Larry Fink is one of the most powerful individuals on the planet, if not the most powerful of all in modern capitalism. He is one of the founders and the Chief Executive Officer of Black Rock, which is considered the most powerful asset management company in the entire world. And this statement is not exaggerated.
Indeed, Black Rock currently has $10 trillion of assets under management (AUM). This number is staggering because it is more than the GDP of most countries in the world. Only the United States and China have a GDP above $10 trillion (the United States has $25 trillion, and China has $17 trillion). The third country with the largest GDP is Japan with $4 trillion. Hence, Black Rock’s AUM is, at least, twice the GDP of Japan. How has Black Rock managed to become so powerful and make Larry Fink almost like an emperor?
Found in 1988 by Larry Fink, Robert S. Kapito, Susan Wagner, Barbara Novick, Ben Golub, Hugh Frater, Ralph Schlosstein, and Keith Anderson; BlackRock is today the largest asset manager in the world, and its clients include governments, central banks, pension funds, and insurance companies.
BlackRock quickly grew to become one of the leading asset managers in the world. In 1999, it acquired Merrill Lynch Asset Management, which gave it a major presence in the retail investment market. In 2006, it acquired Barclays Global Investors, which made it the world's largest index fund manager.
BlackRock played a major role in the financial crisis of 2008. It was one of the largest investors in mortgage-backed securities, and it was forced to take on billions of dollars in losses when the market for these securities collapsed. However, BlackRock also played a key role in the government's efforts to stabilize the financial system. It was hired by the Federal Reserve to manage the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and it also helped to oversee the restructuring of several major financial institutions.
In the years since the financial crisis, BlackRock has continued to grow and expand its operations. It has opened offices in over 30 countries, and it has acquired a number of other asset management firms. It is now the largest asset manager in the world, and it has a major influence on the global financial system.
As the world’s top asset manager, BlackRock is a majority owner in almost every major publicly-traded company. It profits from these companies’ operations and, as a major shareholder, bears significant responsibility for their governance and the impacts of their operations across the world. Larry Fink is an incredibly powerful man as a result of BlackRock having majority ownership in almost every major company in the world.
He meets with world leaders, CEOs, and other influential people on a regular basis. This gives him a platform to shape the conversation about the global economy. For example, in 2018, he wrote a letter to CEOs urging them to focus on long-term value creation instead of short-term profits. This letter was widely read and discussed, and influenced to shift the focus of corporate America towards sustainability and social responsibility.
Another example was in 2020, when he called on the world's governments to take action on climate change. He argued that climate change is a major risk to the global economy, and that governments need to take steps to mitigate it, and in 2021, he announced that BlackRock would be divesting from fossil fuels. This was a major decision, and it sent a signal to the world that the investment community is moving away from fossil fuels.
BlackRock has been accused of becoming a monopoly. While it is not a monopoly in the conventional sense of term, which is when a single company controls all or most of the supply of a product or service, it is the largest asset manager in the world, and it has a significant market share in a number of asset classes, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds, and that makes Larry Fink far too powerful.
Larry Fink’s power and influence is almost equal to that of a head of state. While he does not have yet the power to control a national military or press the nuclear button, his influence and power to shape public policy is unwavering. It is, therefore, to believe that Larry Fink is some sort of emperor without necessarily claiming to be one out loud.