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The great BlackRock movement on climate change
In an exclusive interview with Andrew, the head of the money management giant, Larry Fink, discussed his decision to make climate change a focus of BlackRock’s investment strategy. The change could change the way Wall Street invests.
What BlackRock will do, according to Mr. Fink’s last letter to C.E.O.s:
• Get out of certain investments that have a “high risk related to sustainability”, but not all, since fossil fuels are still fundamental to the global economy.
• Begin to pressure corporate managers on their environmental objectives, including relying on companies to meet the objectives of the Paris climate agreement.
• Introduce more funds to avoid stocks related to fossil fuels.
“This is a much more structural crisis in the long term” Mr. Fink writes in the letter. He said he had reached that conclusion after talking with business leaders and scientists and having BlackRock model the economic effects of climate change.
The decision was strictly commercial., Fink (a major Democratic donor) told Andrew: “Politics is not part of this.”
Critics may not be satisfied. Last year, Lawmakers and activists criticized BlackRock for continuing to invest in fossil fuel companies and remain silent in the face of climate-related disasters. And a website launched by Sunrise Project, a climate change group, has asked BlackRock to commit this year to tighten its policy on coal investments and make fossil-free funds a default option for investors.
Still, the measure could change the way other money managers operate, given the influence of BlackRock with almost $ 7 billion under its belt. “I think we are on the verge of fundamental finance reform,” writes Mr. Fink.
Today’s DealBook briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York and Michael J. de la Merced in London.
Round 2 in Apple’s fight against the Department of Justice.
Federal authorities have again demanded that the iPhone manufacturer Unlock devices used by an armed man who made a deadly shooting, renewing a confrontation between the government and the tech giant about encryption and privacy.
The focus is now on the iPhones used by the gunman in a shooting in Pensacola, Florida, last month, which left three sailors dead. Attorney General Bill Barr said yesterday that the shooting was an act of terrorism. And given Apple’s refusal to open the phones, he said: “This situation perfectly illustrates why it is essential that the public can access digital evidence.”
Apple said it had already provided a lot of help to researchers, including access to the gunman’s iCloud account and transaction history. He did not promise to help open the phones themselves.
The conflict comes down to this:
• Supporters of Mr. Barr’s position argue that Apple is allowing iPhones to become a refuge for criminal activity through the use of encryption technology that the government cannot decipher.
• Apple argues that privacy is a human rights issue and that Americans “do not have to choose between weakening encryption and resolving investigations.”
What may be next: The F.B.I. It has a court order to open the phones, although Apple challenged one related to a shooting in 2015 in San Bernardino, California. Barr can turn to lawmakers for help, although many distrust the expansion of F.B.I.
The pieces fit into a trade agreement with China
The Trump administration took another step yesterday to prepare for the signing of a trade agreement between the United States and China this week. But like other measures in the proposed agreement, it is unlikely to lead to lasting change.
The Treasury Department said that China was is no longer a currency manipulator, throwing a designation made last August in the depths of the commercial struggle. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move came after Beijing agreed not to devalue its renminbi for competitive reasons.
Fact Review: The renminbi actually increased during most of last year, with China allowing market forces to influence its value. And Beijing held the currency in points to prevent it from falling too much.
It is another step towards a deal that falls short than any side wanted. The United States did not force further liberalization of China’s markets, and tariffs remain on Chinese exports worth $ 370 billion. (The WSJ plunges deeply into the months negotiations).
Now the United States will focus its attention on another commercial struggle that started, this time with the U.S. The new commercial head of the political bloc, Phil Hogan, arrived in Washington yesterday to meet, and Europe hopes that his blunt style will help deal with the White House.
The United States puts the screw to Britain for Huawei ties
US officials reportedly warned their British counterparts that any intelligence exchange would be at risk if Britain used Huawei technology on its 5G wireless network, writes Dan Sabbagh of The Guardian.
• A delegation from the USA. UU. “He presented an incendiary file that, they said, presented new evidence of the security risks of relying on Huawei technology in future telephone networks,” Sabbagh writes.
• The campaign comes after Britain said it would allow non-essential Huawei equipment, such as telephone antennas and masts, on the next-generation wireless network.
• Giving the Chinese company that kind of access would be “nothing less than madness,” US officials said.
• They added that Congress and President Trump would evaluate the exchange of intelligence if Britain advanced.
Will this be the year of Netflix to win the best movie?
The streaming service collected a leading 24 Academy Award nominations, including two for the best film, Brooks Barnes and Nicole Sperling of the NYT. It is Netflix’s best opportunity to claim a serious victory over Old Hollywood.
Netflix Oscar nominees include “The Irishman” (which has 10 awards) and “Marriage Story”. The company has two films for the best animated film, while Disney’s “Frozen 2” was excluded from that category.
It was a matter of time and money. Netflix is spending billions on content, including prize magnet projects like Martin Scorsese. His wave of expenses also extends to Oscar’s campaigns.
Traditional Hollywood is fighting. The big AMC and Regal movie chains will not screen Netflix movies in its cinemas, once again citing the refusal of the service to give them a period of one month to show movies exclusively before they are broadcast.
However, it might not yet be the year of Netflix, at least for the best photo. Online gamblers have the chance that “The Irishman” wins by approximately 12 to 1, while “Marriage Story” is at 33 to 1 for some bookmakers. Sony’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” is a favorite, with odds of approximately 7 to 4.
The departure of Harry and Meghan highlights real finances
Queen Elizabeth II said yesterday that she “supported” the desire of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, to become part-time British royalty. But there are still many wrinkles to solve on the financial front, says Max Colchester of the WSJ.
• “The couple says they want to become financially independent. But given the network of taxes, security implications, real protocol and the political sensitivity of real finances, it is not clear if that is possible. “
• Harry and Meghan write on their website that they hope to maintain state-funded security and continue living in a queen-owned cabin, which WSJ said was “restored at a cost of £ 2.4 million ($ 3.1 million) for taxpayers “.
• And the family does not have unlimited money, as we know, even if they still have a considerable portfolio. They received around £ 125 million from publicly disclosed sources.
• “They are millionaires, not billionaires,” David McClure, who has written about real finance, told WSJ.
• The Treasury Department announced new rules that extend the supervision of foreign investments in US companies that could pose national security problems. (WSJ)
• Visa agreed to buy Plaid, which provides services to financial technology companies, for $ 5.3 billion. (Reuters)
• Albertsons supermarket chain is preparing to go public again. (WSJ)
Politics and politics
• Iran’s economic problems are limiting the will of its leaders to intensify their conflict with the United States (NYT)
• New Jersey is about to enact a law that would compensate workers who lose their jobs in mass layoffs, a measure that was inspired by the bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us. (Bloomberg)
• Russian hackers have attacked Burisma, the Ukrainian natural gas company at the heart of Trump’s accusation. (NYT)
• Dating services such as Grindr and Tinder are exposing users’ personal data to vendors in ways that may violate privacy laws, according to a new report. (NYT)
• The market value of Alphabet is close to exceeding $ 1 billion. (FOOT)
The best of the rest
• The new C.E.O. Boeing, David Calhoun, could receive a $ 7 million bonus if the company’s 737 Max resumes the flight. (Business Insider)
• Pharmaceutical companies are looking for new ways to reduce the price of their most expensive treatments. (WSJ)
• US wine purchases fell last year since 2018, the first time in a quarter of a century. (WSJ)
Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow.
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