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Opinion
Matt Levine

BlackRock Still Likes Capitalism

Also Goldman pay, Elon Musk vs. one former SEC lawyer, whistle-blowers and Bridgewater.

Well this isn’t very helpful:

I suppose if you are the chief executive officer of a public company you will sometimes find yourself in a situation where some of your stakeholders demand that you do one thing while another set of stakeholders demand that you do just the opposite. And you might say, well, one of our important stakeholders — not the most important probably, not up there with customers or employees, but certainly important — is Larry Fink, who runs BlackRock Inc., which is among our biggest shareholders, as it is for almost every public company. And so you might call Larry Fink up and say “hey Larry I got some people who want me to double down on producing thermal coal and I got some other people who want me to get out of the thermal coal business, what do you think I should do?” And Fink will be like … “stay true to your company’s purpose and focus on the long term”? Okay? “Larry, I gotta be honest with you, my company’s purpose is mining thermal coal, that’s just what we do, but the long-term prospects for thermal coal are not so hot; should I stick to our purpose, fulfill it, pay out some dividends and disappear, or should I try to pivot into wind farms?” I feel like Larry Fink has a preference here! But he is just one stakeholder among many.