Tuesday, October 26News That Matters

Tag: BlackRock Inc

BlackRock’s Transfer of Power

Technology, World
The right to voteLarry Fink, the C.E.O. of BlackRock, which has nearly $10 trillion in assets, is widely considered to be the world’s most powerful investor. His annual letters to leaders of the nation’s largest companies are must-reads that change corporate behavior.This year, BlackRock sided with the upstart firm Engine No. 1 in its proxy fight with Exxon, helping the small, climate-focused hedge fund win two seats on Exxon’s board. That shareholder vote followed through on Fink’s promise last year to hold companies accountable if they didn’t have a credible plan to reduce their carbon emissions.Now BlackRock is offering to give up a bit of its power. Starting next year, some of its biggest institutional clients will have the ability to cast their own votes at shareholder meetings instea...
Amazon Delays Return to Office to January

Amazon Delays Return to Office to January

Technology
More large corporations, including Amazon, BlackRock and Wells Fargo, announced on Thursday that they would delay their return-to-office plans as the spread of the Delta variant causes the number of coronavirus cases to climb.Amazon took the biggest step, telling its corporate employees that they did not need to return to their offices until Jan. 3, pushing back a deadline that had been set for early September.The company said in the spring that it wanted to retain its “office-centric” culture, though later embraced more of a hybrid approach preferred by many employees.The notification to employees did not indicate any changes to Amazon’s vaccination policy, which encourages but does not mandate vaccines, or its mask policy, which allows workers at both its corporate offices and warehouses...
Behind the Lordstown Debacle, the Hand of a Wall Street Dealmaker

Behind the Lordstown Debacle, the Hand of a Wall Street Dealmaker

Business
Goldman, which was working with Mr. Hamamoto and arranged $500 million in additional financing for the acquisition, ran only a standard background check on Mr. Burns — a public-records search that took more effort than simply looking him up on Google but stopped short of any interviews, a person familiar with the bank’s activities said.Mr. Burns did not respond to requests for comment.Diverging FortunesIn early August, news of the merger of DiamondPeak and Lordstown drove shares of the SPAC up 20 percent. Small investors, who have become active players in the stock market in recent years, were among those driving up the price.One investor was Maximillian Lawrence, an artist and a high school teacher in Philadelphia. Mr. Lawrence, 46, said he believed Lordstown would succeed largely because...
Wall Street Prepares for Big Corporate Profits

Wall Street Prepares for Big Corporate Profits

Technology, World
Optimism blooms in earnings seasonAfter closing the books on the second quarter, executives are the most positive they have ever been about the profits their companies are generating, according to data from FactSet. And that might be a good sign that bottom-line growth will continue even after the expected rebound from the pandemic economic plunge.Companies begin reporting their second quarter profits this week. Things really kick off tomorrow, when Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and PepsiCo publish their earnings before the market opens. The big banks, in particular, are likely to reveal bumper profits, The Times’s Lananh Nguyen reports.Profits are soaring, for now. Analysts predict that earnings for companies in the S&P 500 rose more than 60 percent in the second quarter compared with...
Top U.S. Officials Consulted With BlackRock as Markets Melted Down

Top U.S. Officials Consulted With BlackRock as Markets Melted Down

Business
As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin scrambled to save faltering markets at the start of the pandemic last year, America’s top economic officials were in near-constant contact with a Wall Street executive whose firm stood to benefit financially from the rescue.Laurence D. Fink, the chief executive of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was in frequent touch with Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Powell in the days before and after many of the Fed’s emergency rescue programs were announced in late March. Emails obtained by The New York Times through a records request, along with public releases, underscore the extent to which Mr. Fink planned alongside the government for parts of a financial rescue that his firm referred to in one message as “the proje...
Climate Change Activists Notch Victory in Exxon Mobil Board Elections

Climate Change Activists Notch Victory in Exxon Mobil Board Elections

Technology, World
HOUSTON — Big Oil was dealt a stunning defeat on Wednesday when shareholders of Exxon Mobil elected at least two board candidates nominated by activist investors who pledged to steer the company toward cleaner energy and away from oil and gas.The success of the campaign, led by a tiny hedge fund against the nation’s largest oil company, could force the energy industry to confront climate change and embolden Wall Street investment firms that are prioritizing the issue. Analysts could not recall another time that Exxon management had lost a vote against company-picked directors.“This is a landmark moment for Exxon and for the industry,” said Andrew Logan, a senior director at Ceres, a nonprofit investor network that pushes corporations to take climate change seriously. “How the industry choo...
‘We Were Left With Nothing.’ Argentina’s Misery Deepens in the Pandemic.

‘We Were Left With Nothing.’ Argentina’s Misery Deepens in the Pandemic.

Business
Before the pandemic, Carla Huanca and her family were making modest but meaningful improvements to their cramped apartment in the slums of Buenos Aires.She was working as a hairstylist. Her partner was tending bar at a nightclub. Together, they were bringing home about 25,000 pesos ($270) a week — enough to add a second story to their home, creating extra space for their three boys. They were about to plaster the walls.“Then, everything closed,” said Ms. Huanca, 33. “We were left with nothing.”Amid the lockdown, the family needed emergency handouts from the Argentine government to keep food on the table. They resigned themselves to rough walls. They shelled out for wireless internet service to allow their children to manage remote learning.“We have spent all of our savings,” Ms. Huanca sai...
WeWork Will Go Public in a Merger With a SPAC

WeWork Will Go Public in a Merger With a SPAC

Technology
“We looked at our plan, we see what we accomplished in 2020 — and we’ve seen a path to profitability — and we thought it was a good time to raise additional liquidity,” Sandeep Mathrani, WeWork’s chief executive, told CNBC on Friday.In the past, the company has struggled to meet lofty projections. Even if flexible work arrangements do become more commonplace, WeWork could face intense competition for tenants. New York, London, San Francisco and other big cities are awash with cheap sublet space put on the market by businesses that are planning to have fewer people working from offices all the time.Landlords may also balk at doing business with co-working companies after they racked up huge losses during the pandemic; one, Knotel, filed for bankruptcy protection. Building owners may also de...