Vivek Ramaswamy, the founder of anti-woke asset management firm Strive, stressed to Morning Wire Wednesday that state attorneys general should use their power to fight back against financial institutions pushing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.
Ramaswamy referred to multiple states recently taking action against financial institutions that force their ESG agenda on investors who just want corporations to focus on making profits. Many corporations use ESG standards to pursue green energy initiatives, racially-based management goals, and other leftist agenda items.
“I think that state AGs actually have a lot of power on these issues because states aren’t just regulators,” Ramaswamy said. “They’re also market actors. What do I mean by that? States are actually, through their pension funds and through their state treasuries, directing the capital of their constituents to these large asset managers.”
“So if these other large asset managers are then using the money of those state constituents to advance social and political agendas, that most of those constituents don’t want to see advanced, that’s a big fiduciary problem,” the Strive founder added.
Just last week, the attorneys general of 19 Republican states wrote a letter to investment firm BlackRock, informing the corporation that its shareholder activism efforts “may violate multiple state laws.”
“BlackRock’s past public commitments indicate that it has used citizens’ assets to pressure companies to comply with international agreements such as the Paris Agreement that force the phase-out of fossil fuels, increase energy prices, drive inflation, and weaken the national security of the United States,” the letter said. “These agreements have never been ratified by the United States Senate. The Senators elected by the citizens of this country determine which international agreements have the force of law, not BlackRock.”
Ramaswamy explained that corporations, such as BlackRock, that push a leftist agenda are not only a cultural problem, but that certain actions could also be illegal. The entrepreneur said that state attorneys general are waking up to the reality that it is “a legal violation to use the money of my state’s constituents to advance agendas that my state’s constituents don’t want to see advanced with their money.”
The former biopharmaceutical CEO then pointed to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who issued a legal opinion for the state that found ESG practices violate state law. “I think that alone is actually a lot less expensive, a lot less time-consuming, a lot less risky than litigating cases or bringing cases, but showed the effect in the shockwaves that a single state AG can send through the system,” Ramaswamy explained.
Last year, Texas also made a statement against corporations that push ESG initiatives when it stopped state pensions from investing in financial firms that boycott oil and gas companies. Moves such as the ones made by Kentucky and Texas will motivate other states to take action against ESG-focused corporations in the coming months, according to Ramaswamy.
“What many citizens across this country want is companies to focus exclusively on being as profitable as they can be on making great products and services for people without mixing that with political and social ideologies,” he said.
Asset Management Firm Founder: State AGs Have ‘A Lot Of Power’ To Fight Woke Corporations’ ESG Initiatives
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