Friday, May 7, 2021

Why is Warren Buffett Battling the Extreme Left?

Warren Buffett

 At the EPJ post, Why Are So Many Corporate Executives Acting Woke?, where I reviewed the Stephen R. Soukup book, The Dictatorship of Woke Capital: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business, I noted:

[Soukup] especially singles out Larry Fink of BlackRock. 

BlackRock has $8.7 trillion under management. That is power. Fink being a true believer of wokeism, has enormous sway over corporate heads with his position as CEO of BlackRock which holds massive stock positions in most of the major publicly traded companies in the United States.

Soukup states, "Larry Fink is a religious fanatic; a believer in the pure fundamental practice of his faith... [That is]Fink aligned himself with and placed himself at the forefront of the 'ESG' movement, an investment trend focused on Environmental, Social and Governance matters in assessing a company's long-term value. He placed himself in the position to be crowned king not just of the financial services world but also of 'woke capital,' the top down, anti-democratic means by which some of the most powerful and best-known men and women in American business are endeavoring to change capitalism, the securities markets in the fundamental relationship between the state and its citizens – – and save the world." Fink is playing a major role in all this.

So it is interesting to see Warren Buffett, who leans pretty heavily left, to be battling Fink on wokism.

The Wall Street Journal reports:  

The world’s largest asset manager is in disagreement with the world’s most famous investor.

BlackRock Inc. voted for two shareholder proposals that would require Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to publish disclosures on how it manages climate risk and diversity efforts across its many businesses. Berkshire’s two shareholder-led proposals didn’t pass, but around a quarter of votes cast were in favor of the two proposals, Berkshire said during its annual meeting Saturday...

In addition to its votes on shareholder-led proposals, BlackRock also voted against the re-election of two Berkshire directors. It said Berkshire didn’t interact enough with institutional shareholders, didn’t have an adequate plan for addressing climate risks and lacked a lead independent board director...

“Overwhelmingly the people that bought Berkshire with their own money voted against those propositions,” Mr. Buffett said Saturday. “Most of the votes for it came from people who’ve never put a dime of their own money into Berkshire.”He said making all the companies across Berkshire’s sprawling empire fill out a questionnaire because some outside organizations asked for it was “asinine.” It also went against the concept of autonomy the company was built on. 

So is Buffett finally displaying some of his father Howard's old-school conservative genes?

I doubt it. Buffett is just one of the few top CEOs shrewd enough to recognize that wokeness is a power grab that he is not going to let get to step one at Berkshire. Buffett is not a billionaire by accident. 


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