The Corner

Economy & Business

Authoritarianism Creeps into the Financial Markets

If a business wants to operate under “green” rules (or Marxist rules, or whatever sort), it is free to do so — and suffer the consequences. Investors may choose to put their money into such businesses if they want to take the risk. Or maybe the inventor prefers to put his money into an index fund that has announced its commitment to invest only in firms that have certain operating frameworks, such as minimizing carbon emissions. Again, no problem, as long as the investor knows ahead of time where the index fund will or will not put his money.

But suppose that an index fund’s CEO just decided on his own to push companies where it has investments into adopting aggressively “green” goals. Is that all right? Let’s say that said CEO is convinced that most investors simply don’t realize how great a climate disaster will befall us unless we take dramatic action immediately.

As we read in this Bloomberg story, that is precisely the situation with BlackRock, the world’s largest investor. Its CEO, Larry Fink, is pressuring firms to go green, or else.

A large number of investors are thus being dragooned into climate activism without their consent. That should not be all right.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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