CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced the Board of Treasury Investments, which manages the state’s roughly $8 billion operating funds, will no longer use a BlackRock Inc. investment fund as part of its banking transactions.
The decision was based on recent reports that BlackRock has urged companies to embrace “net zero” investment strategies that would harm the coal, oil and natural gas industries, while increasing investments in Chinese companies that subvert national interests and damage West Virginia’s manufacturing base and job market.
“As the state’s chief financial officer and chairman of the Board of Treasury Investments, I have a duty to ensure that taxpayer dollars are managed in a responsible, financially sound fashion which reflects the best interests of our state and country, and I believe doing business with BlackRock runs contrary to that duty,” Treasurer Moore said.
Treasurer Moore said this action is consistent with his belief that the state should not do business with firms whose corporate policies directly threaten West Virginians’ interests and livelihoods.
Treasurer Moore also pointed to the significant financial risks associated with firms that invest heavily in China, due to that country’s lack of free market protections, intellectual property rights and outright government interference in markets and business activities.
“The Chinese government’s blatant interference and controls over businesses and markets creates a tremendous amount of uncertainty and risk for anyone attempting to invest there,” Treasurer Moore said.
BlackRock has been criticized for investing in some Chinese companies that have been identified by the U.S. Department of Commerce as “acting contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States.”
“BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has been outspoken in pressuring corporate leaders to commit to investment goals that will undermine reliable energy sources like coal, natural gas and oil under the guise of helping the planet, but at the same time he’s pouring billions in new capital into China, turning a blind eye to abhorrent human rights violations, genocide and that country’s role in creating the COVID-19 global pandemic,” Treasurer Moore said. “Even liberal financier George Soros has said BlackRock’s China investments are ‘a tragic mistake’ that could potentially damage our national security.
“Any company that thinks Communist China is a better investment than West Virginia energy or American capitalism clearly has a bad strategy,” Treasurer Moore said. “We will continue to give our state’s business to people who aren’t simultaneously trying to destroy our economy.”