On September 5, 2019, CfA released a new report, BlackRock’s Washington Playbook, which details how BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, implemented a strategy of lobbying, campaign contributions, and revolving door hires to fight off government regulation and establish itself as one of the most powerful financial companies in the world.
"It is BlackRock’s use of the revolving door to exert influence, however, that really sets it apart. According to the Campaign for Accountability’s BlackRock Transparency Project, there are 99 people who have moved from BlackRock into government positions and vice versa, including six former BlackRock employees who work at the Securities and Exchange Commission."
"As it grew, BlackRock expanded its lobbying operations, especially in Washington DC and Brussels. Its ranks have swelled with employees who have regulatory or political experience. According to the Campaign for Accountability, the firm has hired at least 84 former US government officials since 2004. Since the crisis, the company has had 400 meetings or calls with senior US officials and more than 50 with senior UK officials, including presidents and prime ministers, the campaign group claims (BlackRock declined to comment on these figures)."
"The BlackRock Transparency Project, an initiative from the Campaign for Accountability, a watchdog organization focused on public corruption, seeks to demystify the firm’s “access and influence” business model. BlackRock forges close relationships with governments to outpace competitors, attracting special benefits and avoiding onerous regulatory standards. Since 2004, researchers note, BlackRock has hired at least 84 former government officials, regulators, and central bankers worldwide. This can quickly bleed into conflicts of interest and official corruption."
New Report Details How BlackRock Built its Mexican Infrastructure Business Through Cronyism, Corruption and Conflicts of Interest
On September 26, 2018, CfA released a new report, "The New Corporate Colonialism," which comprehensively documents BlackRock’s efforts to expand its infrastructure business in Mexico through aggressive courtship of Mexican political leaders and organizations mired in corruption and conflict of interest scandals.
"Yet BlackRock hasn’t entirely avoided scrutiny—its cozy relationship with Washington officials has been a source of more attention. The Campaign for Accountability, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, launched a project in June tracking the revolving door of BlackRock executives in and out of halls of power; these include Brian Deese, a climate adviser to the Obama administration who joined BlackRock to run sustainable investing in 2017, and Carol Lee, who went from BlackRock’s compliance department to be securities compliance examiner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last year."
New Report Adds to Conflict of Interest Concerns Surrounding BlackRock’s Advisory Role in Trudeau’s Canada Infrastructure Bank
On August 27, 2018, CfA released a new report detailing how BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – appears to have been intimately involved not only in advising the Trudeau government about the creation of its Canada Infrastructure Bank, a government-backed financial institution championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but also in the government’s appointment of key Bank personnel and staff. The new revelations add to the growing conflict of interest concerns surrounding the Bank’s creation and provide new evidence for those calling for a full investigation of BlackRock’s advisory role with the Trudeau government.
Campaign for Accountability Launches the “BlackRock Transparency Project” to Investigate the Political Influence of World’s Largest Asset Manager
On June 27, 2018, CfA launched the BlackRock Transparency Project to investigate the influence of BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – on governments, public policy, and our everyday lives. As a part of the launch, CfA has released three new reports tracking BlackRock’s efforts to influence government.