public-private partnerships become the norm in all facets of governance. The problems we’re seeing rising in the world around us are mostly manufactured. BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street are at the center of all of it, from the looming food and energy crises to the open borders to Neo-Marxist globalist policies being implemented across the globe.
The only question we really need to answer is whether they are the puppets or the puppetmasters. At this point, it really could go either way.