How BlackRock, Vanguard, and UBS Are Screwing the World
When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, One of the first things people tell us is that we must follow the money. Such corporations control a substantial percentage of the world’s wealth. Instead of using that authority to deal with climate change, they slowly progress and benefit from manufactured fear, manufactured problems, and manufactured solutions.
Today, we can talk about specific companies, media outlets, banks, and food giants. And we will discuss the commonality between them, all the massive asset management firms that own just about everything you can think of.
Fake Competition Within Industries And How They Benefit From It
The world’s three largest asset managers (BlackRock, Vanguard, and UBS) own a massive share of the world’s largest corporations so that you can have fake competition within industries such as Twitter versus Facebook in the social media business, the New York Times, Comcast, Disney, News Corp. in the media business, Microsoft Apple, and Alphabet in the software business.
Vanguard is BlackRock’s largest shareholder. The people that manage Vanguard avoid being in the spotlight. However, with the latest news concerning Elon Musk’s offer to buy Twitter for about $10 billion more than its current valuation.
Vanguard has made headlines by becoming the largest shareholder, overtaking Elon Musk. And it’s important to note that Vanguard and Blackrock are Tesla’s largest investors, giving them considerable influence over Elon Musk.
How Vanguard and BlackRock Are Controlling Everything?
They control fiat money and manage crypto. Fiat money will obviously crumble in the future, so they control this alternative digital asset. Crypto and NFTs have limitless potential, but they can shut it off with the power grid, the network responsible for delivering electricity to consumers, and they also own it, giving you an idea of how the elites on two sides of the same coin control everything.
Not only do Vanguard and BlackRock own the media, but they own big Pharma as well, they are the top two investors in Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax and are within the top three investors of Moderna, so they’re not investing in one company beating out the other they’re investing in the industry.
They own four of the largest companies that control over 90% of the US media landscape. So when you have a significant asset management firm that can influence the companies they invest in, they invest in big Pharma companies pushing vaccines, media companies swaying public opinion, and social media companies that can monitor and suppress banks that profit from the stimulus. And since they coordinate closely with regulators, they may create a crisis and a solution while increasing people’s dependence via fear and persuading the government to their advantage, at the expense of everyone else.
While many asset management companies own many shares of different companies, Vanguard and BlackRock, and UBS stand out from the competition above all the others.
Vanguard currently manages roughly 7 trillion dollars in assets, and by 2028 it’s expected to be close to 20 trillion dollars, nearly every company on the planet.
The Three Asset Managers Is Still Blocking Climate Progress
The largest obstructors of climate progress are fossil fuel businesses and politicians in wealthy, high-emitting countries, whom climate activists are properly targeting with political campaigns, investigations, and direct actions. However, as two recent investigations have shown, another set of climate monitors must be included if the world is to avoid disaster.
Individual and institutional investors, such as billionaires, pension funds, and institutions, entrust their assets to asset management firms, which manage and invest them. The world’s three largest asset managers handle $21 trillion, approximately equal to the entire US economy in 2017 and nearly twice as much as the global hedge fund and venture capital industries combined. And asset management companies have a hand in almost every sector: the “Big Three” of BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street possess more than 20% of the typical publicly listed company’s shares and are also significant participants in private equity.
It isn’t only corporate governance: As part of “public-private partnerships,” major political choices concerning the development of significant public infrastructures such as highways and hospitals have been designed to avoid risk for asset managers and their investors. In 2020, William Birdthistle, a finance law expert and professor, referred to BlackRock as the “fourth branch of government” after the U.S.
However, both firms’ representatives say that, while they appear to possess significant shares in the world’s largest corporations, such claims were acquired with money belonging to their clients — and so, the shareholders are ultimately their clients.
There is no context. BlackRock and Vanguard do not “own” all of the world’s giant corporations. On behalf of their clients, they invest trillions of dollars in the major companies.
How can they solve the climate change if they want?
If climate justice is to be accomplished, it will need a new branch of government. According to recent research by Friends of the Earth U.S, these “Big Three” asset managers bear a large part of the responsibility for climate change. Reveals that the Big Three asset managers own more than 27 % of shares in fossil fuel giants Chevron, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips, as well as more than 30 % of significant agricultural companies like Archer-Daniels-Midland, making them among the largest shareholders in the two industries most responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions driving the climate crisis.
