BlackRock strikes a new relationship with big oil

BlackRock strikes a new relationship with big oil

BlackRock has made itself felt in recent years by publicly incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance considerations – known as ESG – into its decisions and arguing that other companies should do the same. Has earned the name of conservative enemies.

So the investment giant’s decision on Monday Name Amin NasirThe CEO of Saudi Arabian oil company Aramco sees its board as a major reversal, despite claims that the move does not contradict its ESG commitments.

Nasser heads the world’s largest oil producer, Last year, Aramco produced 13.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. He will replace Badr Alsad, director general of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, on BlackRock’s board.

Is this appointment a U-turn for BlackRock on climate? The firm’s CEO, Larry Fink, has spent years saying that ESG principles were important business considerations. The approach has come under fire from conservative politicians, who have attacked BlackRock for its commitment to “wholesome” policies, and officials in several red states have withheld billions of dollars from their coffers in retaliation.

Mr. Fink said last month that he had stopped using ESG, It’s being called a “weaponized” word, But he also said that the company is pressing companies to take steps for decarbonization. And in announcing Mr Nasser’s appointment, BlackRock emphasized his “understanding of the global energy industry and the drivers of change towards a low carbon economy”.

But Mr Nasser has criticized decarbonisation efforts. While the state has announced several clean energy initiatives, including $1.5 billion energy-transition fundMr Nasser questions current efforts to reach a low-carbon future.

He said last year, “To be honest, the current transformation plan is flawed.” “It is not really giving results. We need an optimal, realistic change plan.”

Mr Nasser also strengthened BlackRock’s ties with Saudi Arabia At a time of growing controversy over the state’s record on human rights. The PGA Tour’s tentative deal involving Saudi-backed rival competition LIV Golf has drawn renewed scrutiny of the country as it pours money into Western businesses.

Mr Fink walked out of the kingdom’s Future Investment Initiative conference in 2018 after the murder of Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but he returned the following year and has been there ever since. defended doing business with the country.

It is getting very hot in the Northern Hemisphere. Parts of Europe and the southern United States are expected to experience record-breaking highs, with consequences for human health and economic activity. As China faces a severe heatwave, US climate envoy John Kerry met the country’s prime minister to urge cooperation in fighting climate change.

Microsoft and Activision are reportedly planning to extend the deadline of their deal. Video game maker acquired by Microsoft for $70 billion not in a position to close on tuesday As expected, the two are negotiating a settlement with the UK antitrust regulator, according to Bloomberg. The Competition and Markets Authority, which had previously moved to block the transaction, has set an August 29 deadline for talks.

Senator Elizabeth Warren urged the SEC to investigate Tesla. The Massachusetts Democrat called for a possible investigation by the agency.conflicts of interest, misuse of corporate assets” and more, citing reports of Tesla employees being laid off on Twitter after Elon Musk bought the social network. He suggested that the move may have violated employment laws and was not properly disclosed to investors.

US companies have got some relief from the global tax accord. Under new rules negotiated by the Treasury Department, American businesses Now is the time till 2026 That’s before other countries can begin imposing new tariffs on corporations that pay very little in the United States. The revised agreement provides more certainty for companies, but the Biden administration is still struggling to comply with the agreement to avoid the loss of taxes.

As screenwriters and actors — including celebrities like Jason Sudeikis and Kevin Bacon — staged a strike Monday, media moguls are beginning to sweat the reality of a two-way Hollywood strike.

Studios are bracing that they can recover from the shutdown that has largely shut down US film and TV productions. But there is a growing fear that if it drags on for a little more than a month, their business could suffer huge losses.

the countdown to labor day has begun, Three studio presidents told The Times that Hollywood could remain idle until early September and would not suffer long-term business losses. TV studios continue to roll out contingency plans for the fall: cbs became the latest On Monday, a lineup made up of reruns of “Yellowstone” and reality and game shows was announced.

But a strike that prolongs would mean major delays to projects scheduled for next year, threatening to make 2024 a ghost town for the material. And TV veterans can only survive for so long on lineups like “Survivor” and “The Golden Bachelor.”

The cost of a protracted strike is becoming clear. While media executives suggested they could use the work stoppage to cut costs, including ending some costly production deals, these gains would be short-lived. media mogul Barry Diller recently outlined To “face the nation” the consequences of the extended strike:

“You will see subscriptions being pulled, which will reduce the revenue of all these film companies, television companies, which will result in no programs. And at the exact moment when the strike is settled, you would like to get back up, there will not be enough money. So if it is not resolved soon it will have really devastating effects.

And analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffetNathanson said American studios could be hurt if platforms like Netflix turn to foreign content creators for new movies and shows. He told The Times, “It’s like if the United Auto Workers go on strike and suddenly you have more cars on the road than Japan and Germany.”

Mr. Diller has already proposed a solution. He told “Face the Nation”, “As a goodwill measure, both the executives and the highest-paid actors should take a 25 percent pay cut to narrow the gap between those who get paid more.” and those who do not get it.” , On Monday, a group representing the studio in labor talks said that before the strike, its members had offered $1 billion worth of concessions On pay and benefits as well as on the limits on the use of artificial intelligence.

It is not clear whether this will be enough, however, with all sides acknowledging that the battle lines have hardened.

Crypto fans celebrate after a federal judge granted the digital currency industry a partial victory over the SEC last week

Although the agency accused Ripple of failing to register its XRP token as a security in 2020, the judge ruled that XRP was not a security in all contexts. It wasn’t an outright victory, but Ripple and its allies are claiming it as a major achievement.

The case was seen as a threat to the future of crypto in the United States Amidst the SEC’s aggressive enforcement actions against the industry. The agency’s chairman, Gary Gensler, has repeatedly argued that most digital tokens are securities, though crypto companies have protested that this approach seeks to rule them out rather than lay down clear rules.

What did the judge decide: When XRP was sold to institutional investors, the token was considered a security because investors believed Ripple’s claim that it would increase in value. But when it traded on secondary exchanges, retail investors did not have the same expectations, so XRP was not considered a security in that context.

Industry executives hope the decision has set a helpful precedent. For example, Coinbase is betting that the decision bodes well for its fight against the SEC, which accused it of selling unregistered securities.

But securities law experts are not celebrating. “The decision is contrary to the very object of the securities law,” American University Washington College of Law professor Hillary Allen told DealBook, arguing that retail traders should get More possibly a safety comparable to that of the more sophisticated institutional investors.

And former SEC attorney Tyler Gelash, who now leads the Healthy Markets Association, said the decision created a “huge loophole” for many companies outside of crypto as well. “This decision is my real life nightmare,” he said.

– number of taylor swift album It is the most appearances by a woman to top the chart, breaking Barbra Streisand’s record of 11.

The big event for Wall Street earnings will happen on Wednesday, when Goldman Sachs reports second-quarter results. Questions — and frustrations — are swirling about its falling stock, its troubled foray into consumer banking, which includes its acquisition of buy-now-pay-later firm GreenSky, and the future of its CEO, David Solomon.

Here’s what DealBook will see:

How big a goodwill blow will Goldman take on GreenSky? The bank has announced it is exploring the sale of the firm it bought last year for $1.7 billion, part of its layoffs from larger consumer pressure from Solomon. But the bids have come much lower than expected.

What is the future of its Apple partnership? Allegedly the bank is In conversation handing over the business to American Express, despite Goldman’s public support for the alliance. “It’s a very, very strong partnership where there’s a lot of opportunity,” Mr. Solomon said in October.

Are more layoffs planned? The bank has cut jobs this year, and there are reports that it has not cut costs. (The bank recently resumed its historic practice of letting poor performers go.) Internally, there is concern that Goldman will nominate too few bankers to its managing director class this year. As one banker told DealBook: “I don’t know if I’m being promoted — or fired.”

What about profits? Investors will focus on average return on equity. The target is to reach 14 to 16 percent on this key measure of profitability. reports Suggestions it could come down a lot (Goldman itself breaking with tradition to publicly lower expectations), further evidence that the bank is lagging behind Wall Street giants like JPMorgan Chase.

Will Goldman say anything more about Tom Montague’s appointment? The company said last month that it had selected a former Bank of America and Goldman executive to join its board.

Mr. Montag is known for strong risk management. But given Mr. Solomon’s efforts to move the bank away from the reputation of an old boys’ club, his appointment caused a stir at Goldman and beyond.

Will Solomon reveal his future? It appears he wants the deniers to know that Goldman’s board is really behind him. But Wednesday brought a bigger test than many Wall Street watchers are expecting from the bank deliver a crap — a scenario that Goldman itself has been leaking in recent weeks to lower expectations.



  • Donald Trump and his allies are planning to increase the powers of the President if he wins the 2024 election. (NYT)

  • US regulators will reportedly issue new banking rules Next week he will make radical changes in the capital rules. (Bloomberg)

  • “Jerome Powell’s prized labor market is back. Can he keep it?” (NYT)

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