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Matt Levine

BlackRock Ends Up in an Awkward Place on Guns

Its index funds own shares in gunmakers, but its social-investing funds dropped retailers that responded to Parkland.
An odd result. 

An odd result. 

Photographer: DANIEL ACKER

This post originally appeared in Money Stuff.

We have talked a few times recently about the awkward situation in which BlackRock Inc. finds itself with respect to gun manufacturers. Basically BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink wrote a letter to corporate CEOs about how their companies "must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society," and then a month later there was a very high-profile mass murder at a school, and it turned out that BlackRock is the largest shareholder in the company that made the gun used in that shooting, and of most other gun companies too. And there has been a lot of pressure on BlackRock to, you know, show how it makes a positive contribution to society, by doing something to cut down on the use of guns to commit school shootings.