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Dec 21, 2021

Last word: A very real letter from BlackRock CEO Larry Fink

'I would not blame you for scrutinizing the content of this letter carefully'

Dear listed companies,

That’s right: this one is for all of you. I know that may seem unbelievable, and after a few recent letters purporting to be from me or other investment gurus, I would not blame you for scrutinizing the content of this letter carefully.

Of course Vanguard isn’t making ‘fossil-free and deforestation-free funds [the] default option’ for investors, and the idea of launching a ‘Vanguardians of the Galaxy’ ESG fund for young marketeers is puerile. These are the same pranksters who took you in before, in 2019, when my name was attached to a letter promising that BlackRock would divest from coal companies in all actively managed funds.

We do, however, have some truly exciting plans that the largest asset manager in the world would like to share with you – and where better than the pages of this fine organ, IR Magazine. Though we are all obviously delighted at the progress being made by carmakers worldwide in promoting electric vehicles, there is an area that has been criminally under-funded when it comes to decarbonizing transport: cheese and wine vehicles (CWVs). Surprisingly, the UK’s Prince Charles is a pioneer in this area, revealing in the run-up to the COP26 summit that he runs his royal Aston Martin on ‘surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process’.

Though the Prince’s is an early-stage project – the car has been converted to run on a fuel blend made up of 85 percent bioethanol and 15 percent unleaded gas, known as E85 – we would like to investigate further applications of the technology. We believe running vehicles on the run-off from light beer, cheeseburger grease and fatberg residue could be a real solution – or, at least, fun to make an R&D team pursue for a few years.

We are also excited to announce that we are encouraging companies to take a new approach to their carbon-offsetting practices, which allow firms to account for their greenhouse gas emissions by investing in carbon-negative schemes. Though such initiatives are promising, we are concerned by suggestions that projects are ‘greenwashed’ or do not fully allow for environmental implications.

Thanks to exciting technology pioneered by Dr Emmett Brown’s application of the flux capacitor, we are able to send carbon emissions, industrial pollutants and problematic board members to distinct points in time when they can be better catered for. There is certainly plenty of bandwidth to pipe CO2 directly to the pre-Industrial Revolution era, or we can work together to decide upon a future year where carbon-capture technology or other measures have been developed.

Thanks to the pioneering work of companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, the frontier of space is opening up for business. Though we are not primed to back any of these efforts financially, we are hoping to encourage growth in a new area that can serve an environmental end. Off-planeting is, in essence, the redistribution of assets that are unwanted on Earth to other, more fitting locations to allow for a more efficient corporate structure.

Locating a new business division in the outer reaches of the solar system will allow it to benefit from a more appropriate tax environment (with very little oxygen and large concentrations of methane, for example) for its operations. Being further away from the Sun – and the cold, hard, light of day – may be a benefit, too.

We are also proud to be working with NASA on developing an accounting standard for the first known exoplanet in our neighboring galaxy, which will make the most of the reality-bending nature of a nearby black hole, down which problematic aspects of balance sheets may be dispensed. I’m sure you’ll agree it is an exciting time for the capital markets to take new green initiatives seriously.


Definitely the real Larry Fink