These anonymous financial heavyweights benefit not only from the companies that cause the crises but also from the unfair solutions to these crises. According to previous research by Jordi Calvo Rufanges, these massive asset managers are among the most significant funders of the global arms trade.
The arms trade is one of the most significant corporate enterprises globally. It has built an economic system that thrives independent of the circumstances, but it has also normalized war and security responses to every social crisis.
Friends of the Earth is a worldwide network of 73 environmental groups. According to their investigation, asset managers are significant investors in companies that run private prisons and migrant detention centers and provide the drone and biometric technology that reinvent the increasingly militarized border violence against displaced peoples worldwide. Overall, asset management firms possess more than $650 billion in stock in the top fossil fuel, agricultural, border security, and surveillance industries examined in the Friends of the Earth research.
This presents a negative picture for climate justice. The business models supported by these investments disproportionately affect low-income communities of color in the global north and global south — people who have contributed little to total global emissions but are threatened by the sacrifice zones of fossil fuel extraction and the pollution of industrial agriculture, not to mention being significantly affected by flooding, rising inflation, and other factors.
Their needs are routinely ignored: the same countries that enthusiastically opened their doors to Ukrainian refugees have closed them to African and Middle Eastern refugees over the last decade while promoting the high-tech, militarized borders and detention centers that asset managers are investing in.
How do they benefit from both problems and solutions?
It’s no surprise that asset managers like BlackRock CEO Larry Fink see climate change as an “opportunity.” In 2021, Fink used BlackRock’s annual letter to CEOs, a sort of unofficial State of the Union for the global capital nation, to warn CEOs that “there is no company whose business model will not be substantially influenced by the shift to a “Net-zero economy.” Wich is the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. The world’s leading asset managers have substantial investments in every market and asset class. They have the size and reach to profit from the industries that cause the problems and the violent, unequal “solutions” they finance.
Meanwhile, the world is decades late and trillions of dollars short of less apocalyptic solutions to the climate crisis: enormous gaps in available finance for a worldwide shift to renewable energy that would prevent the worst consequences and adapt to the outcomes are nowhere.
Asset managers can make progress on climate change.
Some may anticipate asset managers as a driving factor for progress in the climate crisis. Because asset managers’ investments are diverse, they are exposed to a greater variety of risks than ordinary investors. Climate change has a devastating impact on portfolio returns; thus, shouldn’t the corporations managing those portfolios have a direct financial interest in pushing climate policy forward?
Asset management firms are paid a fee for each dollar they manage; they make money by collecting as much profit as possible rather than working it properly. Each asset management corporation is encouraged to invest successfully, but only so that its clients’ assets do not leave, driving corporations to seek substantial short-term returns or risk losing position to competitors.
Rising asset prices that make housing a profitable investment and an appealing element of a portfolio also motivate corporate landlords to send rents skyrocketing across the country, making housing expensive and unavailable to most people. Furthermore, the people who will be held and faced at militarized borders are unlikely to be BlackRock or Vanguard clients.
Climate justice will need a radical shift in approach. Some economists propose that we need comprehensive regulatory methods to level the playing field between public institutions and unaccountable private capital and asset management behemoths that manage their assets, such as wealth taxes on company shares.
However, these can only address the underlying issue of climate justice, which is that injustice has been and will likely continue to be profitable.
Only an energy democracy that removes important climate choices from the hands of corporate capitalists and places them in the hands of the people can address this fundamental issue. This requires constructing robust public investment systems without “partnering” with private capital. Fortunately, many current possibilities have previously been addressed by scholars and activists. Policymakers must put them into action.
A more radical political shift to public investment is required by establishing new institutions such as national investment agencies or finding methods to make our present spending structures more democratically responsive.
The prominent three asset managers don’t control that 21 trillion dollar. What they do is they provide a vehicle in which people can invest their funds, and they benchmark those vehicles to do precisely what different indexes around the world do. So, what Vanguard and Blackrock do is create an ETF that is a vehicle that benchmarks itself to the stock market.
The world could certainly be doing a better job at controlling climate change.
These vast corporations dominate every aspect of our lives, taking everything into account. And that may seem exaggerated, but everything we wear and consume mainly depends on these corporations, from the meals we eat to the bed we sleep on.