Consumer Warning: Florida pensions may be tied to China

by | Dec 3, 2021

Consumers’ Research, an educational nonprofit that shares consumer information, is sounding the alarm on BlackRock, an investment management company, and its business dealings with China

The consumer protection group sent out letters to governors in Washington, Florida, New York, Nevada, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Montana, Nebraska, and West Virginia — 10 states with the top 10 state pension fund investments with BlackRock — to help raise awareness of BlackRock’s close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and inform consumers that the multinational investment firm is taking their money and betting on China.

“BlackRock’s funneling of billions in U.S. capital to China carries with it risks not present in other markets, risks that threaten the large wagers the company is putting on steep returns from the Middle Kingdom,” Hild wrote, according to FOX Business.

“…Chinese firms are not held to the same transparency standards as their western counterparts, so foreign investors are often hard pressed to appreciate the true risk profile of what they’re investing in,” he added, before urging governors to “do their due diligence in educating themselves and their staff on the multiple risks posed by BlackRock’s extensive investments in Chinese companies, both from an ethical standpoint as well as the fiduciary responsibility owed to U.S. pension holders and retirees.”

Consumers’ Research also sent out Consumer Warnings, outlining in detail BlackRock’s ties to China — which date back to the early 2000s — while shedding light on BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink‘s personal relationships with China’s communist leadership. The Warning also lists the top ten states whose public pension funds are invested with BlackRock, including Florida with a reported total of $10.7 billion.

“Today BlackRock manages nearly $10 trillion of Americans’ hard-earned money,” said Will Hild, Executive Director of Consumers’ Research. “Consumers deserve to know what BlackRock is doing with that money. What we’ve seen is that while BlackRock is virtue signaling in the United States, they’re choosing to aid our enemies with American pension dollars.”

The release of the Consumer Warning comes after new findings in the 2021 Report to Congress, which highlights the economic and national security risks of U.S. financial dealings with China, and BlackRock’s decision to seemingly double-down on its investments in the country with no regard for the report.

“We cannot let executives like Larry Fink try and tell Americans how to live while simultaneously cozying up to one of the world’s leading human rights abusers,” Hild continued. “Telling Americans how to behave, while ignoring China’s many environmental and human rights abuses is hypocritical in the worst way. Consumers deserve to know when woke companies are taking advantage of them and their assets.”

BlackRock has not shied away from its business mindset towards China. Fink said he continues to believe “China will be one of the biggest opportunities for BlackRock over the long term, both for asset managers and investors, despite the uncertainty and decoupling of global systems we’re seeing today.”

Additionally, as part of their effort to make Floridians aware of the vulnerability of their pensions, Consumers’ Research noted they will be launching a targeted digital campaign expanding on BlackRock’s connection to China. Earlier this Fall, they also released this hard-hitting TV ad focused on BlackRock’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

To view the Consumer Warning, click here.


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