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Politicians Want to Keep Money Out of E.S.G. Funds. Could It Backfire?


The fight between red states and BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has been a gawker’s delight.Republicans don’t normally line up to punch the chief executive of a giant Wall Street firm in public. In places like Louisiana and North Carolina, however, that’s exactly what’s been happening to Laurence D. Fink, the longtime leader of BlackRock.The fight is over BlackRock’s stance on E.S.G. investing. BlackRock believes that a focus on a company’s environmental, social and governance challenges is the very definition of prudence — and that how investors address those challenges will increasingly affect profits, too. State officials are calling out what they say is overly “woke” behavior by the asset manager.The big challenge here is the di …

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