BlackRock China Relationship Target in Nationwide Ad Campaign

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It’s been a tough few weeks for Larry Fink and BlackRock

BLACK
. The CEO was the source of a thinly veiled ridicule and classic Joe Kernen sarcasm on TBEN’s Squawk Box earlier this month for touting “climate justice” while being heavily invested in and promoting retail investments in China, the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions. (Like twice as much as the US, I’m just saying.)

Fink pushed back, saying BlackRock was just going to help millions of Chinese save for retirement and that they were talking with the government about greening their economy away from fossil fuels.

Okay, so save the planet, invest in Nio and BYD, all is forgiven.

Well, not so fast over there, Mr. Fink.

A new group called Consumers First Initiative is taking on BlackRock this week with New York City TV commercials and billboards. The message is that BlackRock is bowing down to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) while berating Americans for their lack of climate and social justice.

This is the first phase of a multi-million dollar campaign to expose BlackRock’s close ties to the CCP.

The ad, titled “Bet on China,” will air nationwide on cable TV news and business networks. (I have to see this on Bloomberg. Let’s go.)

The group’s dedicated BlackRock bashing website, BlackRockLovesChina.com, supports the deployment of advertising. It showcases billboard art and contains a number of mainstream press articles on BlackRock’s activities in China.

For starters, BlackRock was the first major US investment bank to be licensed to serve local clients without a partner. It happened in June.

It is believed that China is using these influential relationships to put pressure on American companies to convince lawmakers and the government executive to take it slow, lest they end up hurting American companies there.

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, subcommittee chairman Brad Sherman of California said, “The intertwining of the US and Chinese economies has given China substantial power here in the United States. It really didn’t give America any political power in Beijing.

Sherman understands how China selects American influencers and punishes those who try to lecture locals the same way they lecture Americans.

“I represent the film industry in my district. They only allow 40 films in China. If you’re running a studio, you want to be one of those 40. You know, if you’re making a film about Tibet, it’s not going to China. In fact, if you make a film about Tibet, none of your films enter China, ”Sherman said Tuesday. Then he made the connection with Wall Street.

“If you are Morgan Stanley

MRS
, you know you might be one of the banks entering China … if your global index includes Chinese companies to a sufficient degree, ”he added.

At the heart of the Consumers First campaign is the perceived hypocrisy of America’s corporate giants – woke up at home, silent on China on all issues – whether it was pollution or prison labor in the Xinjiang, the far western province that is home to hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims living in captivity.

“We launched the Consumers First initiative last summer because we were fed up with American businesses diverting attention from their failures, harms and mistreatment of their customers by making themselves comfortable waking up. politicians, “Will Hild, executive director of Consumers’ Research, told me on Wednesday. evening. “The campaign aims to send a simple message to every board of directors across the country: if you think you can distract us with an awake facade, it won’t work. We will call you.

The BlackRock campaign is part of a larger effort that recently targeted American Airlines

AAL
, Coca-Cola (including this singing jingle), Nike

NKE
, Ticketmaster and the MLB.

The NBA recently felt China’s contempt when Celtics player Enes Kanter had his team’s merchandise banned. Kanter called on China for its actions in Tibet and Xinjiang.

Well-known investor Kyle Bass praised Kanter for challenging China on his Twitter feed Wednesday.

“Any executive who reads this is forewarned, if you think you can cover yourself up when you wake up,” Hild explains. “We will come and get you, you will be appointed.

Can’t BlackRock sue for libel, I asked Hild.

“BlackRock can threaten whatever he wants, but it won’t do any good,” he told me. “Everything we say about their nefarious investments supporting the Chinese Communist Party is true. ”

An obvious example, while certainly not illegal, was the tens of millions of dollars BlackRock invested in Chinese military contractors. President Biden improved on a Trump executive order banning investments in around 50 Chinese defense companies as of August 2. BlackRock and other companies, including Vanguard, sold these positions as required by Executive Order. Yet the fact remains that BlackRock and others were funding what the Director of National Intelligence and Biden himself call our greatest strategic rivalry.

“Our job is to stand up for the American consumer,” says Hild. “We won’t be intimidated by anyone. “

Earlier this week, The Economist Intelligence Unit released its risk outlook for 2022. China leads the top 10.

Risks related to China include Risk No. 1 for 2022, which worsens relations between the United States and China, forcing a complete decoupling of the global economy. Other risks include a real estate crash in China (# 3); China and Taiwan face each other in shooting (n ° 7); and relations between China and Europe are deteriorating (# 8), which can sometimes seem strange given that Europe is often quite gentle on China, even a catalyst. This is Davos’ house, after all. Recall that the 2017 World Economic Forum essentially named Xi Jinping the leader of global free markets.

“A lot of companies want to be in China because of the market there. But at the same time, it’s not just our competition, they’re cheating. They want access to our financial markets and do not play by the rules. We want them to play by the rules, but they don’t, ”California congressman Juan Vargas said during the House hearing this week on China and Wall Street. “We have to become more aggressive. We are now in a situation with China… I know our companies want to be there. But we cannot continue on this path.

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