On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Jesse Watters Primetime,” Strive Asset Management Co-Founder and former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks said that asset managers like BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard impose things like ESG and DEI onto companies because the asset firms are pressured into doing so by government officials.
Frericks said, “You take a look at BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard, they manage $20 trillion worth of capital, but it’s not their own money. This is the money that everyday citizens, firefighters, police officers, doctors, who generally have their money either [in] 401ks or, in a lot of cases, large pension funds, large pension funds like the State of California, which manages the largest pension fund in the U.S. and the State of New York and then European pension funds as well. And a lot of the politicians in those states, in California, for example, they recently have mandated those large pension funds that they divest from things like fossil fuels and oil and gas, and then when Bill de Blasio (D), Mayor of New York was there, he did the same thing. But they also tell BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard, if they’re going to manage their money, they have to commit to things like ESG, diversity, equity, and inclusion and adopt firm-wide commitments that they, therefore, then force onto all the major companies in corporate America.”
He added, “I was living in Atlanta, for example, during the 2021 time period, and you had the citizens of Georgia, they voted for representatives to make sure we could have election integrity laws, you have to have an ID to vote…this seemed like it was a pretty logical law. … But what was crazy to me was that, after the fact, BlackRock came out and they said, we’re against this law, we think this is bad for democracy, this is bad for society. And they basically then had companies like Coca-Cola, like Delta, and, heck, even Major League Baseball, they canceled an All Star Game over this. And when I was seeing this, this was bad for capital markets, because instead of these companies just delivering soft drinks or, heck, doing Major League Baseball, they’re getting involved in these political issues.”
Frericks concluded, “That’s bad for these companies, because they’re alienating a lot of their customers…but frankly, it’s bad for democracy as well. Citizens should be able to decide these things through free and fair elections, not necessarily with a small group of asset managers and CEOs that are telling individuals how to live their lives.”
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