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Why Are BlackRock and Vanguard Dropping ESG?

Epoch Times, Summarised by Centrist

Two of the biggest financial firms that were backing the Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) agenda, BlackRock and Vanguard, are now abandoning it—at least in name. ESG has lost support from shareholders, and US Republican states have withdrawn over US$4 billion from BlackRock alone—however they had inflows of ~$230 billion in 2022, so this may not be very concerning.

Vanguard also dropped the Net Zero Asset Managers’ initiative. Most insurers left the Net Zero Insurance Alliance after US Republican attorney generals threatened legal action for insurers violating antitrust laws. Legal experts say it would be hard to make a legal case against insurers for breaching antitrust laws, and the NZIA has taken legal advice when setting requirements for members, but insurers are worried about a showdown with U.S. Republicans.

It seems that asset managers are wary of the increased controversy and now prefer more individualised policies and vague terms like “social investing”, “stakeholder capitalism” and “sustainability”.

US companies like Anheuser-Busch (the largest brewing company and owner of Budweiser), Disney and Gillette have felt significant pressure from anti-woke consumer boycotts, but less consumer-facing industry like power generation are continuing full speed with the ESG agenda.

Read the full story over at The Epoch Times and the earlier story from Reuters

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