Sphere of Corporate Influence – The BlackRock Danger
The antitrust laws, regulations and hearings all points out one thing in common. That is big tech companies have been doing all kinds of manipulative tactics to hide the truth. Moreover, these tech companies are not bothered about individual privacy or country-specific ‘sensitive issues’. Stealing the user’s data to rigging the elections, they get involved (though unknowingly !) in every punishable act of crime. Most of the antitrust hearings in the US indicate, these tech companies have “wielded their power in disruptive, harmful ways", in a way that could affect the healthy competition, fair play and democratic norms.
While talking about these ‘visible tech giants,’ almost everyone forget is an invisible giant that tries to control a good part of the world with its ‘financial tentacles,’ spanning across every continent and almost every country. That is none other than ‘BlackRock’ – an American multinational investment management corporation based in New York City.
According to a Wikipedia article “BlackRock is a top shareholder in many competing publicly traded companies. For example, see the percentage of shares held by BlackRock in: Apple (NasdaqGS: 6.34% and Microsoft (NasdaqGS: 6.77%),Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: 4.30% and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE: 4.41%).This concentration of ownership has raised concerns of possible anticompetitive behavior. A 2014 study titled "Anticompetitive Effects of Common Ownership" analyzed the effects of this type of common ownership on airline ticket prices. The study found that 'Prices go up and quantity goes down when the airlines competing on a given route are more commonly owned by the same set of investors.”
In his 2018 annual letter to shareholders, BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink stated that other CEOs should be aware of their impact on society. Anti-war organizations objected to Fink's statement, because BlackRock is the largest investor in weapon manufacturers through its iShares U.S. Aerospace and Defense ETF (Exchange-traded Fund).
Due to its power, and the sheer size and scope of its financial assets and activities, BlackRock has been called the world's largest shadow bank. In 2020, U.S. Representatives Katie Porter and Jesús "Chuy" García proposed a bill to Congress aiming to restrain BlackRock and other so-called shadow banks.
BlackRock was scrutinized for allegedly taking advantage of its close ties with the Federal Reserve System during the coronavirus pandemic response efforts. The firm was criticized for its climate change inaction and Amazon deforestation.
BlackRock holds 6.2% in Apple, 4.7% in twitter, 3.4% of the Amazon, and 2.2% in Facebook. It also holds 39.3 million Alphabet shares (Google’s parent company). Though most of its investment looks genuine on paper, but the danger it poses to the real world is very scary.
According to the verifiable sources, overall BlackRock manages 7 trillion US Dollars. A country with a size of the 7 trillion GDP can be easily considered as ‘third largest economy.’ Such is the financial power of this Corporate Dinosaur. It is the time for the Nations to act swiftly to regulate the ‘uncontrollable corporate giants.’
Source : Wikipedia (only quoted portions)