BlackRock buys insurance with Lopez Obrador

By: Mario Maldonado, El Universal, October 5, 2018

This article has been translated from Spanish using Google Translate.

In early May, Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest fund manager, BlackRock, landed in Mexico to meet with the then candidates for the presidency of the Republic.

The American non-profit organization Campaign for Accountability (CFA) has another opinion. In a recent analysis of the company’s trajectory, called the BlackRock Transparency Project, [they explain]┬áthat “in Mexico there were repeated instances in which the Pena Nieto administration did everything necessary to ensure that BlackRock’s infrastructure agreements would prosper.”

“In one case, Pena Nieto’s administration increased by 18% the payments made to a prison contractor who had repeatedly failed to meet the construction deadlines, just before BlackRock bought the project,” [they say].

“In another case, President Pena Nieto signed an executive order that expropriated 91 acres of land for a toll road construction project, an initiative tainted by a series of violent local protests. The order was signed less than a month after the acquisition of the company that owns the project by BlackRock,” [they add].

[CfA] believes that while BlackRock’s track record in Mexico is “worrisome”, its strategic focus on public-private partnerships raises even greater concerns. “When large asset managers are allowed to operate and control public infrastructure assets financed by the same taxpayers, sometimes for decades, the situation can pressure governments to decide between two economic outcomes, both bad: [use] the resources of taxpayers to subsidize wasteful projects or force pensioners to suffer losses.”

Click here to read the English translation of the article (PDF).